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It is no secret Taylor Swift is not a fan of Kanye West given their history, which was mostly provoked by the self proclaimed genius, Kanye. It is also no secret Swift hasn’t exactly gotten on well with rapper Nicki Minaj, but she is working to mend things with one of the aforementioned. We’ll give you a hint, it’s not Kanye! The Minaj rift goes back to 2015 when Minaj tweeted about “losing to white women with very slim bodies” at the VMAs.  Swift countered with, “Maybe one of the men took your slot.” It was petty indeed, but a rift nonetheless. Swift, who has recently been more vocal about her political views, opened up about the incident, saying it helped her understand “a lot about how my privilege allowed me to not have to learn about white privilege. It (racial privilege) is something she is still trying to educate herself on every day.” As Taylor Swift, through introspection, is attempting to clear the air with Minaj, there are absolutely zero signs she wishes to do the same with Kanye and his wife Kim Kardashian.  While promoting her new album Lover, Taylor commented about the couple by saying, “When people are in a hate frenzy, and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them”. Shots fired, again! Swift’s album, which debuted last week, is already among the top selling albums of the summer.
            Pop star singer Katy Perry has been found guilty of copying a song by a Christian rapper called Flame. Perry’s hit song Dark Horse was accused of being an imitation of Flame’s song Joyful Noise. The court ordered that Perry pay over $550,000 and that Capital Records, Perry’s record label, pay a larger sum of $1.2 million. Perry’s song Dark Horse spent four weeks at the # 1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart early in 2014. Dark Horse was written by six song writers in total, all of whom were sued; Perry herself only wrote the lyrics to the song. The lyrics of the two songs are about very different topics. Joyful Noise is about the singer rejecting his older hedonistic attitudes in favor of spirituality and religion; in contrast, Dark Horse is about a hedonistic and addictive romantic relationship. Despite the gigantic philosophical differences between the two songs, the jurors decided that two riffs from Joyful Noise were stolen and put into Dark Horse. Perry’s attorney claimed that there is no evidence that the writers of Dark Horse had access to the song Joyful Noise. Katy Perry is making an appeal to a higher court in order to overturn what she believes is an unjust decision. Musicians have been influencing each other for as long as music has existed; and there’s nothing wrong with allowing other artists to influence your art as long as you are also making something original happen in your work. In recent years, lawsuits have been increasingly common about songs allegedly being too similar to other songs. Now the question is, how much similarity is acceptable from a legal perspective?
Charli XCX caught a major career break when Taylor Swift tapped her to open for the Reputation tour last year. The tour was record breaking stateside, bringing in more than $200 million in ticket sales. That’s tens of thousands of people at each show who got to see Charli XCX, compared to her prior audiences of 1,000 to 3,000.  They got to see her because of Taylor Swift. One would think she would be eternally grateful for the opportunity and would use the platform to build a good public image for herself. Wrong. In a recent interview XCX dropped some shade Swift’s way, “I am really grateful that she asked me to be on that tour. But as an artist, it sort of felt like I was going up on stage and waving to 5-year-olds.” ….OK? She continued, “I have done so much opening and it really cemented my status as this underdog character, which I like now. But I just need my own…finally.” Here’s the thing, any artist who accepts the opening spot on a Taylor Swift tour should know the audience that will show up.  Charli XCX’s frustration is with the state of her career.  It is that she can only draw a couple thousand people, which requires her to open for others to reach beyond her limited audience.  Her complaint is with her producers who aren’t finding her better songs.  Her complaint is with her management who are not getting her to open for more appropriate headliners.  Her complaint is with the quality of her own performance that is not propelling her further, faster. Passionate Taylor Swift fan’s have not taken these comments lightly. They have been blasting XCX on Twitter the last few days. Just hop on the app and check out what they’re saying.

