Music News: Jackson Browne shares coronavirus diagnosis


Jackson Browne has tested positive for COVID-19, and says 'it's important for all of us to be pretty forthcoming.' Also in the news today: James Taylor donates $1 million to medical emergency fund, an 'ultimate stay at home playlist' lands on the National Recording Registry, survival-themed songs climb the charts, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs talks about our perilous situation, and artists spoof the celebrity 'Imagine' cover. (MPR Video)

Jackson Browne tells Rolling Stone that he tested positive for COVID-19, and that he is recuperating at home. The 71-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee says he suspects he may have become infected during a recent trip to New York for a benefit concert, and urges fans to "take part in the global response to stop the spread. That means not going anywhere, not getting into contact with anybody, not seeing anybody."

James Taylor donates $1 million to medical emergency fund

James Taylor, who was part of the famed Laurel Canyon scene with Browne back in the '70s, has donated $1 million to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was born in 1948. Taylor and his wife, Kim, donated the money to support the hospital's efforts to battle coronavirus. In a statement, Taylor said, "There is no question that it's a point of pride for New Englanders to claim the MGH as their hospital — our hospital — and this is especially true today with the threat coming from a new and insidious virus."

National Recording Registry inducts "ultimate 'stay at home' playlist"

The National Recording Registry has announced the recordings being entered into permanent Library of Congress preservation this year, and given the dire circumstances it's calling the roster "the ultimate 'stay at home' playlist."

The 25 recordings selected for preservation include the theme song for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Dr. Dre's rap classic The Chronic, Tina Turner's epic comeback Private Dancer, and the live album Cheap Trick at Budokan. (New York Times)

R.E.M.’s "End of the World" climbs charts

Whatever the Library of Congress suggests, Americans are making their own stay-at-home playlists, and they include some songs that might not surprise you given the circumstances. R.E.M.’s 1987 anthem "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" has climbed to number four on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart. Other songs getting what Consequence of Sound calls "a pandemic bump" include Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness," Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," and Fifth Harmony's "Work From Home."

Merrill Garbus talks about remaining present — remotely

On Tuesday, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs told The Current's Jill Riley about what she's doing to remain present and active at home during this health crisis.

"Any musician I talk to, artist that I talk to," she said, "these practices are our sanity. So I need my daily practices. I need my vocal practice, I need all these things. Yes we are recording, yes we are still trying to figure out how to mix our album remotely, perhaps, or do it in a way that we can get music out to the people sooner rather than later. And I think that one way of being present is to be in our bodies, and to, you know, as I've been talking about feeling what's going on in ourselves, but I think that's also dancing and moving — celebrating our lives and celebrating our bodies — so I love delivering kind of what's in the collective conscious with a beat to dance to."

Elton John to host virtual benefit concert featuring superstars

With this weekend's iHeartRadio Music Awards called off due to the health crisis, a collection of stars will instead play a virtual benefit concert this Sunday night at 8 p.m. CDT, broadcast nationally on Fox. Sir Elton John will host the iHeart Living Room Concert For America, with remote performances by artists including Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish,Alicia Keys, and Backstreet Boys. (Stereogum)

Indie stars "cover" Blink-182

If there's one thing that's brought the world together in this challenging time, it's an obsession with the awkward video of celebrities collaboratively covering John Lennon's "Imagine." The video has spawned countless parodies; in one, indie stars including Lucius, Danny Brown, Natalie Prass, Mac DeMarco, and members of Dr. Dog and Fleet Foxes join up on their own version of Blink-182's "I Miss You." (AV Club)

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