Common, Lena Waithe and More Set For ‘The Chi With Love’ Virtual Benefit Concert

Showtime has set a virtual concert that will feature headliners Lena Waithe and Common — creative collaborators on the network’s Chicago-set series he Chi T— and a focus on the Equal Justice Initiative. On behalf of the drama series, Showtime and parent company ViacomCBS will kick off the fundraising effort with a $500,000 donation.

Waithe will appear on the one-hour special while Oscar and Grammy winner Common will perform a set during the concert that will also feature notable Chicago-based artists and The Chi cast members including Jacob Latimore, Twista, Ravyn Lenae, Jamila Woods, BJ The Chicago Kid and MFnMelo.

The Chi With Love will stream on the series’ YouTube channel June 21 at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET), ahead of the season premiere later that night on Showtime at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET).

“In this moment and always, Showtime has a responsibility to support the change our country so sorely needs,” said Showtime’s Michael Engelman, chief marketing officer. “We’re proud to stand with Lena and Common as storytellers and as activists as we present an evening of music, joy and reflection. Inspired by all the artists involved, it’s our hope that The Chi With Love will be just one of many catalysts designed to inspire togetherness and action.”

Added Waithe: “The Chi has always been a show about celebrating black life and black love even in the midst of tragedy. Now is a time for us to uplift black artists. This virtual concert not only celebrates black music, but it celebrates the beautiful black people of Chicago. This is from us, with love.”

The Equal Justice Initiative provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.

This article originally appeared in THR.com.

Early Best New Artist Grammys Contenders: Megan Thee Stallion, Summer Walker, SuperM & More

With less than three months before the end of the 63rd Grammy Awards’ eligibility period (which began on Sept. 1, 2019 and ends Aug. 31), the contenders for the coveted best new artist category are shaping up to be a who’s who of hitmakers on Billboard’s charts.

On the latest Billboard Pop Shop Podcast (listen below), the team discusses some possible nominees, as outlined by Billboard’s awards editor Paul Grein. Among them: Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Tones and I, Summer Walker and SuperM.

Also in the Pop Shop chat: an update on how the Recording Academy has updated their rules around the best new artist category, which could open the door to a nomination for some artists that may have not previously had a shot at a nod this year.

Elsewhere in the new episode of the Pop Shop Podcast, hosts Jason and Keith discuss chart news about how Lil Baby’s My Turn returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after a long three months, how DaBaby’s “Rockstar,” featuring Roddy Ricch, halts the revolving door at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, and how Justin Bieber achieves his latest top five hit on the Hot 100. Plus, there’s a Chart Stat of the Week dedicated to Rihanna’s arrival on the Billboard’s charts 15 years ago.

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard’s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard’s senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and senior director, music, Jason Lipshutz every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)  

Kehlani, Ari Lennox, Common, 6lack & More Mourn the Death of 19-Year-Old Black Lives Matter Activist Oluwatoyin Salau

Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau, a 19-year-old Black Lives Matter protester from Tallahassee, Fla., was found dead after she tweeted about being sexually assaulted and went missing for a week.

The hashtag #JusticeForToyin began trending when photos and videos of Salau, a recent high school graduate, speaking passionately on the frontlines of the Florida protests made the rounds on Twitter, where she previously detailed her sexual assault from June 6. The public outcry from musicians on both Twitter and Instagram speaks twofold to the failure and commitment to protect Black women.

Kehlani poignantly called out those who discredit and neglect female sexual assault survivors as part of her lengthy Instagram post dedicated to Salau. “You see the direct outcome of your lack of support for women, especially Black women, who need help? who need protection. who need to be believed,” the R&B crooner wrote. “This is for all of us, Toyin’s story is tragically the story of way too many we don’t know the names of. ones we pass on the street everyday. we really have to do fuckin better at supporting eachother.”

Common called on his 5.4 million Twitter followers to give credit where it’s due when it comes to who’s leading these movements defending the livelihood of Black people yet who’s constantly underestimated and unsafe. “#JusticeForToyin: She spent the last days of her life fighting for justice for her people. It shouldn’t be lost on us that Black Women have been at the forefront of these Movements,” the rapper wrote. “We have to stand up against violence happening to our Black Women and Girls. God Bless her soul.”