Taking a page from Lil Naz X who re-ignited “Old Town Road” by releasing a version with Billy Ray Cyrus, our friend Billie Eilish has done the same with her hit “Bad Guy.”  She lures Justin Bieber into her trap just as the song has reached its peak in the charts.  The Bieber mix is slightly more driving, but only slightly.  Billie lives in the dark space of the mind, Bieber brightens her world.  Now “Bad Guy” occupies two positions on Spotify’s Top 10, one with, one without the Biebs.  Adding new energy to a song that’s about to decline is a great strategy for keeping it alive.  It’s another level of the collaboration strategy.  As Billboard points out, both artists win from this combination.  Billie associates herself with a legend of the time and the aging legend keeps himself connected to the newest shining star.  All that’s left is to see if the strategy works, if “Bad Guy” swings back up the chart.  Tune in next week.

Swift’s mimesis Scooter Braun owns the masters to Taylor Swift’s first six albums after his acquisition of Big Machine Records from Scott Borchetta.  She is not happy.  Her feelings were widely spread across social media last week.  In the spirit of the old adage “don’t get mad, get even,” Kelly Clarkson proposed a novel get even move to Swift.  In a tweet this weekend she suggested that Taylor go into the studio, re-record all the songs from the albums in question and re-release them to make the old versions obsolete.  Clarkson added that she’d “buy all of the new versions Just to make a point.”  We’d bet that a lot of fans would do the same.

@kellyclarkson

 @taylorswift13 just a thought, U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on exactly how U did them but put brand new art & some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions. I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point A lesson for all new artists is that who owns your master recordings and who owns your publishing rights matters.  If you are not at least a part owner of those rights, it will come back to haunt you.  Ask the thousands of artists who have come before you who are sorry they gave up ownership of their creativity. 

Are Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello a professional couple or a couple-couple?  That’s the question that folks who see them together are asking.  Their professional hookup started back in 2015 when they combined for the hit “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which they sang together at the LA Jingle Ball that year.  He was 16, she was 18 at the time.  They got together again in 2016 to host the iHeartradio MuchMusic Video Awards.

Now it’s 2019 and they have combined yet again for their smash hit “Senorita,” which is causing them to perform together as they did at both nights of his LA Staples Center concerts last week. 

That’s all professional, but the 4th of July pool party, the brunches with his family and the late night grub grabs around LA suggest there’s more, which is added to by the touchy, feely public intimacy they share at these sightings.  Though Shawn has denied a dating relationship, Camila’s Instagram says something different; in it she refers to Mendes as “amazing” and “unreal.” 

Spokespeople lay cover with obtuse statements to HollywoodLife like, “They aren’t putting any labels on what they are or are not right now because they have been friends for so long. They also can’t deny the attraction they have for each other and the genuine feelings of liking each other more than just friends. They both are eager to try something more. But are also scared to dive in because they don’t want to ruin their friendship and hurt each other’s feelings down the road if it doesn’t work out.”   Translation: They’re a couple-couple. 

            An incredible list of musical hot shots are going on tour across North America this summer! Many of these artists haven’t been on tour for a long time. Many notable artists are forming fascinating collaborations with each other to create epic summer tours in huge venues across the continent. Summer 2019 is looking like a season of music-magic across several different genres!

1. Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers are back in action doing concerts after six years without performing together. This earth-shattering news is hitting home to millions of North American fans. The group’s North American tour begins August 7th in Miami and continues until mid-December.

2. Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is continuing to stun the world through a North American tour which began in March 18th in Albany, New York. She will continue the tour until August 4th. Amazingly, she’s promoting two albums together in this incredible tour!

3. Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes is on tour! The stunning talent will begin the North American leg of his tour June 12th in Portland and continue across the US until early September.

4. Khalid

Khalid is hitting the road this summer in honor of his second album, Free Spirit. The North American leg of his tour begins June 20th in Glendale and continues until his last performance in Miami on August 17th.

5. The Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys are celebrating an incredible 26 years together! Their North American tour begins July 12th in DC and continues until September 15th.

