Music News: Billie Eilish opens up about Tourette's diagnosis

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Billie Eilish in Los Angeles, 2017.
Billie Eilish in Los Angeles, 2017. (Rich Fury/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 and join our Facebook group.


Rising star Billie Eilish, 16, has revealed a diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome. Eilish described her condition in an Instagram story after clips showing her physical tics began circulating online. "Wasn't planning on talking about this on here maybe ever, but it's gotten to a point," she wrote. "My tics are only physical and not super noticeable to others if you're not really paying attention."

Eilish wrote that the compilation videos are "lowkey funny" even when people are sharing them to make fun of her. "I know you're all confused as to what it is." (Billboard)

Beck pays tribute to late SpongeBob creator

Beck paid tribute to Stephen Hillenberg, the SpongeBob SquarePants creator, with a Facebook post. "Very sad to hear the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenberg, who years and years ago used to be my neighbor and kindly did the artwork for the first music that I ever released," wrote Beck, sharing the artwork for his 1993 single "MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack." He continued, "I always remembered him as a genuinely sweet guy." (Pitchfork)

Rita Moreno cast in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story

Entertainment icon Rita Moreno, whose EGOT includes an Oscar for her role as Anita in the 1961 film version of West Side Story, has been cast in Steven Spielberg's forthcoming West Side Story movie. In the new movie, Moreno, age 86, will play a revised version of the character Doc — owner of the corner store where the Sharks and the Jets hang out. Moreno will also serve as an executive producer of the film, which begins filming next year. (Billboard)

"Silent Night" turns 200

This December, the Christmas classic "Silent Night" turns 200 years old. U.S. celebrations of the carol, which originated in Austria, kicked off Tuesday night with a performance of the song at the New York City church where the song made its American debut in 1839.

The Kroll Family Singers, an Austrian group, joined other performers to sing the song at the Alexander Hamilton memorial in the Trinity Churchyard. Billboard reports, "The singers stood in front of the memorial in the darkened yard as onlookers gathered and horns from passing cars beeped on nearby streets. The Kroll singers opened the carol with verses in the original German, followed by the Trinity singers with verses in languages including French, Spanish, and finally English."

Today's lawsuit news: LL Cool J vs. Rock the Bells, Everly brother vs. Everly brother

There are two lawsuits in the music news today, one pitting Don Everly against the estate of his late brother and bandmate Phil. The lawsuit involves the Everly Brothers' hit "Cathy's Clown," which was originally released in 1960 and also became a country hit for Reba McEntire in 1989. The brothers were initially listed as co-writers, but then in 1980 Phil signed an agreement relinquishing his claims on the song.

Phil died in 2014, and his estate subsequently filed to recapture his share of the song, citing the fact that the 1980 agreement didn't technically renounce Phil's co-authorship #8212; just his "rights" to the song. Sound complicated? It is, and Billboard notes that the suit is an example of why it's important to get authorship disputes settled as soon and as definitively as possible — as well as why songwriting partnerships like Lennon-McCartney just decided to go 50-50 and avoid any such conflicts.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Don gets to keep full credit for the song, since his brother seemingly intended for that to be the case, contractual technicalities aside.

Meanwhile, LL Cool J has sued the hip-hop festival Rock the Bells for the obvious reason that it shares its name with his 1985 single. Like the estate of Phil Everly, though, LL Cool J may be a little late to the game: Rock the Bells launched in 2004 and has become a major annual festival, infamously featuring holograms of ODB and Eazy-E in 2013. So why is Ladies Love Cool James getting litigious now? He's just started his own SiriusXM channel called, yep, Rock the Bells. (Pitchfork)

Viral clip: Natalie Portman sings Sia in new Vox Lux trailer

There's a new trailer for Vox Lux, the forthcoming movie that stars Natalie Portman as a glam pop star who achieved teenage fame after a school shooting. In the trailer, Portman sings a song newly-written for the film by Sia and Greg Kurstin. The movie hits New York and L.A. on Dec. 7, with a nationwide opening the following week. (Stereogum)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
West Side Story Original Soundtrack: "America"
Kroll Family Singers: "Stille Nacht"
Billie Eilish: "You Should See Me In A Crown"
LL Cool J: "Rock The Bells"
Natalie Portman: "Wrapped Up"


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