Britney Spears Tells Trolls to Be Nice

Stay safe, be nice and back off.

That’s the message from Britney Spears, who has endured more than enough from trolls and gronks who pester the performer for posting her happy stuff online.

In the gentlest possible way, the “Toxic” singer has called for them to shut the hell up.

“Reading all of the mean comments really hurts my feelings,” she writes on Instagram, “and I wanted to share because you really shouldn’t be saying all of these mean things to someone you don’t even know.” This goes for “bullying anyone really.”

With the coronavirus pandemic gobbling up headlines and turning the world into a more confused place than it was yesterday, Britney figures the flood of mean tweets and Instagrams are way out of line.

“Hard times like we are currently living through should really teach us to be nice to one another,” Brit writes. On posting pics of a horse or a swimsuit (actual criticisms), get a life. “It’s important to see things that bring happiness during hard times and making light of a situation can sometimes help people,” she explains. And with that, she’ll keep on sharing.

Brit has had more time than usual to spend on her socials. The 38-year-old mom recently snapped a bone in her foot during a dance routine, an injury that required a stint in hospital.

Australia’s Live Biz In Shock as Ban on Mass Gatherings Threatens ‘Collapse’

BRISBANE – Australia’s live industry is on the “brink of collapse” without immediate financial intervention from the federal government, with thousands of professionals already out of work amidst the escalating health crisis.

That’s the harsh reality for Australia’s $4 billion live entertainment space, according to the sector’s trade body, which is calling on government to provide an emergency financial safety net.

As the COVID-19 crisis shakes stock markets and changes the everyday lives of billions, Evelyn Richardson, CEO of Live Performance Australia, which counts 400-plus members, participated in an industry-wide teleconference with Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts.

On Tuesday morning (March 17), Richardson put forward the live industry’s troubling case, and urged leaders to make available $850 million from its multi-billion-dollar bailout and stimulus package.

Australia’s concerts space is in a state of shock, as the introduction of a strict new set of government directives spells an end to large-scale events for the immediate future.

Organized mass gatherings of 500 or more were banned across the country from Monday (March 16), with state and territory governments applying fines and even jail time to anyone who breaks those rules. That means concert promoters.

Even without those restrictions, a tough new quarantine policy on foreign nationals entering Australia’s borders means the live industry will be starved of international content for weeks or months ahead.

Confusion reigns right now. We’re “holding on for the ride because nobody knows what the f— to do,” one Brisbane-based music industry professional told Billboard on Tuesday.

Realistically,” explains Richardson, “we’re looking at a three-six month closure period at least before any recovery phase. In this scenario we will have not just thousands of people out of work but major companies going under along with a decimated small to medium sector. The industry also needs to ensure our service providers can survive so that when we reactivate we have capacity to get moving as quickly as we can.”

Within hours of the government’s strict new measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Byron Bay Bluesfest announced it would cancel its April 2020 event, and July’s Splendour in the Grass is to be moved back three months, to October. The Melbourne International Jazz Festival was scrapped early Wednesday.

“It’s tough out there,” notes Jaddan Comerford, CEO and founder of Melbourne-based UNIFIED Music Group. “As an independent company with over 60 full-time salaries around the world we are right up against it. We are lucky we have a diversified business but some revenue streams will stop for the moment.”

It’s about to get tougher. On Wednesday, the prime minister Scott Morrison tightened the already-strict rules around public gatherings and travel. From now on, non-essential indoor gatherings are capped at no more than 100 people, with some exceptions. The pre-existing ban on any more than 500 people gathering at a single outdoor site remains in place.

The nation’s leader also warned Australians not to leave the country. “We haven’t seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the First World War,” he remarked during an outdoor press conference at Parliament House.

LPA has called on Canberra to provide clarity, guidance and budget support over the duration of this financial year for all those businesses and individuals impacted by event and venue closures.

“Cash flow is our biggest problem,” notes Richardson, and “government needs to act quickly to put in place emergency measures to ensure we survive.”


