5 Seconds of Summer Postpone ‘No Shame’ Tour of Australia

The long wait for 5 Seconds of Summer’s homecoming tour will continue after the Australian pop-rock outfit pushed back their national run.

“Due to recent announcements by the Australian Government the 5SOS – ‘No Shame 2021 Tour’ is being rescheduled,” reads a statement from Live Nation, producer of the trek.

5SOS’ seven-date tour of Australia was meant to kick off March 19 at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl, but will be pushed back to a Nov. 26 start.

The late call was made on the same day the state of Victoria lifted its snap five-day lockdown, though limitations will remain in place as a measure to control an outbreak of U.K. strain of COVID-19.

5SOS’ global victory lap was announced back in Feb. 2020, but the health crisis nixed those plans and the dates were pushed back to 2021.

“In the best interest of fan safety, we have decided to re-schedule our upcoming Australian dates to later in the year. Please hang on to your tickets,” reads a statement from the band on social media.

“Sorry for the wait, but we’re so excited that the new dates coincide with our 10th anniversary and we get to spend it at home.”

There’s no such change to the band’s pan-European tour dates, which are slated to start April 7 at SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

“No Shame” is the title of the third single from CALM, 5SOS’s fourth studio album. The album bowed at No. 1 in the U.K. and Australia following its release in 2020, and narrowly missed top spot on the Billboard 200.

Cardi B Is Thrilled With Chart Debut For ‘Up’: ‘I Over Succeeded’

Cardi B best get used to life at the top of the charts.

The New York City rapper’s new single “Up” debuts at No. 2 on the latest Billboard Hot 100, and gives her a ninth Top 10 of her career.

Only Olivia Rodrigo and her monster hit “Drivers License” stands in the way of Cardi’s fifth No. 1.

Is she feeling up about it all? You bet.

“Just landed and my wifi back poppin. I want to say thank you to all my fans and supporters this is BIG for me,” she tweets. “I wanted to beat my last solo single number & I over succeeded. First time a female rapper debut top 5 since Lauren. This is pop girl shit but I’m not pop.”

Of course, Cardi’s last release was “WAP,” her blockbuster collab with Megan Thee Stallion that topped the Billboard Hot 100 back in August.

“Up” dropped on Feb. 5 and has gone on to rule a slew of charts, including Digital Song Sales and Streaming Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs.

Cardi was named Billboard’s 2020 Woman of the Year in December and she’s notched at least one top 10 single in each of the last five years, dating back to her chart-leading breakthrough from 2017, “Bodak Yellow”.

“Up” is expected to appear on Cardi’s as-yet untitled sophomore album.

Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings Targeted for Acquisition by Former TikTok CEO

Scooter Braun has been approached by former TikTok CEO and Disney honcho Kevin Mayer to acquire Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings, though a source tells Billboard talks haven’t progressed beyond that initial overture.

Mayer has been in the process of raising money alongside former Disney COO Tom Staggs to form a new venture and has backing from Blackstone, which is expected to invest a minimum of $2 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Mayer and Staggs are expected to focus on acquiring a portfolio of companies spanning music, entertainment, e-commerce and social media.

Braun, the SB Ventures founder and manager to A-list artists including Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, made headlines in June 2019 when Ithaca purchased Taylor Swift’s former record label Big Machine for a reported $300 million. That led Swift to speak out against the acquisition, claiming Braun had engaged in “incessant, manipulative bullying” of her over a period of several years. Last November, Ithaca sold Swift’s master recordings to Shamrock Holdings, again drawing the pop star’s ire. Swift has since begun the process of re-recording her first six albums, with the first of them, Fearless, set to drop Apr. 9.

In addition to Big Machine, Ithaca’s music holdings include Schoolboy Records and the Universal Music Publishing Group co-venture Sheba Publishing.

The MLC Receives Over $424M in Unmatched ‘Black Box’ Streaming Royalties

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has received a total of $424,384,787 in accrued historical unmatched royalties from digital service providers (DSPs), the organization announced Monday (Feb. 16). The MLC was also provided with corresponding data reports that identify the usage related to those royalties.

Also known as “black box” money, unmatched royalties are mechanical royalties that have yet to be distributed by streaming services because a composition’s owners could not be determined. Under the landmark 2018 Music Modernization Act (MMA) legislation, the MLC has a responsibility to match and distribute these unmatched mechanical royalties to rights holders within two years. After that period, it has the option of distributing any remaining unmatched money to music publishers on a market share basis.

The amount reported by the MLC is at the high end of Billboard’s previous estimate that DSPs would turn over between $250 million and $450 million in unmatched royalties to the organization. The money came from a total of 20 DSPs and was a requirement in order for DSPs to benefit from the MMA’s limitation on liability for past infringement relating to mechanical rights for uses before Jan. 1, 2019.

The highest amount of unmatched royalties came from Apple Music, which contributed over $163 million of the total, followed by Spotify, which contributed over $152 million. Elsewhere, more than $42 million came from Amazon Music and over $32 million came from Google/YouTube. These MLC payouts do not include money previously paid out in legal settlements.

