Taylor Swift drops new “surprise” album

Taylor Swift released a surprise  new album, Folklore, at midnight Friday (July 24), the singer’s eighth album. She announced the release Thursday (July 23) on her Twitter feed and the standard edition of the album, which she “poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into” will contain 16 tracks. Swift noted that since this is her eighth studio album, she will release eight deluxe CDs and eight deluxe vinyls for one week, each containing unique covers and photos. 

Burger Records shuts down

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Earlier this week, Burger Records promised to make “major changes” after accusations of sexual misconduct against several artists and employees at the label, co-founder/president Lee Rickard stepped down and co-founder Sean Bohman moved “into a traditional roll,” the new interim president Jessa Zapor-Gray announced in a statement that “Upon further review, I have informed Burger Records that I no longer believe I will be able to achieve my intended goals in assuming the leadership role at Burger in the current climate. Therefore, I have decided to step away from the label entirely to focus on my other projects.”

When faced with Zapor-Gray’s decision, Bohrman decided to fold the label.The label’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts have all been disabled and several of the label’s artists have already been removed from streaming services.

Madonna boasts about not paying $1 million fine

Madonna has spoken out about not paying a $1 million fine that she alleges was slapped upon her for supporting Russia’s LGBTQ community during a 2012 show in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

A Russian court threw out the lawsuit, which was filed by a group of conservative activists, and the singer was not fined. 

Max Weinberg recounts his career

In an article in The Wall Street Journal (subscription), legendary drummer Max Weinberg sits down with Marc Myers and recounts his career, including his audition to be a part of Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band and his time as Conan O’Brien’s bandleader on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Los Lobos to perform on Hardly Strictly Bluegrass livestream

Los Lobos will make its first post-pandemic appearance on the Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass livestream Saturday (July 25) at 7 p.m. 

The band will perform and sit for a Q&A during the event and will discuss the band’s four appearances at the festival, from 2007 to 2018. 

The livestream will air on the festival’s website as well a YouTube, Twitch, and Nugs.TV.

BTS, Miley Cyrus to play iHeartRadio Festival

BTSMiley CyrusColdplay, and Migos, are among the artists who will perform at September’s iHeartRadio festival. Those artists and others such as Keith UrbanKhalidKane BrownThomas Rhett, and Usher will tape performances September 18 and 19 in Los Angeles, California, and Nashville, Tennessee and those performances will be broadcast September 27 and 28 on the CW with Ryan Seacrest hosting.

“We do have a theater — the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles — which will be completely scrubbed and cleaned with no audience,”  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes said. “We’ll put a Zoom suite of fans in there so the artists can look out and see, but they won’t really be there. And we’ll have a production team outside the facility remotely in a parking lot and the artists will have the venue to themselves for an entire day. They’ll be able to rehearse, plug in and play live, we’ll have video effects and sound.”

The Killers, Pavement in News Notes

The Killers, who in April delayed the release of their forthcoming album due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Imploding the Mirage, will hit store shelves August 21…

Pavement, who was scheduled to reunite at the now-canceled Primavera Sound festival this summer, has joined Bandcamp and put their five studio albums up for streaming and digital download… 

Foo FightersNew Kids on the BlockJefferson Starship, and Jimmy Buffett will perform as part of a Fenway Sessions livestream, July 22, at 7:05 p, to benefit the Red Sox Fund and Live Nation’s Crew Nation charity. The event will be hosted by songwriter Will Dailey… 

SInger-songwriter Emitt Rhodes, frontman of pop group Merry-Go-Round has died. He was 70…

UK music magazine Q has announced that it will fold after 34 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The magazine’s publishers explained that financial constraints have necessitated the closure… 

DaBaby’s “Rockstar” tops Billboard Hot 100 for sixth week

DaBaby‘s “Rockstar”(featuring Roddy Ricch) tops the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for a sixth week while Juice WRLD has five singles land in the top 10, matching The Beatles and Drake as the only acts to ever land at least five songs in the top 10 in the same week. 

No other new releases opened in the top 10 this week.

American Music Awards, El Dany in News Notes

The American Music Awards will take place November 22, despite the COVID-19 epidemic. The three-hour broadcast will air on ABC. The show has been held at Los Angeles, California’s Microsoft Theatre, but no venue announcement has been released…

Daniel Muñoz Borrego, better known as El Dany, half of Cuban urban duo Yomil y El Dany, died Saturday (July 18) at a hospital in Havana, Cuba. He was 31. No cause of death was released at press time…

While American touring execs like Marc Geiger don’t believe that we’ll see live shows in the United States until 2022, England plans to begin allowing indoor concerts, starting August 1. The Libertines are among the first acts expected to return to the stage…