Music News: SpongeBob musical with songs by Aerosmith, Flaming Lips, They Might Be Giants closing on Broadway

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A scene from the Chicago production of 'SpongeBob SquarePants'
A scene from the Chicago production of 'SpongeBob SquarePants' - that's SpongeBob in the middle (Joan Marcus/Steppenwolf Theater)

SpongeBob SquarePants, the Tony-winning musical with songs by artists including the Flaming Lips, They Might Be Giants, Cyndi Lauper, and members of Aerosmith, is closing its Broadway run after a final performance on Sept. 16. Officially, the reason is its venue being closed for renovation, but ticket sales have also been slack.

If you're hoping to catch the show, though, it may be coming to a theater near you: a national tour is expected to launch in fall 2019. (Billboard)

Drake breaks Beatles chart record

Drake just decisively broke a chart record the Beatles have held for 54 years. Right now, seven of the top ten songs in the country — according to Billboard — are Drake songs. The Beatles landed half of the top ten in 1964, and no one beat them until now.

The chart math has changed, of course: notably, this week Billboard shifted to more heavily weight songs on paid streaming services, as opposed to songs streamed free on ad-supported services. (New York Times)

In other chart news, Guns N' Roses are back in the top ten on Billboard's album chart — with the same album that put them there 30 years ago. The reissue of their classic Appetite for Destruction moved 33,000 copies and lands at number ten this week. (Billboard)

Janet Jackson comments on father's death

In her first performance since her father's recent death, Janet Jackson delivered a speech praising the late Joe Jackson. Jackson said that she considered canceling her Essence Fest performance on Sunday due to grief, but decided that her dad would want her to go on.

"He was so strong, and without his drive, his strength...we wouldn't have this success," said Jackson. "We are a black family that came from Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That's truth." (Billboard)

Tom Petty guitar headed to auction

A guitar Tom Petty played on tour with Bob Dylan in the '80s will go up for auction, along with a top hat formerly owned by Petty. The seller is Petty's friend Norm Harris, who runs a rare guitar shop and says he gave Petty another rare instrument essentially in exchange for the 1965 Gibson SG electric guitar.

A portion of proceeds from the July 21 auction will benefit charities working for animal welfare and the homeless. (Billboard)

Johnny Marr calls canceled orchestral shows a "farce"

Remember those Smiths orchestral tribute shows that were supposed to feature two former members of the band? They never happened, and now Johnny Marr says the very idea was a "farce." In an interview with Mojo, the guitarist went on to say, "The legacy was being plundered. I wasn't consulted and that tells you all you need to know, I think ... It felt like being burgled by someone you used to know."

The shows were canceled after criticism started to spread online and bassist Andy Rourke distanced himself from the project. (Rolling Stone)


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