Guns N’ Roses Set 2021 Stadium Tour of Australia and NZ

Stadium shows are returning to Australia and New Zealand, but not for another year.

On Thursday (Nov. 19), Guns N’ Roses announced an eight-date tour of Australasia, kicking off Nov. 6 at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Presented by TEG Dainty, a division of the TEG Group, the trek then moves on to Adelaide Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

The production then heads east for two dates in New Zealand, at Sky Stadium in Wellington, and Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, then returns to Australia for a final, Nov. 24 concert at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

The stadium tour announcement is the first of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic grounded flights and closed borders in March.

“Announcing an international tour of this magnitude as we come out of the most challenging year in the history of live entertainment is truly gratifying,” comments Paul Dainty, president & CEO of TEG Dainty.

“We’re all eager to return to business as usual,” he continues, “and who better to lead the charge into international stadium touring than the mighty Guns N’ Roses.”

The classic line-up of Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan will make the long haul, as they did for the Not In This Lifetime stadium tour of these parts in 2017.

General tickets are available from Thursday, Nov. 26.

The GNR jaunt is organized by the team behind the Greatest Southern Nights shows, scheduled to take place later this month and early December at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, and featuring an all-Australian lineup.

Speaking to Billboard ahead of the announcement, Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, parent company of Ticketek, TEG Dainty and Qudos Bank Arena, says Australia, with its solid COVIDSafe protocols and low rates of confirmed infections, was in the box seat to restart the touring economy.

“Because of the way government and federal and state level have approached the pandemic, we should be in a position to lead the world,” Jones explains. The next step, is how to get international acts into the market. “We’ll certainly put a few international acts on sale in the next little while, for late next year,” he notes, with Guns N’ Roses the first major announcement. “We definitely need to be giving the indication that this industry is not lying down.”

Guns N’ Roses 2021 Tour of Australia and New Zealand

Nov. 6 — Gold Coast, Metricon Stadium
Nov. 9 — Adelaide Oval
Nov. 11 — Melbourne Cricket Ground
Nov. 14 – Sydney, ANZ Stadium
Nov. 16 – Brisbane, Suncorp Stadium
Nov. 19 – Wellington, Sky Stadium
Nov. 21 — Dunedin, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Nov. 24 — Perth, Optus Stadium

Wixen Music Publishing Hits Triller With $50M Copyright Lawsuit

Wixen Music Publishing is suing short-form video-sharing app Triller for $50 million alleging copyright infringement on more than 1,000 songs.

Wixen claims that Triller has been “willfully infringing” its musical compositions by allowing its users to include them in videos without authorization or compensation, according to the 15-page federal complaint filed U.S. Central District of California Western Division on Tuesday.

Triller’s app, similar to TikTok’s, allows users to create and share short videos that typically include music. Wixen, who administers more than 50,000 songs written and owned by its more than 2,000 clients — Tom Petty, Neil Young and Missy Elliott among them — alleges that many of their compositions are being used in the app without the proper licenses.

Triller has “brazenly disregarded copyright law and committed willful and ongoing copyright infringement,” states the complaint. Triller is “well aware that it needs to negotiate licenses with Wixen and other publishers” to use those works, but has failed to do so, states the lawsuit.

The complaint continues: “Instead of paying Wixen and the songwriters Wixen represents to use their Works, Triller pays ‘social influencers’ substantial sums of money and provides them with Rolls Royces, mansions (with housekeeping), weekly sushi dinners at Nobu, and, in at least one instance, a helicopter.”

After David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), a trade group to which Wixen belongs, criticized Triller in July about its need to legitimize fully license NMPA members’ songs, Wixen’s complaint says the company was initially encouraged when Triller’s CEO appeared to agree. But when no agreement was reached, Wixen filed this lawsuit.

“Triller could have reached out and negotiated with Wixen to obtain the necessary licenses, as its CEO promised,” states the complaint. “Instead, it chose to brazenly disregard copyright law and commit willful and ongoing copyright infringement. Among the evidence of Triller’s willfulness is that it continued to use, copy, and exploit the Works even after Wixen notified Triller that it had not obtained the proper licenses for the use of the Works.”

