Music News: It's now officially Sir Ringo Starr


Ringo Starr after being appointed Knight Commander.
Richard Starkey, better knonwn as Ringo Starr, poses with his medal after being appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on March 20, 2018. (JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)

It's now official: you can call the Beatles drummer Sir Ringo Starr. Well, technically, Sir Richard Starkey. The honor came 53 years after the Beatles were collectively awarded MBEs, and and Starr said, "I was a bit shaky today on my own." Via social media, both Yoko Ono and Starr's former bandmate Sir Paul McCartney congratulated him on the honor. (Billboard)

Remembering Matt Dike and Hazel Smith

Matt Dike, co-founder of the label Delicious Vinyl, has died of salivary gland cancer at age 56. The L.A. label was known for releasing radio-friendly hip-hop in the late 1980s and early '90s, its best-known hits being Tone-Loc’s "Wild Thing" and Young MC’s "Bust a Move." An expert at picking samples, Dike also helped produce the Beastie Boys classic Paul's Boutique. (New York Times)

Country music writer Hazel Smith has died of undisclosed causes at age 83. Before becoming a columnist for Country Music magazine, Smith worked as a publicist for artists including Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. In that role, she coined the term "outlaw country" to describe music that bucked the slick Nashville sound of the '70s. (Billboard)

Culture Club and the B-52s coming to the State Fair

Culture Club and the B-52s are teaming up for a U.S. tour that will hit the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Sept. 3. Boy George says he's working on music for a new Culture Club record, and will be previewing some of it on the road. Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins will also be on the bill. (Rolling Stone)

Neil Diamond to receive Johnny Mercer Award

At this year's Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the institution will grant its annual Johnny Mercer Award to Neil Diamond. The award, presented to past inductees in recognition of extraordinary achievement, has previously been given to artists including Stevie Wonder, Carole King, and Alan Menken. Diamond recently announced his retirement from touring due to the effects of Parkinson's disease. (Billboard)

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