6. Michael Buble

Michael Buble begins his North American tour segment July 9th in Los Angeles, the tour continues until August 3rd. 

7. Pentatonix

Pentatonix has been on an amphitheater tour through the US since last May which continues into early September.

8. Flo Rida, TLC, and Nelly

Flo Rida, TLC, and Nelly are teaming up for an amphitheater tour which already began! The tour will continue until September 1st.

9. John Bellion

John Bellion is the man behind the incredible vocals in Zedd’s “Beautiful Now.” John is currently on a North American tour which will end mid-August.

10. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is currently on a tour which started on June 7th in Inglewood which will continue until July 27th where she will end it in Miami.

11. Train and Goo Goo Dolls

Train and Goo Goo Dolls are currently on a tour which will continue until August 17th.

12. PRETTYMUCH

PRETTYMUCH has a summer tour in North America starting July 11th in Irving and ending August 16th in Vancouver.

13. Queen and Adam Lambert

Queen and Adam Lambert are going on tour together this summer. The tour begins July 4th in Vancouver and ends August 23rd in Charlotte.

14. Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa will start his tour July 9th in Atlanta and end it in mid-August. The tour will feature awe inspiring opening acts such as French Montana and Playboi Carti.

15. Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band has a summer tour this year which ends in late October. This is truly a great chance to enjoy country on a summer night!

16. Kiss

Kiss will be playing in the US this year from August 6th until September 20th.

17. Blink 182 and Lil Wayne

Blink 182 and Lil Wayne are collaborating for an incredible summer tour across North America. The tour starts June 27th in Columbus and ends September 20th in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn!

Remember Ariana Grande’s emotional performance a few weeks back in Pittsburgh? Well, according to Grande, she is “still processing a lot” as she continues through her Sweetener Tour across the USA, which will eventually head to Europe. Breaking out in tears during her latest performance in St. Louis, she took to twitter afterwards saying “I feel everything very intensely, and I have committed to doing this tour during a time in my life when I’m still processing a lot. So sometimes I cry a lot”

Over the span of the last two years there has been a lot going on in the life of the pop-star. From the suicide bombing at her concert in Manchester back in May 2017, to the death of Mac Miller, to the end of her relationship with comedian Pete Davidson, there has been a tremendous amount of emotions for Grande to deal with, all the while releasing a new album and peforming it on tour.

Grande will head back to Manchester this August as a headliner for Manchester Pride, her first performance back in Manchester since the suicide bombing in 2017. We expect there to be much more tears and emotion from Grande over the next handful of performances as she continues to fight the internal struggles that have plagued her emotionally for quite some time now.

“Drizzy” Drake has had quite the month of June. He has announced that he is in “album mode”, his beloved Raptors have won their first NBA Championship, and he released a two pack of songs to follow. One of those two songs, Money in the Grave, has debuted in the Hot 100, which was the icing on the cake for Drake’s June of successes.

With Money in the Grave debuting as number 7 in the Hot 100, Drake’s thirty-fifth top 10 track, he breaks the tie at thirty-four with The Beatles for the second most top 10 songs all the time. Any record that is broken previously held by someone with such prestige like The Beatles is an incredible feat, and yet another accolade to add on to the long list of accomplishments in Drake’s career to date.

Next up on the list for Drake is icon Madonna, whom Drake ironically has a song named after. She has 38 Top 10’s all-time, and there is little doubt that Drake will break her record in due time. Take into account the fact that he has done all this in a span of just over 10 years, one can imagine that he will not only break her record, but set a bar to be broken so high it almost seems implausible.

Suffice to say, June was a pretty good month for Canadian icon Aubrey “Drake” Graham.

“Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello sounds like summer as their mellow voices alternate, then harmonize, then alternate again with a light Latin snap rhythm in support of a pretty stock melody.  It also sounds like something else; a chart topper.

The two artists had a hit together as teens four years ago with “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which came out of Mendes’ album Handwritten.  There‘s been some growth from then to now. Check them out getting steamy in their latest music video below!