Triller’s CEO Mike Lu though firmly disputes those allegations calling Wixen “an ambulance chasing company set up purely to shake down people and companies” in a statement to Billboard.

“Triller has already pulled down the two songs in question which were put up by users, not Triller,” says Lu in the statement. “This is nothing but a baseless shakedown and it won’t work. We look forward to our day in court where hopefully we can stop them from doing this to others who may not have the resources to fight them and give in to their extortionist demands. Instead of taking the easy route and paying their extortion we are fighting this for all those who cannot afford to do so, to help stop these things from happening in our business. It ends here and stops now.”

Wixen is demanding a jury trial and seeking the maximum statutory relief it says it is entitled to of $150,000 per work infringed, for the sum of at least $50.4 million.

To date, Triller has raised $37.5 million, according to Crunchbase, including a $28 million series B round last year to fuel growth aimed at overtaking TikTok. Snoop Dogg, The Weekend, Marshmello and Lil Wayne are all promoted as investors, and it has licensing deals in place with the big three major labels, Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. In early August the app reported 65 million monthly active users and then in September said it had reached the 100 million milestone — but that figure was contested by former employees, claiming the company had inflated its reach. It has also grown significantly in India, where TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps are banned.

In January 2018, Wixen filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Spotify ahead of the company’s initial public offering, alleging the use of tens of thousands of songs without a license and compensation. In December 2018, that lawsuit was privately settled.

Wolfgang Van Halen’s Tribute to Late Dad Eddie Set to Rock on Billboard Charts

The legacy of the late rock god Eddie Van Halen will be felt on Billboard’s charts next week, as “Distance,” a tribute song to him by his 29-year-old son Wolfgang Van Halen, is set to impact a number of tallies.

Billed as by Mammoth WVH, “Distance” was released on Nov. 16 and has sold 9,000 downloads in the U.S. through Nov. 17, according to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The track could debut in the top five of the Rock Digital Song Sales chart (dated Nov. 28) and also bow on the multi-metric Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart (which blends sales, streams and airplay).

Eddie Van Halen died on Oct. 6 of cancer at age 65. Proceeds from “Distance” will be donated to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which Wolfgang tweeted was his father’s favorite charity. The song was written, performed and sung by Wolfgang. He wrote the track before Eddie passed away.

In a press statement, Wolfgang said “As my pop continued to struggle with various health issues, I was imagining what my life would be like without him and how terribly I’d miss him. While the song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their life.” Wolfgang finished the song before Eddie’s death, and the track became a “favorite” of Eddie’s.

“Distance” is also garnering immediate airplay across mainstream rock radio. It could debut on next week’s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart after drawing spins on 30 reporting stations to the ranking in its first two days of release.

If “Distance” debuts on Mainstream Rock Songs, Wolfgang would continue the Van Halen legacy on the tally. The band Van Halen logged 47 hits on the list between 1981 (the year the chart launched) through 2012. Of those, Wolfgang played on two tracks, 2012’s “Tattoo” and “She’s the Woman,” both from the band’s last studio album, A Different Kind of Truth. (Van Halen also owns the third-most No. 1s on the Mainstream Rock Songs tally, with 13 chart-toppers.)

The Nov. 28-dated Billboard charts will reflect the sales and streaming tracking week ending Nov. 19, and the airplay tracking week ending Nov. 22. The charts are set to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

A Double ‘Masked Singer’ Elimination: Whatchamacalit & Serpent Go Home

The Masked Singer unmasked not one, but two celebrities on Wednesday night (Nov. 18) when the Whatchamacalit and Serpent were sent home.

The Whatchamaclit, a blue creature with luscious blue hair all over was none other than basketball star Lonzo Ball, who began dipping his toes in a rap career in 2018. Panelist Ken Jeong was the only one to correctly guess Ball’s identity.

The Serpent was “Dr. Elvis” Francois, the orthopedic surgery resident who went viral at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to his live performances at hospitals. Nicole Scherzinger guessed the doctor behind the mask.

Throughout the season, Ball performed “Lean Back” by Terror Squad feat. Fat Joe & Remy Ma,  “I Wish” by Skee-Lo and “Moneymaker” by Ludacris feat. Pharrell Williams. Dr. Elvis delivered renditions of “Cool” by the Jonas Brothers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers and “The Bones” by Maren Morris.

