Live Nation Shares Bounce on Encouraging Vaccine Trial

As markets reacted enthusiastically to a promising coronavirus vaccine trial, shares of concert promoter Live Nation leaped 12.2% to $52.09 on Wednesday (July 15) before closing at $51.84, up 11.7%. 

On Tuesday, biotech company Moderna published the results of an initial study for a coronavirus vaccine called mRNA-1273. The vaccine “elicits a robust immune response” in all trial participants, said chief medical officer Tal Zaks in a statement, and will enter the next phase — with approximately 30,000 participants — later this month. 

Jumps in other entertainment companies’ stocks reflect how desperate investors were for good news about markets brought to a dead stop by the coronavirus. Shares of cruise companies jumped on Wednesday as well: Carnival Corporation +16.22%; Norwegian Cruise Line +20.7%; and Royal Caribbean Cruises +21.2%. Theme park company Six Flags Entertainment Corporation rose 13.6%. 

Although some states could follow California governor Gavin Newsom’s lead from Monday and order movie theaters closed, Wall Street nonetheless seemed optimistic. Movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings, which plans on reopening theaters July 30, rose 6.6%. Another movie theater chain, Cinemark Holdings, climbed 15.6%; it plans on reopening most locations on July 24

Travel companies’ stocks surged as well: American Airlines +16.2%; Delta Air Lines +9.5%; Expedia Group +9.4%; Hilton Worldwide Holdings +10%; and Hyatt Hotels +9.8%. 

Live music has been hit especially hard since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in March: concert venues widely remain closed and tourist artists are stuck at home, meaning downstream professionals — managers, agents, business managers — aren’t getting paid either. Some promoters are experimenting with alternative concerts such as drive-ins but no major tours or festivals are currently planned for 2020.


Gigi Hadid Flaunts Her Growing Baby Bump for the First Time

Our first glimpse of baby Zigi (in the womb)!

Gigi Hadid hopped on Instagram Live on Wednesday (July 15), where she showed the world her pregnant belly for the first time. The supermodel unbuttoned her flowy pajama top and turned to the side before throwing up a peace sign.

“There’s my belly y’all,” she said, before adding that she doesn’t always look pregnant in her photos because “from the front it’s different.”

“I really appreciate your positive messages,” she continued. “I’m just taking my time with sharing my pregnancy.”

She also addressed those who troll her for not posting more about her future baby with Zayn Malik. “That’s a reason that I felt that it’s not really something that I need to share apart from with my family and friends. Obviously a lot of people have lost lives due to [the] coronavirus that was in the beginning of quarantine and still happening. And then we moved obviously into the reemergence of the BLM movement, and I thought that our presence on social media should be used for that.”

Back in April, after a few days of rumors, Hadid confirmed that she is expecting a baby with the former One Direction singer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “Obviously, we wish we could have announced it on our own terms,” Hadid told Fallon. “We’re very excited and happy and grateful for everyone’s well wishes and support.”

REVOLT TV CEO Roma Khanna Stepping Down After Three Years

Roma Khanna, CEO of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ REVOLT TV, is stepping down from her role at the cable network after nearly three years on the job. Going forward, she will serve as an advisor to REVOLT TV’s senior team and shareholders.

With Khanna departing, REVOLT TV executive vp and head of finance & operations Colin McIntosh and COO and head of content Detavio Samuels will step in as co-heads, taking over day-to-day leadership of the company. Both will report to Combs Enterprises COO Tarik Brooks.

Named CEO in September 2017, Khanna has launched such programing as State of the Culture and REVOLT Black News, in addition to the multi-city, multi-platform REVOLT Summit x AT&T. Under her tenure, REVOLT has also grown its distribution with packages across AT&T platforms, Mediacom and OTT outlets such as Sling and Philo. Additionally, the website has seen unique visitors and page views increase by over 1,000%, while its official YouTube channel has increased views by 450%, according to the company.

“REVOLT’s time is now and I am very proud to pass the reins to our next generation of amazing leaders as they rise and guide the future,” said Khanna in a release. “I am grateful to our Chairman, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, for his unwavering support and guidance along the way. REVOLT is forever in my heart and I look forward to continuing to support the team, our audience and Sean Combs as an ally and Advisor.”

Combs added, “I am grateful for Roma’s relentless work over the last three years getting REVOLT ready for the revolution. She has been an ally to the culture and the company. Roma will always be a part of the Combs family and I am happy to have her as an Advisor to REVOLT going forward.”

Tournament of Roses Parade Canceled for the First Time Since World War II

You probably watched at least a few minutes of the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1. Even if you didn’t, it was nice to know it was there, with its colorful floats, snazzily-attired equestrians and high school marching bands—a pleasant tradition that dates back to Jan. 1, 1890. If it’s all kind of corny and old-fashioned, that’s part of its charm, as people ease into a new year.

You’re going to have to ease into the new year on your own on Jan. 1, 2021. The Rose Parade –as most people call it–will not take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, disappointed parade officials announced on July 15. It will be the first time the parade has not marched down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Calif. since it was put on hold from 1942-45, during World War II.