Watch AJR ‘Bang!’ Out the Proper Hand-Washing Technique

As the coronavirus continue to spread, and self-isolation has led to creativity sparked from boredom, AJR is reminding fans of the proper hand-washing technique (scrubbing for 20 seconds, according to the CDC).

In a video uploaded to Instagram on Tuesday (March 17), the trio delve into an impressively choreographed hand wash to the tune of their explosive song, “BANG!” which features the ominous lyrics, “Let’s go out with a bang.”

“Too much time on our hands. But never enough soap on our hands. Stay healthy everyone,” they wrote in the caption.

Watch below.


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Too much time on our hands. But never enough soap on our hands. Stay healthy everyone.

A post shared by AJR (@ajrbrothers) on

New Orleans Jazz Fest Rescheduled for Fall Due to Coronavirus

The latest live show to reschedule amid coronavirus concerns is New Orleans’ Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The festival, which was scheduled to take place April 23-26 and April 30 – May 3, will now be moved to the fall. “The health and safety of the community, our musicians, Festival Fans, participants, sponsors and staff are paramount, and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials,” the statement posted on Tuesday (March 17) read.

“We will announce exact dates and additional details soon,” it continued, referring to the postponed date.

Jazz Fest had a bill of star-studded performers set to take the stage, including the Who, Dead & Company, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Lizzo, Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, Erykah Badu, the Beach Boys, Maggie Rogers, Elvis Costello, Wu-Tang Clan and more.

See the update below.


‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Hopes to ‘Calm Your Nerves’ With a 1999 ‘Germs’ Performance

We can always count on “Weird Al” Yankovic to bring some humor to dark times.

The parody singer took to Twitter on Monday (March 16) to share a 1999 live performance of his song, fittingly titled “Germs.” “I know we’re all feeling a little on edge lately, so here’s a little music to calm your nerves,” he captioned the post.

The song, which takes on a heavy rock melody, has lyrics that seem to fit the coronavirus pandemic right now. ” I rub and scrub until my flesh is raw and bleeding / (Germs) But they just come right back again / (Germs) I can’t even see’em / But I know they’re up to something
/ Hey, don’t touch that – you don’t know where it’s been!” he proclaims in the pre-chorus.

Have a much-needed laugh with Weird Al’s rock parody below.

Lil Uzi Vert Set for Second Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

After Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake made a smashing debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with the second-largest week of 2020, industry forecasters suggest the album is set for a second big week atop the tally.

Those in the know indicate the album could earn over 225,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending March 19. The album opened at No. 1 with 288,000 units tallied in the week ending March 12, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The set’s striking second-week figure will be bolstered by streaming activity earned by the album’s deluxe reissue on March 13. The deluxe edition included an additional 14 tracks, boasting many guest artists, including Future, Young Thug and Gunna. (All versions of the album will be combined together for tracking and charting purposes.)

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the March 28-dated Billboard 200 chart (where Eternal Atake could hold at No. 1) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s website on Sunday, March 22.

Elsewhere on next week’s chart, watch out for top 10 debuts from Niall Horan’s second solo album, Heartbreak Weather, and Don Toliver’s debut studio effort, Heaven or Hell. The former could launch with around 55,000 equivalent album units earned, while the latter is on course for a start of around 40,000 or more.

Fito Páez on Why His Birthday Is Important to Him & More on ‘El Factor Latino’ Podcast

On this week’s El Factor Latino podcast, Billboard editor Leila Cobo speaks exclusively with Argentine singer-songwriter Fito Páez, who recently released his new album La Conquista del Espacio (The Conquest of Space) on March 13.

In celebration of his birthday, Páez typically launches a tour or a releases a new album, and this year was no exception. “Because we have one more under our belt! And we still have a career,” Paéz says about the importance of his birthdays.

La Conquista del Espacio, recorded at Capitol Records in Los Angeles, includes a surprise collab with rising Argentine singer Lali Esposito. About the collab, Páez says, “Lali is an artist with a level of discipline that’s seldom seen. She’s not afraid of anything. Plus, I called her to participate in a song that’s melodically very difficult.”

Below, listen to El Factor Latino with Fito Páez who talks about the meaning behind La Conquista del Espacio, what his ideal birthday present would be and more.