Music News: Muscle Shoals legend Rick Hall dies at 85

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Rick Hall speaks at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2015.
Rick Hall speaks at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2015. (Jason Davis/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum)

Producer Rick Hall, known as the "father of Muscle Shoals music," has died, after a period of declining health, at age 85. As Rolling Stone notes,

Hall's Grammy-winning production touched nearly every genre of popular music from country to R&B, and his Fame Studio and publishing company were a breeding ground for future legends in the worlds of songwriting and session work, as well as a recording home to some of the greatest musicians and recording artists of all time, including Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Wilson Pickett and many more. To date, the studio and its publishing company have been responsible for an estimated 350 million record sales, with songs by everyone from the Beatles to George Strait.

Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit

A $1.6 billion lawsuit claims that Spotify failed to secure proper licensing rights for songs by Tom Petty, Neil Young, Weezer, and other artists. The plaintiff is Wixen Music Publishing, which owns the rights to songs by numerous popular artists, and argues that "Spotify attempted to license sound recordings by working with record labels but, in a race to be first to market, made insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information and, in turn, failed in many cases to license the compositions embodied within each recording."

Spotify has questioned whether Wixen has authority to bring lawsuits on behalf of its publishing clients, but last year the streaming giant settled for $43 million in a class-action suit making similar claims. (Rolling Stone)

Obama names favorite songs of 2017

What do Chance the Rapper, Brandi Carlile, JAY-Z, and U2 have in common? They all released songs Barack Obama loved in 2017. In keeping with an annual tradition, Obama released his best-of list on Sunday. His successor in the presidency has yet to weigh in on the best new jams of the year. (Rolling Stone)

Cardi B joins elite chart club

Hip-hop phenom Cardi B has achieved a chart feat previously managed only by the Beatles and Ashanti. All three of her singles to chart on the Hot 100 have landed simultaneously in the Top 10. The Beatles achieved that feat in 1964 ("I Want to Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You," "Please Please Me"), while Ashanti did so in 2002 ("Foolish," "Always On Time," "What's Luv?"). (Billboard)

Ed Sheeran guests on The Simpsons

On Sunday's season premiere, The Simpsons will parody La La Land. The show has released a teaser video of a guest turn by Ed Sheeran, who plays Lisa's love interest "Brendan." (Billboard)

It's all about the details

Here's a rough one: Jeopardy contestant Nick Spicher was docked $1,600 for incorrectly answering the prompt, "A song by Coolio from Dangerous Minds goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic."

Spicher answered, "What is 'Gangster's Paradise Lost'?" Host Alex Trebek initially gave it to him, then took it away after the judges determined the correct answer had to be "Gangsta's Paradise Lost." Ouch. Even Coolio himself says Spicher should have been forgiven for his slight error. (Billboard)

Coachella lineup announced

The rumors are true...your Coachella 2018 headliners are The Weeknd, Beyoncé, and Eminem. Minnesota's John Maus is in the mix too.


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