“For 132 years, the Tournament of Roses has been able to bring the hope and joy of the new year to people around the world,” David Eads, the Tournament of Roses’ chief executive, told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re really disappointed that we’re not going to be able to do that again this year, but the health and well-being of all our participants and guests is our top priority.”

Several weeks ago, the Tournament of Roses met with public health officials at the USC Keck School of Medicine to study the feasibility of going forward with the parade. They concluded that the parade and related activities would inevitably lead to large numbers of people being in close proximity, creating an unacceptably high risk for viral spread.

Eads said the Tournament of Roses is looking to team up with its broadcast partners to host a televised event for worldwide viewers as well as a local, socially distanced celebration. Plans for those events will be announced in coming weeks.

The Rose Bowl football game is still set to take place on Jan. 1, whether it is with a socially distanced audience or an empty stadium, Eads said.

The 63rd annual Grammy Awards are still set for Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, though COVID-19 has been merciless in upsetting plans, showing no respect for tradition or history.

Anita ‘Lady A’ White Makes Her Case as a Black Female Indie Artist: ‘Sometimes All We Have Is Our Name’

Anita “Lady A” White spelled out her stage name squabble with country trio Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, in an interview with ABC News Prime yesterday (July 14).

“I have built this name for decades before they were born, and I’ve been building it,” the 61-year-old singer argued as part of her case during the TV segment. She later compared the “grind” of independent musicians to BIPOC, or Black, Indigenous people of color, saying “Sometimes all we have is our name. We don’t want to have that taken from us. Our culture gets taken, our music gets taken. This is more important for those that come behind me.”

In June, the country trio (Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and David Haywood) announced on Instagram that they were abbreviating the notorious stage name they’ve been going by since 2006, which dates back to the pre-Civil War South heavily fueled by slavery, after undergoing “much personal reflection” regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. But the Seattle-based blues singer told Rolling Stone that she felt blindsided by their new announcement because she’s been performing and recording as “Lady A” since 1987.

White told ABC News Live anchor Linsey Davis that the resulting miscommunication between the band and the blues singer stemmed from her confusion about co-existing under the same moniker. The musician felt “disregarded” and ignored when she asked the country act’s lawyers what exactly it meant to co-exist on three separate occasions. During their “transparent, honest, and authentic conversations” over Zoom that the band Lady A documented on Instagram last month, the singer Lady A asked the same question.

“I’ve put out five CDs under Lady A. They have not put one CD under Lady A,” she said. “That’s their nickname. This is my professional name.”

For the purposes of holding people accountable as part of her work in race and social justice, the singer Lady A cited that the band Lady A first brought up the Black Lives Matter movement when announcing the name change. White claimed that sincere allyship sometimes requires giving something up, the stage name in this case. She recalled feeling excited when the Grammy award-winning band offered to work on a song with her, but she wasn’t willing to check the box to be the “token person so that you look woke.”

Billboard previously reported earlier in July that the band filed a lawsuit against the singer after she “delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand” of $10 million. The dollar amount breaks down to $5 million personal compensation for rebranding and another $5 million for charity, as White believes that’s the price tag for the life she wishes to return to but can’t under normal circumstances.

“If I’m going to have to rebrand myself as something else, because I can’t share a name with you… I decided well, maybe rebranding might be the thing to do. Even though I would have to explain that to my community, I’d have to explain it to the kids that I mentor,” the singer said. “I thought, ‘Well, you know what? I can take $5 million, rebrand myself, change all my CDs….’ Nobody knows what goes into rebranding. The other $5 million? I had asked my lawyers if they could be broken into three charities. One would be Black Lives Matter because Lady Antebellum said so.”

The other two causes she hopes to support include senior citizens and young adults in her Seattle community as well as U.S. musicians struggling with legal issues.

Watch the singer’s interview with ABC News Live below.

Pleasure or Pain? The Choice Is Yours With This New Interactive Video From Bob Moses & Zhu

Pleasure and pain are both common side effects of desire, with this trifecta of emotions broken down in colorful contrast via “Desire,” a new collaborative single and video from Bob Moses and Zhu.

The song is a darkly vibey homage to lust and love, with its video allowing viewers to choose their own adventure in amore by pushing “pleasure” and “pain” buttons. These buttons change the colors of the video from red to blue, turn beating hearts into burning fires, transform an embracing couple into a solo figure in free-fall, make images of Bob Moses appear and disappear throughout the animated cityscape and create other effects.The clip was directed by Owen Brown of  the creative agency CTRL5.

“Desire” is the title track and lead single from Bob Moses’ forthcoming album of the same name, which will be out August 28 via Domino Records. Watch the video below.

20 Questions With Nicky Romero: How the Dutch Producer Has Stayed Busy During Quarantine

While Nicky Romero is currently hanging out in Ibiza, the only shows he’s playing this summer are happening on the internet.

Tomorrow (July 16), the Dutch producer will debut his Another World livestream concept, which will take place in front of a giant green screen and transport viewers, along with Romero himself, to an immersive audiovisual virtual landscape where fans can experience the larger than life music that’s made Romero one of the world’s leading names in mainstage banging EDM. The event happens via Romero’s YouTube at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET.

