Music News: Scott Walker, '60s singer who pushed the avant-garde, dies At 76

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Musician Scott Walker
Scott Walker, seen here in November 1970, has died at the age of 76. (Michael Putland/Getty Images)
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Scott Walker, '60s singer who pushed the avant-garde, dies At 76
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Scott Walker — singer-songwriter, composer and record producer who came to fame as part of The Walker Brothers — has died at the age of 76.

After his time in the mid-1960s as front man for the pop music trio the Walker Brothers (whose members were all unrelated, despite the group's name), he became an increasingly avant-garde solo musician with a unique voice and several of his albums went No. 1 in the U.K. He continued to release solo material in one way or another until his death. David Bowie was hugely inspired by Walker and was speechless when he received a birthday message from Walker in 1997:

Many artists have expressed their admiration for Walker or listed him as an influence, especially in the wake of his passing.

Thom Yorke tweeted, "So very sad to hear that Scott Walker has passed away, he was a huge influence on Radiohead and myself, showing me how I could use my voice and words. Met him once at Meltdown, such a kind gentle outsider. He will be very missed."

Marc Almond of Soft Cell wrote on Instagram, "Absolutely saddened shocked by the death of Scott Walker. He gave me so much inspiration so much I owe to him and modeled on him...He was enigmatic, mysterious and with some of his latter recordings, to me, infuriating. An absolute Musical genius, existential and intellectual and a Star right from the days of the Walker Brothers. So many of his songs will go round in my head forever. And that Voice. We lost Bowie now we've lost him. There is surely a crack in the Universe. Thank you Scott."

Michael Jackson Will Stay in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross face criticism


The documentary Leaving Neverland, a film that follows the story of two men who allege that they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson, continues to create waves. Recently, a number of radio stations announced that they were pulling Michael Jackson's music, The Simpsons pulled their episode featuring Jackson. Some institutions are standing by their decisions, however. Madame Tussauds announced that they would keep their Jackson waxwork on display and now the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced that they will not revoke Jackson's inductions or remove his memorabilia. A representative for the Rock Hall shared the following statement with Pitchfork:

"Michael Jackson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1997 and as a solo artist in 2001. As with all of our inductees, Jackson was recognized for musical excellence and talent as well as having a significant impact on rock 'n' roll, and was elected by a diverse voting body of historians, fellow musicians, and music industry professionals. Original artifacts and memorabilia from many artists' lives and performances are on display in our exhibits. There are no plans for this to change."

Meanwhile, Jackson's friends Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand are dealing with criticism after they've expressed their support for the late artist.

Diana Ross tweeted that Jackson was "a magnificent incredible force" for her and others. And Barbra Streisand has clarified her statements she made to the Evening Standard when she said that "his sexual needs were his sexual needs" and seemed to be unsympathetic to the alleged victims of Jackson's sexual abuse. Yesterday, Streisand released a statement saying:

"To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone. The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It's clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy."

She added, "I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings. I didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way." (Consequence of Sound)

Lil Wayne's 1999 Notebook Worth $250,000


Aspiring musicians, hold on to your old lyric notebooks, you never know what they could be worth in the future. Back in 1999, Lil Wayne kept a notebook full of lyrics, thoughts, and doodles. At some point, he left it in a car that belonged to Cash Money Records, which ended up at a dealership where the current owner of the notebook found it. The notebook is now on sale (with slight water damage) for a sweet $250,000. (Billboard)

Viral clip: Remembering Scott Hutchison, of Frightened Rabbit


Last December, musicians gathered to remember their friend Scott Hutchison, the lead-singer and songwriter for Frightened Rabbit. The live show at Brooklyn's Rough Trade was recorded and compiled into an album, Tiny Changes: A Celebration of the Songs of Scott Hutchison. The live album features Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, The Hold Steady's Craig Finn, Kevin Devine, and The National's Aaron Dessner who covers "The Woodpile" with Julien Baker.

The band wrote in a statement, "This night was not a night of mourning or a night of sadness but a celebration of an extremely special person and the music he created. Scott inspired everyone who met him, heard his lyrics or saw his art. We feel his loss every day but we are all in this together and we carry on strengthened by the support of the people involved in this recording and those around the world who have been affected by Scott's passing."

Hutchinson's family set up The Scott Hutchinson Fund to raise money for a mental health charity, which will launch this year. (Rolling Stone)


Audio sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against The Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
BBC Radio One - "Scott Walker wishing David Bowie Happy Birthday" (clip)
The Walker Brothers - "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)"
Aaron Dessner and Julian Baker - "The Woodpile" (Frightened Rabbit cover)