Music News: Maroon 5 rumored for Super Bowl LIII halftime

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Adam Levine performs with Maroon 5 in 2017.
Adam Levine performs with Maroon 5 in 2017. (Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts.


The football season has started, which means that so has the Super Bowl halftime speculation season...and this year, that latter season might be short. Publications including Us Weekly and Billboard are reporting that Maroon 5 are in to play the Super Bowl LIII halftime show. As Spin observes,

If Adam Levine and co. are smart, they'll want to balance out the "She Will Be Loved" throwbacks with appearances by some of their many conspicuously hipper recent collaborators, like Cardi B or Kendrick Lamar. Incidentally, both of those artists are outspoken supporters of Colin Kapernick, with Cardi once going as far as saying she'd never take a Super Bowl gig unless Kapernick had an NFL job, too.

A Super Bowl halftime gig is a big deal: it's the most-watched live music performance in any given year. The big game takes place on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

MMA passes Senate

The Music Modernization Act has passed the U.S. Senate, and when the House approves the law, as expected, it will head to President Trump's desk for signing. "This is the most important piece of legislation in a generation," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). "It makes sure songwriters get paid and get paid fairly."

While there have been disagreements about the bill's specifics — SiriusXM ended up getting most of the amendments it asked for in a last-minute tussle — the bill passed by the Senate reflects a widespread consensus across the music industry. (Billboard)

Spotify sued over gender discrimination

A former Spotify executive has sued the streaming service, alleging gender discrimination and equal pay violation. Hong Perez says women were left out of "boys' trips" on the company's sales team, among other examples of unequal treatment, and is seeking both compensation for lost wages and damages for emotional distress and humiliation. Spotify says Perez's claims are "without merit," and that "we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at any level." (Rolling Stone)

Kesha releases new RBG song

Kesha has released a new song, to be featured in an upcoming Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic. "Here Comes the Change" was inspired, says Kesha, by her own admiration for the Supreme Court justice. On the Basis of Sex hits theaters on Dec. 25. (Consequence of Sound)

Whence the celebrity profile?

As the New York Times points out, some of the world's biggest music stars have essentially stopped giving interviews. The kind of candid conversation Paul McCartney recently had with GQ (yielding the infamous self-pleasuring anecdote) has become increasingly rare: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Drake, and Frank Ocean are all in-demand profile subjects who rarely grant interviews at all. Other stars, like Katy Perry and Sia, sit for interviews with their friends rather than objective journalists.

What's going on? Well, print magazines don't have the clout they used to back in the days when "the Rolling Stone interview" was a staple of music journalism. Stars also have immediate contact with their fans via social media, so anything they want to say, they can say directly and with total control over how it's presented. Selena Gomez, for example, recently voiced frustration with an Elle story that focused on her personal life rather than her music.

2 Chainz goes back to school

2 Chainz goes back to school in a new video for his single "Bigger Than You," featuring the rapper performing alongside miniature versions of himself and collaborators Drake, Quavo (of Migos), and producer Murda Beatz. It's not quite The Breakfast Club, and the lyrics are certainly more adult than "Hot Cheetos and Takis," but there's an undeniable cute factor as the kids tear up the library and, inevitably, entice the teachers (at least the female ones) to dance. (Billboard)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Kesha: "Here Comes the Change"
ES Posthumus: "Granicus" (NFL on CBS theme)
Joe Lamb: "Sad Trombone" (CC BY 3.0)
Maroon 5: "Sunday Morning"
Paul McCartney: "Come On To Me"
2 Chainz feat. Drake and Quavo: "Bigger Than You"


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