Another World comes on the heels of “I Need You To Know,” a collaboration with fellow Dutch icon Armin van Buuren that dropped via Armada on July 10. Romero’s own label, Protocol Recordings, also celebrated its 200th release this summer. Indeed, in a moment where many DJs — and many of us in general — have enjoyed more downtime than usual, Romero has kept busy, but has still found time for beach hangs and BBQs.

Here, he talks about growing up with cops for parents, the Swedish House Mafia song he wishes he’d produced and the time he played the soundtrack to a marriage proposal.

1. Where are you in the world right now, and what’s the setting like?

Currently, I’m blowing off some steam with my friends in Ibiza. The last few months were pretty hectic, even without touring. Ibiza is now very calm, as the club events and parties are not taking place, so it’s all about food, friends and recharging batteries.

2. What is the first album or piece of music you bought for yourself, and what was the medium? 

It was one of Michael Jackson’s albums on a cassette. After this, my dad took me to one of his concerts! Memories for life.

3. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid, and what do they think of what you do for a living now?

When I was a kid, both of my parents were police officers. A few years ago my dad has quit his job at the police department and joined the Nicky Romero/Protocol Recordings team. He helps us with different aspects at the company.

4. What was the first song you ever made?

That’s an interesting one, because one of my first tracks that I ever made was a funny remake of the theme song of “Dino Babies” — a cartoon series with dinosaurs starring in it, that I used to watch when I was a kid.

5. If you had to recommend one album for someone looking to get into dance music, what would you give them?

I still love David Guetta’s Nothing But The Beat. An amazing body of work consisting of many incredible electronic records, from hard club bangers to emotional anthems like “Titanium.”

6. What’s the first thing you bought for yourself when you started making money as a DJ?

A new Mac Pro to shift from Windows to OSX! I still have that computer at home as a memory.

7. What’s the last song you listened to?

That’s “Be Alright” from Marc Benjamin & Timmo Hendriks. I really love that record; we released it on Protocol this year.

8. What’s one song you wish you had produced?

Swedish House Mafia’s “Save The World” or Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash’s “Reload.” Both have all the right ingredients that I love about electronic dance music: amazing hooks, great vocals and it hits you right in the feels, especially when playing it out loud in clubs or at festivals.

9. How are you filling your time during quarantine?

Spending a lot of quality time with friends and family. I love to BBQ using my GreenEgg when the weather is right or driving my motorcycle to switch off the world for a while. Also, I’m really getting into gaming and trying to learn more about Twitch and the whole eSports industry.

10. What’s distinctive about the place you grew up, and how did it shape you?

I lived in Canada back in the day for a few years, but then moved back to The Netherlands. I grew up in Amerongen, a small town near Utrecht. Many creatives and musically talented people comes from that area, so this had a positive impact on my interests in music.

11. What’s the first dance music show that really blew your mind?

I remember Fedde Le Grand’s set from Ultra Music Festival in Miami, where he shared the stage with David Guetta and Carl Cox. The crowd went nuts when he dropped “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit.” That was one of my most memorable moments watching a show.

12. Who’s your favorite DJ?

Carl Cox is one of my favorite DJs. The energy he gives to the crowd is on another level. Hats off to Carlito!

13. What is the first thing you do when you get back to your hotel room after a show?

Order some food! I love to get some bites when we are on our way back from a show. Burning a lot of calories during performances means you have to complete the deficiency later to stay healthy.

14. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happening in the crowd during one of your sets?

Well, it’s not really that crazy but more emotional, I’d say. A guy approached me during a show in the U.S. with the question if he could propose to his girlfriend during the breakdown of my song “I Could Be The One” with Avicii. So this happened, and she said “Yes.” I know they are still happy in love together! It gives me so much energy whenever I think I’m part of their happiness.

15. Your label, Protocol Recordings, recently celebrated its 200th release. What’s the most challenging part of running a label?

One of the biggest challenges is to find talent with fresh sounds that are not a copy-paste of something that already exists. It’s very easy to start a DJ/producer career nowadays with all the sample packs, tutorials, and home studio equipment, but this also results in a lot of people getting lazy. Scouting and finding the right people who bring something new to the table is the most challenging part.

16. You’re big into eSports. What’s your sport of choice, and what’s been your biggest victory?

Most of the time I play Call Of Duty: Warzone with my friends or pro-gamers friends from the British team Royal Ravens. Earlier this year in February I traveled to London to support them during their inaugural match of the Call Of Duty League. While I was there I joined MadCat for a crazy hype battle against Censor and Jamaal Lascelles. I smoked them out and had the final kill in a full arena of spectators.

17. What’s the longest period of time you’ve ever spent playing video games?

I think it was during a LAN party back in the days. Chips, cola and Counter Strike for 16 hours straight!

18. What do you miss most about festival season?

I miss the fans and the atmosphere. I miss hugging my colleagues and all the positive energy.

19. What do you miss least about festival season?

That’s an easy one: traveling!

20. One piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Let’s go, and keep moving forward.