In a statement regarding the transfer, Garrett Levin, representative of the Digital Licensee Coordinator (DLC) — which represents streaming services in the new mechanical licensing system — said, “Today marks a critical milestone in the new mechanical licensing regime established by the Music Modernization Act (MMA) two years ago. As announced by The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC), 20 digital music providers (DMPs) transferred a combined $424.4 million in historical unmatched royalties and accompanying historical usage information, representing the remaining royalties that have been unpaid to copyright owners after years of concerted effort by the streaming services and their partners. These royalties are a small fraction of the overall mechanical royalties that have been paid out during that time period.”

Levin continued, “The MLC now has in one centralized operation the usage data and corresponding royalties that are critical components for delivering on the promise of the MMA and allowing The MLC to meet its commitment to efficiently and effectively distribute royalties to those who have earned them.”

In his own statement, National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) president & CEO David Israelite added, “Songwriters and music publishers have for years fought to ensure they were paid accurately and fully by digital streaming services. ‘Unmatched money’ has plagued the industry and today, thanks to the Music Modernization Act (MMA), we know that it amounts to just under $425 million – not including money previously paid out in multiple million dollar settlements. This significant amount proves just how broken the system was, how much the MMA was needed, and how much songwriters have to benefit from the protections it has put in place. At long last, that money can make its way to its rightful owners. This is a massive win for music creators and the streaming services themselves. The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) obtaining this historically unmatched money, doing the research to find its owners, and giving copyright owners a transparent process to claim what is theirs is exciting progress that paves the way for the future growth of streaming that will benefit the entire industry.”

Songwriters of North America also issued a statement, saying the organization is pleased to see the MMA begin to take effect. “This money will now be matched and find its way to the rightful songwriters and publishers that earned these royalties,” sad Michelle Lewis, SONA executive director. “We encourage all SONA members, along with every songwriter, to go to theMLC.com to learn how they are eligible to join or participate, which is critical to ensuring every writer who earned this money gets their fair share of these royalties.

Though the MMA made streaming services’ obligation to transfer unmatched royalties to the MLC clear, how to calculate them has been a source of contention. Among the disputed points is whether unmatched royalties already paid out through either legal settlements or direct “voluntary” licensing agreements between the streaming services and publishers should be deducted from the amount of unmatched royalties DSPs are required to hand over.

Both the MLC and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) — which settled a putative class action with Spotify in 2017 — claim the previous legal settlements shouldn’t count as royalty payments, but rather as payments for a release of liability for copyright infringement. Streaming services, meanwhile, argue that the settlement money paid out to publishers “de-obligated” those amounts and that they should thereby not be categorized as “accrued.”

After being asked to rule on the issue by the DLC, the Copyright Office issued a regulation on Jan. 11 that laid out how services should calculate what they owed but refrained from determining whether prior settlement payments should count as accrued royalties.

Going forward, the MLC will provide further information on historical unmatched royalties via a newly-created page on its website, theMLC.com.

Kelly Clarkson Keeps the Valentine’s Day Romance Going With This Toni Braxton Cover

Valentine’s Day isn’t over at The Kelly Clarkson Show, where she performed a swoon-worthy cover of Toni Braxton’s “You Mean the World to Me” on Tuesday (Feb. 16).

Clarkson and her band Y’all kept the V-Day romance in the air by kicking her high notes into high gear for the ’90s romantic ballad. “‘Cause you mean the world to me/ You are my everything/ I swear the only thing that matters/ Matters to me/ Oh baby, baby, baby, baby, baby/ ‘Cause you mean so much to me,” she crooned.

“You Mean the World to Me” was featured on Braxton’s self-titled debut album from 1993. The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart and No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1994, the same year it was certified gold by the RIAA.

The talk show host and her band previously covered Braxton’s “Another Sad Love Song,” which was the lead single from Toni Braxton and earned the R&B singer her first-ever Grammy for best female R&B vocal performance at the 1994 ceremony. (That same year, she also picked up the trophy for best new artist.)

Watch her Kellyoke cover of “You Mean the World to Me” below.

Kehlani Talks Balancing Masculinity & Femininity for ‘Playboy’ Cover Story

Kehlani played 20 questions for her latest Playboy cover, opening up about how her spiritual journey influenced her upcoming music and when she embraces her masculine and feminine sides.

The R&B superstar looked like both a prom king and queen on the digital cover, writing “i always wanted to date me” on her Instagram. The golden shot speaks to how the openly queer singer embraces masculinity and femininity, and she spoke to when she feels “very fluid in both of those settings” in the new interview.

“I feel more masculine when I am in my stillness and I’m grounded in a quiet, contemplative mode. I feel most feminine when I’m being the mother of my house. I also feel my femininity when I take time for self-care — when I take really beautiful baths where I throw some flowers in and I do a hair mask and take time oiling my body in the mirror and saying how beautiful I feel,” Kehlani said. “My femininity makes me feel soft and gentle and tender and careful in a different way than my masculinity makes me feel. I’m trying not to let it fall into the gender norms of feminine and masculine, but for me it does a tiny bit. But I also am very fluid in both of those settings.”

