The Current: Music News

The Current Music News

Every weekday, join hosts Jay Gabler and Jade as they chat about how the Coronavirus is impacting the music industry. While they put their best social distancing practices to use, they’ll discuss the latest headlines, how the venues are faring, and where you can find the best virtual concerts of the day. The Current Music News is an essential daily watch for fans of all genres of music to stay connected to the music and each other. Follow us on Facebook or Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest episodes.

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Music News: 'Punk rock's official shopkeeper' Jimmy Webb dies at 62


Jimmy Webb helps a customer in 2019.

Rockers are mourning Jimmy Webb, the Trash and Vaudeville manager, who has died at 62. Also in the news today: how will the pandemic affect music studios in the long run? Plus the Boss will headline a New Jersey coronavirus relief benefit, 'American Idol' is going virtual, and Dolly Parton has a trippy new video.

Music News: Will big shows return before 2021?


Phone lights go up at U.S. Bank Stadium, 2017.

The music world is buzzing about a New York Times report that cites a health expert questioning whether shows with big crowds can safely return before fall 2021. Also in the news today: Live Nation CEO gives up his $3 million salary, and Drake matches a Mariah Carey chart feat. Plus, what was the most-played song of the 2010s in the United Kingdom? The answer might give you...a feeling.

Music News: Coachella cancellation upends festival fashion industry


Fashionable festival-goers at Coachella, 2019.

With Coachella off, the festival fashion industry has been disrupted. Also off: Burning Man, though organizers are going to try to convene their crowd online. Meanwhile Sturgill Simpson reveals he had COVID-19, and Caroline Polachek believes she likely did. Paul McCartney's handwritten 'Hey Jude' lyrics sold for $910,000, and 'Saturday Night Live' paid tribute to the late Hal Willner.

Music News: Artists get creative with Zoom music videos


Still from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down's 'Phenom' video.

Artists including Thao Nguyen and Phoebe Bridgers are getting creative with music videos shot and released during social distancing. Also today: is there a workable business model for DJs spinning sets online? Rogue Wave and Aesop Rock are trading namechecks for a good cause, Marilia Mendonca becomes a livestreaming global sensation, and Dr. Dre picks a very apt date for 'The Chronic' to hit streaming services.

Music News: Angry fans accuse ticketers of deceptive concert refund policies


Mick Jagger performs with the Rolling Stones in Miami, 2019.

Fans are accusing agencies like Ticketmaster and StubHub of holding their ticket money hostage as concerts are postponed inevitably. Also today: hip-hop artist Chynna has died at 25, Radiohead announce plans to stream past concert films, Bob Dylan gets his first number one, Randy Newman advises 'Stay Away,' and Billie Eilish is actually kind of enjoying the solitude.

Music News: Remembering John Prine


John Prine at the Grammys, 2019.

Revered singer-songwriter John Prine has died at age 73 due to COVID-19. Jade and Jay pay tribute to a storied career, and also remember Hal Willner: a producer and 'Saturday Night Live' music supervisor who's died at 64. In other news, Apple Music has launched a $50 million fund to sustain indie labels, and Carole King sang one of her classics with a bunch of her friends from the 'Beautiful' musical cast.

Music News: Music streams decline during pandemic sheltering


The Weeknd at a film premiere, December 2019.

While people stuck at home are streaming concerts, they're not listening to new music as much as normal, reports the New York Times - and yet major albums continue to be released. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga is curating a major online music festival celebrating healthcare workers and raising funds for COVID-19 response. In legal news, a lawsuit against Universal over a devastating 2008 fire has been dismissed, while StubHub is facing a $5 million class action suit over its coronavirus refund policy. Just another 'Manic Monday'...in song, performed as a distance duet by Billie Joe Armstrong and Susanna Hoffs.

Music News: Recovered from COVID-19, Pink pledges $1 million to help


Pink at the E! People's Choice Awards in 2019.

Artists collectively pledging millions to fight COVID-19 include Madonna, Elton John, and Pink - who has revealed her recent recovery from the virus. Duran Duran's John Taylor has also recovered, while Marianne Faithfull has fallen ill - along with Daryl Hannah, whose illness has temporarily suspended her husband Neil Young's livestreamed performances. In a streaming coup, John Krasinski got the original 'Hamilton' cast to reunite on his web show.

Music News: Bill Withers fondly remembered


Bill Withers at the ASCAP Centennial Awards in 2014.

Bill Withers, the soul legend who wrote and sang 'Lean On Me,' has died at 81, and artists from across the music world are paying tribute. Meanwhile, Adam Sandler comes through with a charming 'Quarantine Song.'