Previously unmasked contestants include Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black (Snow Owls), Bob Saget (Squiggly Monster), Wendy Williams (Lips), Mark Sanchez (Baby Alien), Brian Austin Green (Giraffe), Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) and Busta Rhymes (Dragon).

 

Bobby Brown’s Son Bobby Brown Jr. Dies at 28

Bobby Brown’s son Bobby Brown Jr. died Wednesday (Nov. 18), brother Landon Brown confirmed via social media. He was 28 years old.

“I love you forever King,” Landon wrote Wednesday on Instagram.

TMZ reports Bobby Jr. was found dead in his Los Angeles-area home. Though no cause of death has been revealed, police do not believe there was foul play involved.

Bobby Jr.’s mother is Kim Ward, who Brown dated for 11 years before he married Whitney Houston.

Brown lost his daughter, Bobby Jr.’s half-sister Bobbi Kristina, in July 2015, after she was found unconscious in a bathtub and was then in a coma for months. The autopsy revealed the cause of death was lobar pneumonia due to “immersion of face in water complicating mixed drug intoxication.” Bobbi Kristina died three years after the February 2012 death of her mom, Whitney Houston.

Sheck Wes Says He’s in the 2020 NBA Draft

Step aside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Sheck Wes may be the NBA’s next MVP. Or maybe not.

The 22-year-old rapper surprised fans on Instagram when he revealed that he has officially entered the NBA Draft, set for Wednesday night (Nov. 18). “Damn… it’s really real , The 2020 NBA DRAFT , all my life I always wanted to follow my passion for music and basketball,” he wrote alongside a series of photos flexing his athletic talent.

“Playing basketball and going to play pro in the @nba is something that I always strived for,” he continued. “Tonight that dream comes true! I want to thank the @nba for their hard work with the growing the game and every team that gave me an opportunity to work out and talk with them . I also want to thank my team and my fans for always being there ! TUNE IN TO THE 2020 NBA DRAFT tonight !!!!”

It turns out, he was just balling. Sheck did, in fact, dropped a new track titled “Been Ballin [Draft 2020].” Watch the video below.

Sheck’s rap name and government name, Khadimou Rassoul Cheikh Fall, do not appear on the 100-person NBA prospect ranking list on CBS Sports at the time of publication.

See his original post here.

Rap and basketball fans alike had mixed reactions to the star’s announcement. See below.

Iconic Gowns Worn by Beyoncé, Mariah Carey & Christina Aguilera to Be Auctioned Off

Property from the Randi Rahm Archive, an exclusive collection of iconic couture gowns worn by Hollywood’s elite, such as BeyoncéMariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, will be up for auction next month.

Julien’s Auctions announced Wednesday (Nov. 18) that Rahm’s signature styles that have graced the covers of magazines and waltzed down red carpets will be available for bidding Dec. 2-3, both live from Beverly Hills and online.

The top items featured in the auction include Beyoncé’s nude fringe embellished dress she wore to first lady Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday bash in 2014 (estimated $3,000 to $5,000), Mariah Carey’s orchid and gray twisted halter silk dress from her 2005 “We Belong Together” music video (estimated $2,000 to $4,000), and Christina Aguilera’s black satin crepe gown from the 2007 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Awards party (estimated $2,000 to $4,000).

Three more items from Beyoncé’s wardrobe, Carrie Underwood’s one-shoulder purple satin silk gown from her 2010 CMA Awards performance (estimated $2,000 to $4,000), Katy Perry’s tie-dye aqua-blue cocktail dress from her 2012 “Katy Perry: Part of Me” Tokyo meet-and-greet (estimated $2,000 to $4,000) and more are also included in Rahm’s collection.

The collection will be available to both bidders and collectors, who must register either in-person at the exhibition or online before the sale here.

The public exhibition at Julien’s Auction is free to the public and open from Nov. 23-27 (closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26) at 257 N. Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills, Calif. The auction will take place from Wednesday, Dec. 2, to Thursday, Dec. 3. Interested parties can place their bids in person, online and on their iPhone app, over the phone with an auction house representative, or in advance via absentee bid. Absentee bid forms are available by calling Julien’s Auctions, checking their website and seeing the back of each catalog.