Music News: Beyonce and Jay-Z drop surprise collaborative album

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Jay-Z and Beyonce at the 2017 Grammys.
Jay-Z and Beyonce at the 2017 Grammys. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

On Saturday night, after their joint show in London, Beyoncé and Jay-Z surprised the world with the release of a collaborative album, Everything Is Love. The album, released exclusively on Jay-Z's streaming service Tidal, celebrates the married couple's love in the wake of individual albums — Beyoncé’s Lemonade (2016) and Jay-Z's 4:44 (2017) that chronicled turmoil in their relationship.

It also takes pointed aim at competing streaming services (Beyoncé suggests that if she cared about numbers, Lemonade would be on Spotify), the Grammys (which denied Jay-Z an award this year despite eight nominations), and the NFL, which reportedly offered the rapper a Super Bowl halftime slot that he turned down in solidarity with protesting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. "Tell the NFL we in stadiums, too," Jay-Z raps on Everything Is Love.

They'll be in this year's Super Bowl stadium itself, U.S. Bank Stadium, for a stop on their On the Run II Tour, on Aug. 8. (New York Times)

Prince estate reportedly strikes deal with Sony

Although the news hasn't been publicly confirmed, Variety reports that the Prince has finalized, or is close to finalizing, a deal with Sony Music to license a chunk of the artist's music. The news comes after a prior deal with Universal fell through, that company arguing that the estate's representatives misrepresented the terms of their existing deal with Warner Bros. The upshot for fans is that the deal could make Prince's catalog — particularly his work since the mid-1990s, when he split with Warner Bros. — more readily accessible.

Lizzo on sexuality and gender identity: "I personally don't ascribe to just one thing"

Lizzo talked with Teen Vogue about her music, her history, and her journey to self-acceptance. When it comes to sexuality and gender identity, she added, "When it comes to sexuality or gender, I personally don't ascribe to just one thing. I cannot sit here right now and tell you I'm just one thing. That's why the colors for LGBTQ+ are a rainbow! Because there's a spectrum and right now we try to keep it black and white. That's just not working for me."

Remembering Nick Knox and Matt "Guitar" Murphy

Drummer Nick Knox of the Cramps has died of undisclosed causes at age 60. An influential psychobilly group that reached their peak in the 1980s, the Cramps disbanded in 2009 after the death of singer Lux Interior. "Nick Knox Coolest of the cool. R.I.P. Glad to have played to your boss Beat. Meet you on the mystery plane," tweeted Cramps guitarist Kid Congo Powers. (Rolling Stone)

Matt "Guitar" Murphy, who played in the Blues Brothers, has died at age 88, 16 years after a stroke compelled him to step away from public performance. A Chicago blues veteran who played with the likes of Willie Dixon and Etta James, Murphy was recruited by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd after they saw him play at a club in 1978. In the 1980 Blues Brothers movie, he plays the soul food chef husband of Aretha Franklin’s character. (Billboard)


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