How to Watch the 2020 American Music Awards

Taraji P. Henson has some tricks up her sleeve when she hosts the 2020 American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22.

“Let the people know that I will be bringing some celebrities live in the house to sit in the audience, because I’m a great host,” she explained to Billboard of her master plan to make up for having no live audience due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch both lead this year’s nominations with eight each, including artist of the year. Megan Thee Stallion comes in with the second-most nods at five. Taylor SwiftLady GagaJustin BieberDoja CatBad Bunny and DaBaby all secured four noms each.

And there are a couple of debut television performances lined up for one of music’s biggest nights: Five-time AMA winner Katy Perry will perform “Only Love” from her fifth album Smile for her first performance since she gave birth to her daughter Daisy Bloom in late August. BTS also has a dyna-nite locked and loaded for the ARMY with the worldwide debut broadcast of “Life Goes On,” the K-pop group’s first single from their brand new album BEDan + Shay, Lewis Capaldi and Machine Gun Kelly will all make their respective debut performances on the AMAs stage.

“Certainly now, music is a thing that unites us all. We need these music awards shows. We can’t go to concerts! Come on, we need something!” Henson said.

The 2020 AMAs will air on ABC at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 22, from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater. The American Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC Entertainment, the parent company of Billboard.

Fans can tune into ABC on their television, the network’s app or their website with a TV provider login. Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, YouTube TV and other live TV streaming services also provide access to ABC.

Executive Turntable: Deadmau5 Lords Over Livestream Startup, WEA Has New President

Deadmau5 (a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) has joined new live HD video streaming platform StreamVoodoo as both equity partner and “Supreme Overlord,” joining CEO Sam Feuer, CTO Dr. Richard Smrt and COO Marcelo Moyano.

StreamVoodoo is capable of connecting multiple HD video feeds with studio-quality sound in real-time with almost zero latency from anywhere in the world, according to a release.

“All musicians and artists need a solution like this today and for the future,” said deadmau5 in a statement. “I was working on bringing my shows online and starting my own streaming platform to connect with my community. Not just for me, but for all musicians in the world. After the pandemic began, we needed a solution for video quality with excellent sound, beyond anything that has been done before.

“We tested every other provider offering and I didn’t find what I was looking for. Marcelo met with me via StreamVoodoo and showed me the quality, security and reliability of the service. Right after that, we got to working and the fact that StreamVoodoo was able to integrate with our current frontend was incredible. The integration literally took five minutes. With other providers this would take months and it still wouldn’t come close to this quality. Marcelo, Richard and Sam love technology as much as I do. Their execution is phenomenal for live concerts and streaming sessions at scale with no latency.”

StreamVoodoo will enable musicians and creatives to conduct private sessions, concerts, interviews, lessons and tutorials in high-quality video and audio. Users can also host remote video interviews with broadcast quality video and audio; stream content from their websites from anywhere in real time; and bridge all video feeds via a switcher like OBS to stream to social media or record locally. The platform also allows fans to tune into content in a browser window without plugins or downloads.

“We know deadmau5 pushes the boundaries of visual and audio experiences,” added Moyano. “His shows are legendary and everyone loves the energy he creates during live concerts. He has been streaming for over thirteen years and needed a solution to launch his own streaming platform. Richard, Sam and I felt compelled to find a way to have deadmau5 on board as an equity partner in StreamVoodoo. His creativity is the perfect complement for our company and we could not be more proud to welcome him into the business.”

Maria Weaver has been named president of WEA, Warner Recorded Music’s global artist and label services network.

Reporting to WMG global CEO of recorded music Max Lousada, Weaver will oversee streaming account management & playlisting, direct-to-fan & merchandising operations, consumer acquisition, content creation, legal & business affairs and finance. She will also spearhead the growth of Warner’s network of owned-and-operated consumer brands, including merchandising e-tailer EMP, music news site HipHopDX, live music app Songkick and youth culture website UPROXX.

The New York-based Weaver most recently served as senior vp & chief marketing officer at Comcast Advertising, where she was responsible for all aspects of marketing and branding for the company’s advertising sales division, Effectv, including the division’s rebrand from Comcast Spotlight. She additionally oversaw its full-service creative agency Mnemonic and FreeWheel, which provides advertising software and solutions for the TV ecosystem.

Also during her Comcast tenure, Weaver launched Comcast RISE, which provides millions of dollars in grants, media and technology to Black-owned small businesses impacted by the pandemic. She has additionally held senior marketing and creative services roles at Interactive One, HBO and Showtime over a career spanning three decades.

Jacob Fain has been hired at Elektra Music Group as senior vp, A&R and head of research & analytics, a newly-created role.

Based in Los Angeles, Fain hails from Sony/ATV, where he was most recently senior vp, A&R and Research/Analytics. He will report to Gregg Nadel, who serves as Elektra co-president alongside Mike Easterlin.