Scroll through the stars’ grief-stricken posts below.

View this post on Instagram

after fighting on the frontlines endlessly for Black lives, Oluwatoyin Salau tweeted a detailed description of being sexually assaulted by a man who offered her a place to sleep. she was seeking refuge from abuse at home. shortly after tweeting her experience, Toyin went missing for days. last night they found her body. you see the direct outcome of your lack of support for women, especially Black women, who need help? who need protection. who need to be believed. i’m talking to you, the person who’s immediate response to a woman coming out about assault with disbelief, interrogation, mockery, “why now”, “you want clout”. to those that scroll past Black women’s goFundMe’s titled “trying to escape my abusive home” by CHOICE, not because you don’t have the means to help. this is for you, the family member who silently watches assault take place IN YOUR FAMILY and does absolutely nothing about it (by choice). i’m talking to you, the person that remains friends with/stands by/supports abusive men… y’all will defend your rapey ass friends till the death. accuse women of deserving it. of asking for it. they couldn’t have possibly BEEN ASSAULTED. this is for all of us, Toyin’s story is tragically the story of way too many we don’t know the names of. ones we pass on the street everyday. we really have to do fuckin better at supporting eachother. Toyin’s life could’ve been saved at home. Toyin’s life could’ve been saved when she escaped and needed somewhere to stay. we ache for you, Oluwatoyin Salau. say her NAME. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE IF THIS APPLIES TO YOU AND STRAIGHTEN THE FUCK UP.

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Warner Music Group Moves to Replace Old Debt With New, Better Debt

Warner Music Group is trading old debt for new debt with a better interest rate and later due date. The music company is conducting a private offering for $535 million of senior secured notes due in 2030 that it expects to close June 29, it was announced Tuesday (June 16). At the same time, Warner wants to use the proceeds to purchase $300 million of new senior secured notes due in 2023.

If Warner sells $535 million notes due in 2030 to redeem $300 million of notes due in 2023, it would replace a 5% interest rate with 3.875%. On $300 million of principal, the difference in rates of 1.125% equals $3.375 million of interest saved annually. Also, the later due date allows Warner to lock in a low interest rate for the next decade.

Faced with uncertain consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, some companies are replacing debt to push out the redemption date at better interest rates. Just last week, SiriusXM priced an offering of $1.5 billion of 4.125% senior notes due 2030 that will repay all of its outstanding 5.375% senior notes due 2025. Liquidity has also been a major theme in the finance world. Many music companies, from Live Nation to iHeartMedia, have added liquidity to operate through a protracted downturn. Last quarter, Warner gained financial cushion by increasing its credit facility — it has a zero balance — from $180 million to $300 million.

In addition to the offering, Warner is seeking “consents” — debt holders’ approval — for the 2023 notes that would “eliminate substantially all of the restrictive covenants, certain events of default and other related provisions,” according to a press release. Easing covenants would also provide financial flexibility in the event of a market downturn.

The press release also reveals Warner intends to issue a conditional notice of redemption for all of two additional senior secured notes due in 2024: $215 million of 4.875% notes and $339 million of 4.875% notes. Warner’s balance sheet has two additional debts totaling $813 million, both due in 2026, that are not part of the tender offer or conditional notice of redemption.

Black Sabbath Is Selling Black Lives Matter Tees, All Proceeds Benefit the Movement

After Tom Morello was seen rocking a BLM t-shirt in the style of Black Sabbath’s logo, fans begged to know where they could also snag one.

Now, Black Sabbath has officially put the t-shirt up for sale, with 100% of proceeds donated to Black Lives Matter.

The sleek black tees with the band’s purple logo transformed to read “Black Lives Matter” are available for pre-order here, priced at $25 USD. They are expected to ship in mid-July.

See the announcement below.

NPR Variety Show ‘Live From Here’ Canceled by American Public Media

Live From Here, the Chris Thile-hosted radio show that served as a successor to A Prairie Home Companion when the latter series was retooled in 2017, has been canceled by American Public Media. CEO Jon McTaggart revealed the news in a post on APM’s website announcing drastic cuts at the broadcaster.

Thile and Live From Here’s official social accounts also broke the news on Tuesday (June 16).

