Music News: Music Modernization Act signed into law as Kid Rock looks on

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Kid Rock speaks at the Music Modernization Act signing ceremony.
Kid Rock speaks at the Music Modernization Act signing ceremony. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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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. You can also sign up for a daily Music News e-mail.


President Donald Trump signed the Music Modernization Act into law on Thursday, in a White House ceremony featuring an eclectic mix drawn from the limited ranks of music stars who will appear at a White House ceremony during this administration. That means Kid Rock, Mike Love (the Beach Boys), Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), John Rich (Big & Rich), and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (the Doobie Brothers). Organizations across the music industry released statements praising the legislation. (Rolling Stone)

Not present for the ceremony: Kanye West. The rap star showed up shortly thereafter, however, in his "Make America Great Again" cap, to deliver his own ten-minute Oval Office speech that included a pitch to replace Air Force One with an "iPlane 1," a declaration that he'd been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, praise for Trump's "male energy," a shout-out to Ralph Lauren, a promise not to run against Trump in 2020, and the first recorded public utterance of the word "motherf---er" in the Oval Office. (Rolling Stone)

Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash movie moves forward

A federal appeals court has ruled that Lynyrd Skynyrd's former drummer Artimus Pyle has the right to release a movie about the band's 1977 plane crash. Pyle was one of 20 passengers who survived the crash, which claimed the lives of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and five others. His former bandmates have sought to block the film, saying the film violates a 1987 consent decree that restricts the use of the band's name and history.

The court ruled that while Pyle may not have the right to make a movie about the band generally, he does have the right to make one about his own personal experiences, even though they include experiences with the band. Release is now planned for next summer. (New York Times)

Apple Music partners with Genius

You may have noticed Genius annotations and song lyrics popping up in your Spotify player, and now lyrics from Genius (although not annotations) will appear on Apple Music as well. What's more, Apple Music will now be the official player of Genius, and will offer lyrics for thousands of songs — more than on Spotify. (Rolling Stone)

CMTs to honor women artists

The CMTs have announced that their annual Artists of the Year Awards will honor exclusively women this year. "It's about dadgum time," says 86-year-old Loretta Lynn, who will be one of next Wednesday's honorees.

The ceremony will also honor Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild (both of Little Big Town); Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum); Maren Morris; and Kelsea Ballerini.

Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar for playing Lynn in the 1980 biopic Coal Miner's Daughter, will deliver a speech honoring Lynn — who has a new song called, appropriately, "Wouldn't It Be Great." (Billboard)

What makes a Best New Artist at the Grammys?

When Alessia Cara won Best New Artist at the Grammys this year, after having a massive hit with "Stay," people were excited...but also a little confused, given that she released her debut album, on a major label no less, three years ago. So what, exactly, counts as a "new artist"?

Billboard dug into the question of what a Recording Academy VP calls "probably our most rule-heavy category." Here's the technical qualification:

An artist, duo or group must have released a minimum of five singles/tracks or one album (defined as an EP of five tracks or more) by the close of the qualifying year and no more than 30 singles/tracks or three albums over their career.

You also can't have previously been nominated as a performer, which means Cardi B is out this year. Another huge artist you never heard of before this year, Post Malone, is probably out because of another rule that forbids the artist having "come to prominence" in a previous year. That same rule will probably also sink Fifth Harmony alumna Camila Cabello.

Who does that leave? Prognosticators are throwing around names like Billie Eilish, Greta Van Fleet, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, and EDM foodstuff Marshmello. Nominations will be announced Dec. 5.

Charli XCX and Troye Sivan go back to "1999"

Charli XCX and Troye Sivan have released a new video for their collaboration "1999," and it. Is. Amazing. They reenact the iconic railing scene from Titanic, Charli becomes all five Spice Girls, and Troye becomes JT circa NSYNC. There are references to The Matrix, American Beauty, Marilyn Manson (and Rose McGowan), and of course the Sims. (Stereogum)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Lynyrd Skynyrd: "Freebird"
Loretta Lynn: "Wouldn't It Be Great"
BoxCat Games: "Mt. Fox Shop" (CC BY 3.0)
Jesse Spillane: "Ruffling Feathers" (CC BY SA 4.0)
Prince: "1999"
Charli XCX and Troye Sivan: "1999"


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