“Discovering and breaking new talent has always been a combination of gut instinct, reading fan reaction, and helping artists bring out their best as performers and songwriters. With the convergence of creative expertise and analytics being more critical than ever to this process, we’re thrilled to welcome Jacob to the team to help us connect the dots,” said Nadel and Easterlin in a joint statement. “Jacob has a wealth of knowledge, incredible instincts, and amazing taste, all of which will be key as we continue to sign original artists and build the most innovative approach to artist discovery and development.”

During 13 years at Sony/ATV, Fain signed artists including The Chainsmokers, Leon Bridges, Of Monsters and Men, Russ, Powfu and Princess Nokia. In his role as senior vp, A&R and head of research & analytics, he also conceptualized and oversaw the development of a data & analytics platform that became the foundation of Sony/ATV’s A&R functionality worldwide.

Fain, who has also held roles at RCA Records and Republic Records, was named to Billboard’s 40 Under 40 and Pride lists in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

TaP Music – the music management company that represents such artists as Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding – has launched TaP Sports, a new global consultancy for the sports industry.

Founded by TaP Music co-founder Ben Mawson and led by managing director Zoe Prothero, TaP Sports will offer expertise in profile building and positioning as well as crossover between sport, music and entertainment for athletes. It will additionally offer consultancy and creative marketing services for clubs and other sports entities.

Prothero has worked on a number of campaigns bridging the worlds of music and sport, including NBA All Star Games, the UEFA European Championships and the FIFA World Cup while at Coca-Cola and the UEFA Champions League and Premier League while at Fuse. She collaborated with Mawson in 2018 when Dua Lipa performed at that year’s Champions League Final Opening Ceremony.

Also on the TaP Sports team will be Max Boffee, who most recently spent six years at Warner Music’s partnerships division creating campaigns with Apple, Nike and Beats by Dre, among others. He has additionally worked with a number of high-profile athletes and premium brands to develop and execute campaigns around events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics, as well as with musicians including Dua Lipa and Stormzy.

TaP Sports’ four core services include brand partnerships, social media services, in-house content creation (via a partnership with creative agency Mundial) and publicity. The latter will be managed by Carl Fysh, Lottie Lander and Thom Denson, each of whom will hold in-house roles at TaP Sports in addition to their existing roles at the international PR firm Satellite 414. In addition to working with artists such as Beyonce, Dua Lipa, Dave, Adele and Diplo, the trio previously worked on a five-year profiling project with Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton.

TaP Sports’ inaugural clients include British soccer club Leeds United, which has enlisted the agency for marketing, social media, media engagement and commercial partnerships. The company will additionally work on the charity release of the soundtrack for a documentary about the Liverpool F.C. soccer club featuring Lana Del Rey’s rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

In addition, TaP Sports has named Leeds United superstar Kalvin Phillips as its first client in the athlete management space.

“I am very excited to launch TaP Sports with such an incredible team alongside me, who all lead their respective industries,” said Mawson in a statement. “We all hold the belief that there is so much synergy between music, entertainment and sports and an often missed opportunity to grow audiences worldwide. We want to work closely with the best agents and best players and help them build their profiles and maximise opportunities to engage their fan bases and drive commercial new value. We will work strategically on the brand endorsement side and help players become cultural icons, building brands with a reach far beyond the pitch. I’m especially excited to be working with Kalvin Phillips, who is such an incredible player at such an exciting time in his career.”

Longtime BMI songwriter and gospel singer BeBe Winans has signed on to serve as a consultant and personal advisor to BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill, it was announced Thursday (Nov. 19). Winans will help guide the performing rights organization in its efforts to create “a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.”

“I’m proud to be a partner and guide for BMI and Mike O’Neill as President and CEO at this pivotal moment in our country and our industry,” said Winans. “I know BMI is committed to doing the hard work that’s needed and has already taken important steps to drive change, and I’m excited to take this on to advance their progress. I also know Mike as a business leader, and more importantly, I know him as a friend, and I very much look forward to being a partner to him on this moving forward.”

In addition to bringing in Winans, BMI is currently in the process of hiring a diversity, equity, inclusion and social responsibility officer, who will examine the company’s hiring practices, recruiting and training. It has also created an internal diversity, equity and inclusion task force as well as affinity resource groups and established a paid time-off volunteer policy allowing employees to volunteer at a local, community-based organization promoting diversity, championing social and racial justice, serving underserved communities and protecting voting rights.

Winans has won six Grammys as both a solo artist and alongside his musical partner and sister CeCe Winans. His recent single “Black Lives Matter” was released in the wake of nationwide protests calling for racial justice.

Added O’Neill, “I’m very grateful to BeBe for his support, and I know he will be integral in helping BMI continue our efforts to be more diverse and inclusive as a company. Not only is he one of the most inspirational, influential and dynamic songwriter/artists of our time, but importantly, BeBe also brings a wealth of experience and perspective. His wise counsel will be essential to us as BMI continues charting our course forward. I appreciate that BeBe believes in BMI, the mission of our company, and the core foundation of who we are. I will rely on him tremendously as an invaluable resource.”

