Music News: Aretha Franklin is 'gravely ill,' friends say

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Aretha Franklin rehearses before the 1998 Grammy Awards.
Aretha Franklin rehearses before the 1998 Grammy Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)
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Aretha Franklin seriously ill; hundreds injured at festival in Spain; Kendrick Lamar to play Jay-Z festival
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Above, hear today's episode of The Current's new Music News podcast, which is now available wherever you get your podcasts.


Aretha Franklin is "gravely ill," according to friends and family. Detroit reporter Evrod Cassimy says that Franklin's family have told him the Queen of Soul is "asking for your prayers," and multiple media outlets are confirming the seriousness of Franklin's condition, which has reportedly had her in hospice care for a week.

Franklin's most recent live performance came last November, at Elton John's AIDS Foundation gala. Earlier this year, she said she was retiring from touring, although she also hoped to record a new album produced by Stevie Wonder. Music greats including Mariah Carey and Missy Elliott have offered well wishes via social media. (Rolling Stone, Billboard)

Hundreds injured in boardwalk collapse at festival in Spain

A boardwalk collapsed during a music festival in Vigo, Spain around midnight on Sunday, as Mallorcan rapper Rels B closed out the O Marisquino Festival. The collapse of the seaside boardwalk sent people tumbling into the water and 313 were injured, five seriously. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or life-threatening injuries. The president of the local port authority says he suspects there were structural flaws in the boardwalk. (Billboard)

Kendrick Lamar to offer "very special set" at Jay-Z's festival

Kendrick Lamar has joined the lineup of Jay-Z's upcoming Made in America festival, where he will be performing "a very special set." The Sept. 1-2 festival takes place on a temporarily closed section of freeway — where it will return next year after Jay-Z hashed out differences with the city's mayor, who had previously said this would be the festival's final year there. (Billboard)

Teen Choice Award winners revealed

At Sunday night's Teen Choice Awards, the nation's adolescents had their say, voting 5 Seconds of Summer their favorite music group, Camila Cabello their favorite female artist, and One Direction's Louis Tomlinson their choice male artist. Their favorite song by their favorite group? 5SOS's "Youngblood." (Billboard)

Waiting for Grimes

Azealia Banks has apparently been sitting around Elon Musk's house waiting for Grimes to collaborate on a song. It's been "like a real life episode of Get Out," the controversial hip-hop artist wrote on her Instagram story. "I'm going to wait one more day then I'm going to go home." Musk and Grimes have been dating since bonding over nerdy references on Twitter.

Banks has been working on her forthcoming album Fantasea II: The Second Wave, which will apparently also feature collabs with Lorelai and Poppy. She's already shared a couple of tracks from the album: "Treasure Island" and "Anna Wintour." (NME)

How long does that bass hold a charge?

Some rockers won't even allow phones at their concerts, but Stig Pedersen, bassist and vocalist for the Danish band D-A-D, is taking a very different approach. He's been playing a two-string bass shaped like a giant iPhone. Amazingly, it even appears to be recording video of the crowd while Pedersen plays.

The band, who have been around since the early '80s, are known for wacky costumes and stunts...at least, wacky by Danish standards. (NME)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY SA 4.0)
Aretha Franklin: "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"
5 Seconds Of Summer: "Youngblood"
Azealia Banks: "Anna Wintour"
Stig Pedersen of D-A-D plays his iPhone bass


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