Music News: 'My Boy Lollipop' singer Millie Small dies at 73

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The Current Music News for May 7, 2020 (MPR Video)

Singer Millie Small has died after suffering a stroke at age 73. The Jamaican singer was best known for her 1964 single "My Boy Lollipop," which hit number two on Billboard's Hot 100, helping to popularize the sound of ska.

Small was just a teenager when she was discovered by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who took her to London to cut a new ska version of "My Boy Lollipop," a doo-wop song from the '50s. The hit briefly made her a global star, sharing a TV special with the Beatles and helping to establish Island Records — the label that would later be home to the likes of Bob Marley, U2, and Janet Jackson.

After a few more U.K. hits, Small retired from music in the early 1970s and insisted to the end of her days that no matter what he says, yes, that is Rod Stewart playing harmonica on "My Boy Lollipop." (Stereogum)

Pitchfork Music Festival called off for 2020

Sad news that, under the circumstances, won't come as a surprise: this year's Pitchfork Music Festival has been called off. It would have been the Chicago festival's 15th anniversary event, headlined by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National, and Run the Jewels.

In a sign of just how extended this crisis is looking to get, organizers didn't even promise unconditionally that the festival would be back next year. They said, "we are fully committed to bringing Pitchfork Music Festival back in 2021, if the public health situation allows for it." (Rolling Stone)

Guns N' Roses announce "Sweet Child O' Mine" picture book

Today's most unusual collaboration: Guns N' Roses are working with James Patterson, the bestselling novelist whose previous co-authors include former President Bill Clinton. Patterson is helping the band write a picture book inspired by the lyrics of the band's iconic power ballad "Sweet Child o' Mine."

According to Pitchfork, the book "follows the adventures of Maya and Natalia Rose, the niece and daughter of Guns N' Roses manager Fernando Lebeis, who have grown up touring with the band." The book will be out Sept. 1. (Pitchfork)

Peloton pays $49 million in legal battle with music publishers

Peloton, a company that makes interactive stationary bikes, may have been a laughingstock after one of their TV ads last Christmas made getting a new exercise bike look like a dystopian nightmare. They're the ones laughing now, though, as sales surge among consumers whose gyms have closed due the pandemic.

Here's who's not laughing at all: musicians who say the company used over a thousand songs in their workout videos without paying for them. Last year music publishers hit Peloton with a $370 million lawsuit that was ultimately settled. We don't know exactly how much Peloton paid to settle the suit, but now we do know how much they paid their lawyers: $49 million in legal costs.

If you want to pick up a Peloton of your own, it will probably run you upwards of $2,000. At least now you know songwriters are getting their cut. (Billboard)

Want your MTV? You're in luck

Consequence of Sound has discovered an Internet Archive user who's been uploading hundreds of hours of VHS recordings of MTV in the '80s and '90s. That includes promos, it includes commercials, and it even includes the station's first four hours, from Aug. 1, 1981.


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