New York, Jul 3 (AP/UNB) — Taylor Swift's feuds can captivate the public almost as much as her music, and her latest emotional salvo against one of music's top managers not only made headlines but got key players in the industry riled up, with the likes of Justin Bieber, Halsey and Demi Lovato publicly choosing sides as accusations and insults were posted furiously on social media.
But days after the storm, experts say Swift and Scooter Braun, who manages Bieber and Ariana Grande and now owns Swift's masters, will have to find a way to work together — both to preserve Swift's rich musical legacy but also make money and do good business.
"Whether anyone likes it or not, Scooter Braun just became one of Taylor Swift's most important business partners (and) these are people that need to work with each other now," said Bill Werde, former editorial director of Billboard and director of the Bandier program for recorded and entertainment industries at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
"(Scooter) wants her to continue to be the biggest star in the world for as long as possible because that's how he's going to get the best return on his investment," Werde continued. "I think that in the not too distant future you're going to see ... things get better. You know, you're going to see some olive branches."
On Sunday, Braun's Ithaca Holdings announced that it acquired Big Machine Label Group, the label led by Scott Borchetta and home to Swift's first six albums, including the Grammy winners for album of the year, 2008's "Fearless" and 2014's "1989." Swift said in November she signed with Universal Music Group instead of staying at Big Machine because she knew that re-signing with the label would only result in her not owning her future work.
Once the news broke, Swift penned a scathing Tumblr note, saying she was sad and grossed out that her music catalog now belongs to Braun.
"When I left my masters in Scott's hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter," she said her post. "Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words 'Scooter Braun' escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn't want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever."
"When Taylor decided to make a deal for future records someplace else, she ... certainly knew that Big Machine would be sold probably sooner than later," said Larry Miller, the director of the music business program at New York University's Steinhardt school. "It's unfortunate that she feels the way that she does about the place that her catalog is now going to live."
But what seemed to first be about music ownership and artists' rights turned into dramatic theater, as Swift also wrote about her clashes with Kim Kardashian and West, and claimed she didn't know about the sale of her catalog until the news was announced Sunday. The social media showdown played out throughout the day, with Borchetta providing details of the text he says he sent to Swift about the deal the night before it was announced. He even shared screenshots of a contract between the two of them discussing a possible new deal that would also allow her to own all her masters.
Braun's wife and his clients including Lovato and Bieber showed him support, while Halsey, Todrick Hall, model-actress Cara Delevingne and music video director Joseph Khan were #TeamTaylor. Even country singer Kacey Musgraves jumped in the ring by liking the Instagram post by Braun's wife.
It marked another saga in the drama of Swift, who has had a number of public feuds, from former boyfriend Calvin Harris to Katy Perry (who made up with Swift and recently appeared in her latest video, "You Need to Calm Down").
"I think Taylor, who has led many discussions about what is good for artists in the music business, had an opportunity to lead another one here about control and ownership of your own songs as an artist. But I think she kind of muddled matters by combining this with what felt like a personal vendetta," Werde said. "Now we're all talking about which pop star took whose side."
Swift will release a new album called "Lover" on Aug. 23. Miller said he expects things to work out in the future regarding her catalog.
"About four years ago maybe there was a big Taylor Swift dust up around the launch of Apple Music, right? ... and I'm pretty sure they found a way to work together," Miller said, referencing Swift's 2015 public letter explaining why she was pulling her songs over Apple Music over payments to artists; Apple agreed with Swift's stance and they've worked together ever since.
"Big Machine under its new ownership with Ithaca Holdings, and Taylor and her team ... will find to do what's right for her and for her catalog."
Nashville, Jul 3 (AP/UNB) — Kacey Musgraves' career has been moving and changing fast over the last couple of years, leaving little time for reflection until she saw her life chronicled behind museum glass.
Musgraves is the subject of a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum that opens Tuesday and runs through June 2020. The exhibit follows the critically acclaimed "Golden Hour" in 2018 that earned Musgraves four Grammys this year including country album of the year and album of the year, beating fellow nominees Drake, Cardi B and Brandi Carlile.
"I think a lot of people that night were like, 'Who is this girl?'" Musgraves said. "Which is a funny conundrum to be winning album of the year, and to have people saying, 'Who are you?' But in a way, I kind of love that."
The exhibit called "Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors" comes as the 30-year-old Texas singer has blossomed into a cross-genre star whose emotional and clever lyrics and inventive style, blending country with electronic, disco and spacey pop sounds has earned her plenty of new fans.
"Too often I can just speed onto the next thing without really soaking in what just happened," Musgraves told The Associated Press after seeing her memorabilia on display for the first time Monday evening. "It really did hit me in an emotional way and I didn't think it would."
The exhibit starts with photos of Musgraves as a child performer singing and yodeling classic Western songs and dressed in jeans and cowboy hats, through her early years in Nashville as a songwriter penning songs with Miranda Lambert and to her Grammy-winning major-label debut album in 2013, "Same Trailer, Different Park." Early in her career, Musgraves established herself as a unique artist willing to challenge radio programmers with songs like "Merry Go 'Round" — which won a Grammy award for best country song in 2014 — and "Follow Your Arrow," song of the year winner at the 2014 Country Music Association Awards.
