Music News: 40,000 sign petition begging Maroon 5 not to play Super Bowl halftime show


Adam Levine performs with Maroon 5 in 2017.
Adam Levine performs with Maroon 5 in 2017. (Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
40,000 sign petition begging Maroon 5 not to play Super Bowl halftime show
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Over 40,000 people have signed a petition asking Maroon 5 not to play the Super Bowl LIII halftime show. The pop-rock band haven't officially confirmed their participation, but it's been widely reported that they're slated to headline at halftime on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

The petition doesn't take issue with Maroon 5's music: it asks the band to decline the performing slot in protest for the NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick and other players who have taken a knee to protest police brutality. The petition notes that both Jay-Z and Rihanna reportedly declined halftime slots for that very reason: "Until the league changes their policy and support players' constitutional right to protest, no artists should agree to work with the NFL." (NME)

Billy Idol becomes American citizen

On Wednesday in Los Angeles, Billy Idol participated in a naturalization ceremony making the 62-year-old British rocker officially an American citizen. "It's a nice day for a naturalization ceremony," tweeted the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Billboard)

Country star Roy Clark dies at 85

Country singer-songwriter Roy Clark has died of pneumonia at age 85. While Clark placed numerous hits on the country charts from the 1960s through the '80s, he's most familiar as the longtime host of the country variety program Hee Haw, leading the show with banjo in hand for its entire run from 1969 to 1992.

Off stage and screen, Clark's distinctions include kickstarting the massive popularity of Branson, Mo. as a tourist destination: he was the first country star to open a music venue there, in 1983. He was also among the first country stars to perform with symphony orchestras, and he was a musical Cold War ambassador who played 18 shows in the Soviet Union in 1976. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.

Clark was proud of spreading the gospel of the genre he loved. In 2016, he told NPR: "The critics all said that the only listeners that we had were country. And I said, 'Wait a minute -- I was just in New York City, and I was walking down the street and a guy yells across and says, "Hey, Roy, I'm a-pickin'." ' Well, I'm obligated to say, 'Well, I'm a-grinnin'.'" (New York Times)

His biggest hit was the country chart-topping title track to his 1973 album Come Live with Me.

Beyoncé takes control of clothing line

Beyoncé has split from business partner Philip Green, taking full control of her Ivy Park athleisure clothing brand. Green, who reportedly owned half of Ivy Park until Beyoncé bought him out, "has recently been accused of sexual harassment, bullying and racial abuse of staff at his companies," reports Billboard. The high-profile clothing line, which launched in 2016, has featured SZA and black-ish star Yara Shahidi in advertising campaigns. (Billboard)

Kacey Musgraves scores big win at CMAs

The annual Country Music Association Awards were held on Wednesday night, and Kacey Musgraves emerged as the big winner — even though technically, Keith Urban was the big winner.

Urban won Entertainer of the Year from among a nominee slate that consisted entirely of men. Chris Stapleton won Single of the Year and Song of the Year for "Broken Halos," Luke Combs won New Artist of the Year, and it looked near-certain that a male artist would also win Album of the Year...after all, four out of the five nominees were men. Then the award went to Kacey Musgraves, who dedicated the award to "all the little girls writing songs out there." The win made Musgraves only the sixth solo female artist to win the award; solo men have bagged the trophy 37 times.

The broadcast opened with Garth Brooks leading a moment of silence for the 12 victims of last week's shooting at a country music bar in California. The ceremony also included tributes to the late Ricky Skaggs and — because why not — Burt Reynolds. (Washington Post)

Elton John stars in tear-jerking holiday ad

The annual TV ad for the John Lewis department store chain is basically the Super Bowl of the U.K. ad industry: it's always a big-budget spot that's usually incredibly tearjerking. To get a sense of its impact, consider that Lily Allen's far and away most-streamed song on Spotify is her cover of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know," which was featured in the 2013 John Lewis ad.

This year's ad was just released, and it travels backwards through Elton John's life, to the tune of "Your Song." The ad is sure to spur interest in John's current Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, as well as the upcoming biopic Rocketman. (Billboard)

Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Billy Idol: "White Wedding"
Roy Clark: "Come Live With Me"
Beyoncé: "Formation"
Kacey Musgraves: "Slow Burn"
Lily Allen: "Somewhere Only We Know"
Elton John: "Your Song"

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