Amy Cranford has been promoted to senior vp, administration at Sony/ATV.

Based in Nashville and reporting to executive vp worldwide administration Dale Esworthy, Cranford will oversee Sony/ATV’s admin initiatives, including the client portal SCORE and its accompanying app. She will also continue leading the company’s audit team and act as the business liaison for the global publishing system TEMPO while working to further advance its capabilities.

Since joining Sony/ATV in 1994, Cranford has spearheaded efforts including the “Cash Out” feature, which allows songwriters to request some or all of their royalty balance to be paid immediately. Under her leadership, the publisher also introduced real-time processing for all of its foreign earnings.

Former UTA live music agent Jesse Rosoff has joined the booking agency and entertainment company Mint Talent Group, which launched in September. He brings with him a roster that includes Lissie, Larkin Poe, Pinback, Alfredo Rodriguez and Jesse Malin, among many others.

During his six years at UTA — which he joined after the agency acquired his company The Agency Group — Rosoff helped grow the festival department and develop its roster. He previously worked as an agent at Madison House in Boulder, Colorado and with his mentor Scott Orvold at the Georgia Theatre & Terminal West properties in Athens and Atlanta, Georgia.

With Rosoff’s hire, Mint’s agent roster has swelled to ten, including C.J. Strock (formerly of WME) and Patrick McAuliff & Phil Egenthal (formerly of Paradigm). Its founding agents are Mary Allen & Cassie Siegel (formerly of Madison House), Michael Morris & Ryan Owens (Paradigm), Peter Wiederlight (WME) and Logan Handelsman (CAA). Existing clients include the Allman Brothers Band, Blackberry Smoke, Erasure, Mavis Staples and Brian McKnight.

In addition to core booking representation, Mint guides clients using a proprietary 47-point marketing plan. Clients additionally have access to a premier artist fan club ticketing platform, which provides them with ancillary income and expanded fan contact information with no fee on the ticketing upcharge. It also maximizes opportunities in brand partnerships, private and corporate booking, voice-over, TV and film.

Twitch Co-Founder Kevin Lin Departs Company

Kevin Lin is departing Twitch after 13 years at the company.

The co-founder and COO for the last 10 years shared the news in a Medium post addressed to the Twitch community on Thursday, writing that he’s leaving to pursue his “next adventure” in the technology space.

“After many months of contemplation, I’ve decided it’s time to journey into my next adventure,” wrote Lin. “My life has been forever changed for the better by Twitch; it has been a source of hope, optimism, reflection, support, energy, sharing, friendship, and belonging.”

He went on to say that while he spent a lot of time alone growing up, video games gave him a “common language” and exposed him to new friends and languages. “Through games, we were bonded, impassioned by skill and having fun, focused on the same mission, stumbling into more similarity than strangeness.”

Looking ahead, Lin said, “I’m so excited to stretch my curiosity and to continue exploring a world where technology is a positive amplifier in our lives. I will build again. I hope to create something as remarkable as Twitch again, to build with amazing people who will challenge me, and to make the world we experience better.”

The Taiwanese entrepreneur co-founded Twitch, which was originally launched as, a broadcast video website, alongside Emmett Shear — who serves as CEO — Justin Kan, Kyle Vogt and Michael Seibel, in 2007. Lin became COO of Twitch in 2008 and was tasked by Shear to build the partnerships team and connect streamers to the service. He stepped down in 2018 to focus on culture, strategy and innovation.

In Lin’s letter, he thanked his co-founders for “bringing me into the fold and for empowering me to shape a big part of my life with you.”

When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, a Twitch representative shared a statement from Shear. “Kevin has been an incredible partner to me and the Twitch leadership team over his 12.5 year tenure and has been instrumental in building our culture and business. We’re grateful for all of the hard work and passion he put into making Twitch what it is today, and look forward to his continued contributions to the industry.”

Additionally, the below tweet from Shear was in response to Lin’s departure letter.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Sam Smith is in a Blue Christmas Mood on Surprise ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’ Single

Sam Smith just can’t help getting into a holiday mood on their surprise Christmas single “The Lighthouse Keeper.” The kind of blue orchestral ballad written by Smith with producer Labrinth is a throwback to a Bing Crosby-style of holiday song, with an emotional story at its center about a long-sought reunion at Christmastime.

“I know it’s November but I can’t help but feel Christmassy already and so I’m beyond excited to share that my new song,” Smith tweeted on Friday (Nov. 20) morning. The instant new holiday classic opens with an image of a lover sailing across a wide sea in search of a beacon to guide them home.

“When you set sail on your journey/ And happiness is far away/ Love will guide you ’til the mornin’/ Lead your heart down to the bay/ Don’t resist the rain and storm/ I’ll never leave you lost at sea/ I will be your lighthouse keeper/ Bring you safely homе to me,” Smith sings on the swaying chorus. The singer finally gets around to mentioning Christmas in the second verse, where they hope that their beloved will be home in time to celebrate together.

Listen to “The Lighthouse Keeper” below.