“Not one live broadcast has gone by where I didn’t thank my absurdly lucky stars for your wide open ears and hearts,” Thile wrote on Twitter. “Over the weekend, I was informed that American Public Media will no longer be producing the show.

“While this news fills me with sadness, I understand the decision, as my extraordinary teammates and I conceived of Live From Here as a celebration of live, collaborative audible art, and there’s just no telling when it could be that again.”

Similar to A Prairie Home Companion, Live From Here featured a mixture of musical performances and comedy recorded in front of a live audience. The show was most recently taped at The Town Hall in New York City — a move from its previous home at St. Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater. Thile took over A Prairie Home Companion hosting duties from Garrison Keillor in 2016. It was renamed Live From Here the following year after sexual misconduct allegations were lodged against Keillor by a former employee.

According to the Live From Here website, the show was heard by 2.6 million listeners each week on nearly 600 public radio stations and online.

“Every decision we made was weighed in the context of our pressing financial deficit due to COVID-19 and the priorities of our long-term strategic plan,” a rep for American Public Media wrote in a statement emailed to Billboard. “Our decision to end national production of Live from Here reflects these same considerations, in particular, the uncertainty for any kind of live events during the coming year.”

In addition to APM’s cancellation of Live From Here and the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression, McTaggart also announced the non-profit would be laying off 28 employees, canceling all merit pay increases in fiscal year 2021, combining departments and teams, “selectively reducing work hours” and making changes to internal operating systems to further cut costs. In April, APM cut executive pay by 20% to 35% and put in place voluntary furloughs in an effort to avoid layoffs.

Biopic of Iconic Motorhead Frontman Lemmy Kilmister in the Works

Ian Fraser Kilmister, the late lead singer of Motörhead, one of rock’s legendary hard-living frontmen and a figure recognised globally as just “Lemmy,” is getting the biopic treatment.

The upcoming film, Lemmy, is to be directed by Greg Olliver, who spent three years following Motörhead and Kilmister — who passed away in 2015 aged 70 — for the 2010 documentary of the same name.

The new project, which will be introduced to buyers by VMI Worldwide at the upcoming virtual Cannes market, will center on Kilmister — regarded as a godfather of heavy metal — and his adventures as a “vanguard and talisman of the loudest, dirtiest and most liberated rock ’n’ roll band in the world.”

Lemmy will follow Kilmister’s early life in England, his early experiences as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and his time with psychedelic rock back Hawkwind (with whom he spent five years before being fired for erratic behavior).

But it wasn’t until his 30s that the musician strode out on his own to create Motörhead, which would change the rock world with its unrepentant mixture of loud, fast and completely free rock ‘n’ roll — paving the way for bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and others as it bridged the gap between heavy metal, thrash and punk.

Motörhead would record and tour for 40 years until Lemmy’s death in 2015, with their 1980 single “Ace of Spades” still a world-renowned heavy metal anthem.

“Everything you’ve heard about Lemmy is probably true … not because he was embracing rock n’ roll clichés, but because he was creating them,” said Olliver. “Marlboro Reds and Jack Daniel’s for breakfast, speed for dinner — all true. But behind that steely-eyed façade of rock ‘n’ roll was also a compelling, complicated and lion-hearted man who stayed the course and never gave up playing the music that made him happy. We’ve been carefully developing this biopic since 2013, making sure to stay true to Lemmy, Motörhead band members Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, and all the other folks that played important roles in Lemmy’s life. This will be a film they’ll be proud of.”

Lemmy will be produced by VMI Worldwide’s Andre Relis and Damon Lane. Motörhead’s manager Todd Singerman and Steffan Chirazi will serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Medeni Griffiths with additional writing by Olliver.

Casting has yet to be announced. Speaking just months before his death, Kilmister said he would have wanted Roger Moore to play him in a biopic.

“It is a story of immense cultural importance,” said Chirazi and Singerman in a statement. “If the last five years of his absence has taught us anything, it is that he was more unique than anyone could ever have known, because no one touches the quality and sheer freedom of the man. Greg is a deeply trusted part of our circle, and we are delighted to see this film coming to fruition.”

Added Relis: “Lemmy and Mötorhead’s music had a major influence on my life and music experience. They were the band that started the crossover of metal and punk.”

Production on Lemmy is looking to start in early 2021.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.