Musgraves has also become one of modern country music's new style icons, mixing country and Western embellishments into her red carpet outfits, stage wear and music videos. The exhibit features a rhinestone studded dress designed by Enrique Urbina for the 2014 Grammys and a Western-inspired black pantsuit designed by Atelier Versace that she wore at the 2018 CMA Awards. The exhibit has her Moschino Barbie-inspired pink leather outfit complete with a blonde wig from the 2019 Met Gala that Jeremy Scott helped design.
"I didn't grow up with anything designer ever, not once. Nothing luxurious like that of any kind," Musgraves said. "There's also this other side of me that is like really enthralled with all of that."
Musgraves' stylist Erica Cloud said the singer's style is a mix of nostalgia and playfulness.
"Kacey's style is unique because she stays grounded in her roots & is classic but we add playful, elevated elements to keep it current," Cloud said in a statement. "She's nostalgia with a modern twist. She's relatable meets aspirational."
Lyrics that she wrote with Lambert, Shane McAnally, Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian are interspersed between the awards and outfits, alongside a letter she wrote to one of her songwriting heroes, John Prine.
"I love that you can pretty much dress anyway you want, but if you strip it away and there are real songs there, that's what matters to me," Musgraves said.
Even though "Golden Hour" won album of the year at both the CMAs and the ACM Awards, country radio programmers haven't been spinning her songs much, though she's been getting more airtime on Americana and adult contemporary radio. Musgraves said she's not measuring her success by any one format.
"I am very grateful for radio kicking off my career and giving 'Merry Go Round' a chance when a lot of people said it wouldn't work," Musgraves said. "And beyond that, you know, all I can do is make the music that I love, put it out there. And the fans are amazing with spreading it, giving it wings."
She recently bought a house with husband and fellow singer Ruston Kelly, although she hasn't been home much. She traveled the world last year opening for Harry Styles, headlined her own European tour and will be on tour in the United States through September. And she's still writing out the next steps of her story after "Golden Hour."
"That's what I want to figure out," Musgraves said. "Like what's the next thing going to sound like?"
Dhaka, July 2 (UNB) – To commemorate country’s 45 renowned poets, artists and cultural personalities- several departments of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) has jointly organised a remembrance program in association with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
The programme that began from June 30, will end on July 4. The academy’s drama and film department has arranged several programs every day at 6pm at National Drama Theatre hall to pay tribute to the legends.
The schedule will feature seminars, along with film and drama exhibitions of the renowned cultural personalities. The programme held on Zahir Raihan and Munir Chowdhury on June 30 while on Amalendu Bishwas and Tarek Masud on July 1 and on Shahidullah Kaiser and Alamgir Kabir on July 2.
The other prorammes on Selim Al Din and Subhash Dutta to be held on July 3 and on Chashi Nazrul Islam and Abdullah Al Mamun on July 4.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid was present as chief guest at the inaugural seminar.
Dhaka, Jul 2 (AP/UNB) - When Willie Black was 15 months old, his father, Artie Lee, was killed in an apparent automobile accident. That's all Willie — police reporter for a Richmond, Virgina, newspaper — knows about his dad. He's never been curious about the man.
That changes when Willie's aunt on his father's side summons him to her deathbed. She's been tending Artie's grave in Evergreen, an abandoned cemetery, and now it's up to Willie to inherit the chore.
Readers of Howard Owen's underappreciated Willie Black novels already know that Willie's father was black, that his mother was white, and that they weren't allowed to marry in 1960s Virginia. But in "Evergreen," the eighth book in the series, they'll grow as curious as Willie about what really put Artie in his grave.
Finding out is no easy task.
Willie's mother won't say and urges Willie to drop it.
Artie's old pals reminisce about his saxophone playing but clam up about his death.
The police chief says there were rumors that the car crash was no accident but has no details.
Old newspaper files are no help. The death of a black man didn't merit a news story in 1961 Virginia.
Patiently, Willie squeezes a few minor details from townsfolk old enough to remember Artie. Each time he gets a scrap of information, he circles back, telling the witnesses what he knows and teasing out a bit more. He does this so skillfully that it is a pleasure to watch him work.
Eventually, he learns that Artie's death was connected to a Ku Klux Klan rally, a car bombing and a series of betrayals by friends and relatives who were threatened by racist police officers unless they talked. The result is a conclusion that is both wrenching and satisfying.
Readers seeking the thrills of most popular crime fiction won't find it here. Instead, they will find a textured, emotionally charged tale about coming to terms with growing up biracial in America told in the precise language of a writer who honed his craft during 44 years in the newspaper business.
London, Jul 1 (AP/UNB) — British rock icon Cliff Richard called Monday for people suspected of sex crimes to be granted anonymity until charged, saying his life was thrown into turmoil by false allegations splashed across the media.
Richard was interviewed in 2014 by police investigating an alleged sex assault. He was never arrested or charged, but footage of his house being raided — some of it shot from a helicopter — was broadcast widely. He successfully sued the BBC for invasion of privacy over the broadcaster's coverage.
British police don't formally identify suspects until they are charged, but names frequently become public.
Victims in sex-crimes cases are granted legal anonymity but a similar provision for suspects was removed in 1988.
Richard and BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, who was arrested in 2013 over abuse claims that were later dropped, launched a petition calling for a "re-balancing of the legal system."
If the petition gets 100,000 signatures it will be considered for a debate in Parliament.
Richard, 78, said he'd "been through the mill."
"When you know you didn't do it, you feel you're in a hole you can't get out of," he said. "My reputation - it seemed to me at that stage - was absolutely in tatters."