Music News: M.I.A. on privacy breaches: I told you so

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M.I.A. at a press conference in Berlin, 2018.
M.I.A. at a press conference in Berlin, 2018. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

"It's nice when you end up the smart one at the end of the day. Not some paranoid crazy person." That's what M.I.A. has to say in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, with millions of users' Facebook data used without their permission for financial and political gain.

For years, M.I.A.'s interviews and lyrics have been critical of Facebook, Instagram, and Google. In "The Message," for example, she sang, "iPhone connected to the internet/ Connected to the Google/ Connected to the government." (Pitchfork)

Recoding industry hits ten-year high

Just-released data from 2017 show that the recording industry has reached its highest revenue level in a decade, growing at a rate not seen since 1994. The reason? Paid streaming. Revenue from subscription services like Spotify Premium and Apple Music increased by 56% in 2017, more than making up for continuing slumps in paid download and CD sales. Vinyl sales continued to grow, though total revenue from vinyl still makes up only a small fraction of the industry's total income. (Billboard)

Beyoncé works for water

You can't quite call buying a Gucci bag a philanthropic endeavor, but the designer line is devoting a big chunk of change to a good cause tied to one of the world's biggest music stars. Beyoncé has secured $1 million from Gucci to support her BEYGOOD4BURUNDI campaign, which builds wells in Burundi to increase access to safe water in that east African nation. (NME)

Katy Perry vs. one nun

The legal opposition to Katy Perry’s purchase of a Los Angeles convent is now down to one nun. For years, the pop star has been trying to buy an eight-acre former convent — and the owner, the Catholic Church, wants to sell. The order of nuns who used to inhabit the convent, though, don't approve of Perry and don't want her to live in the convent. They say the Church promised them tenancy of the convent as long as any sister survives.

Earlier this month, one of those nuns, aged 89, collapsed and died in court. Now, Sister Rita Callahan is the last remaining sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary battling Perry's purchase. "Sister's death has taken a toll on me. It really has," Callahan said. "But I'm not going to give up." A GoFundMe campaign in support of the order has raised over $30,000. (Billboard)

Martin Shkreli ordered to forfeit Wu-Tang album

It's official: attorney general Jeff Sessions wants a Wu-Tang Clan album. Specifically, he wants Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the edition-of-one album convicted pharmaceutical czar Martin Shkreli paid $2 million for. The Department of Justice will also be taking Shkreli's copy of an unreleased Lil Wayne album and his Picasso painting. (Pitchfork)


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