The SweetSexySavage singer continued discussing when she feels sexiest and how motherhood didn’t take that feeling away from her but even shaped her into “this insane sex symbol.”

“I feel the sexiest when I’m really bare — when I’m taking extra time to oil up after my bath and put essential oils into my shea butter. For me, sexy is very internal,” she said. “It’s in the comfort and the feeling — not when do I look most sexy, but when do I feel scrumptious?”

She continued: “Being a mom is the sexiest thing ever. I think something happened to me when I became a mom; I just became sexier. I was this quirky little person before — not super in touch with myself, a super tomboy. Then I became a mom, and all of a sudden I got these mom hips. I got this mom sensuality and grown-woman attitude and in-touch-ness with my body that I never had before. You really f—ing get to know your body when you birth. When you get pregnant, you become a f—ing universe and a portal. So I think motherhood has made me this insane sex symbol even to myself.”

Kehlani welcomed her first daughter Adeya Nomi on March 23, 2019, and released her first album since giving birth and third No. 1 R&B albumIt Was Good Until It Wasn’t, on May 8, 2020. The 15-song set delved deep into her personal grief, ranging from relationships that ran their course and made multiple headlines to the death of close friends and up-and-coming rappers Chynna Rogers and Lexii Alijai, during a year where the world mourned those lost from COVID-19 and our normal lives. If It Was Good taught Kehlani how to “alchemize my sorrow,” then whatever she’s cooking up in the studio next taught the 25-year-old artist how to amplify her healing.

“I have taken this opportunity during quarantine to go extremely inward, cracking down on my spiritual journey and spiritual self and enforcing boundaries I never had. I have a therapist, finally, who I absolutely love, and I have a routine of getting up and praying. I’m in this consistent, deep connection inwardly that I don’t feel like I’ve ever had,” Kehlani said. “The new music I’ve been making is just a reflection of a healthy self, healthy love for the self, healthy love with spirit, healthy love—healthy everything around me. [The music] sounds really refreshing. It feels really refreshing. It feels grown.”

As NY Arenas Reopen at 10% Capacity, Here’s What’s Required of Fans

New York City’s two major arenas are preparing to reopen next week for sporting events following news that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is allowing arenas and stadiums to reopen across the state for crowds limited to 10% of the building’s overall capacity.

“The truth is, we cannot stay closed until everyone is vaccinated. The economic, psychological, emotional cost would be incredible,” Cuomo said while announcing the rule change last Wednesday.

With no concerts on the books for Barclays Center in Brooklyn or Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, the rule change will first play out for sporting events. Starting Feb. 23, each arena will resume hosting home games for of crowds of 2,000 fans, seated in two-seat, socially distanced pods spread out across the arena. The new state guidelines mandate that ticket holders show proof that they have tested negative on a PCR COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to an event, even if they have already been vaccinated.

All guests will be screened via temperature check and must register below 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for entry. They must also wear face masks at all times except while eating or drinking in their assigned seats. All in-venue purchases, including food and beverage, will be 100% cashless via credit card purchases and mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

MSG officials are also asking fans to take a health survey via the arena’s smart phone app 12 hours prior to the game, while employees at both facilities will be tested regularly.

“We are thrilled that we can finally start to welcome fans back, beginning with Knicks and Rangers games, and be part of this important step for our city,” says Andrew Lustgarten, president and chief executive officer of MSG Sports and president of MSG in a statement to Billboard. “While we currently have limited capacity, we’re focused on creating the safest and most enjoyable environment, with strict operating protocols developed with state and health officials.”

With only about 2,000 tickets available per game, both MSG and Barclays will give priority to season ticket holders and suite members. The first event at Barclays Center will have the home team Brooklyn Nets take on the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 23, while MSG will host the New York Knicks against the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 23.

At MSG, doors will open 90 minutes prior to the game, with guests assigned to specific entrances based on their seating location inside. Tickets will be sold in two seat pods, starting at $50 apiece, with pods spaced apart and socially distanced from one another.

The news was welcomed by Live Nation chief executive Michael Rapino, who tweeted a message of support to Cuomo.

The planned reopening comes as arenas across the world wait to receive the green light to reopen at a reduced capacity after being shut down for nearly one year. Last week, the AEG-managed O2 Arena in London had to reschedule a Feb. 27 reduced capacity concert for new wave rockers Squeeze (the show’s second rescheduling).

Citing “the current lockdown in England,” the band’s Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford said in a statement that the logistics of pulling off the event for the concert promoted by AEG Presents and SJM concerts under lockdown conditions was impossible.

“I think anyone who thinks 2021 is a reality for touring or festivals is out of their mind. They’re fooling themselves,” explained manager Randy Phillips to Billboard earlier this month. “It’s not just about the vaccinations and how slowly that’s rolling out. It’s the economy. Drive around town and there are so many ‘for lease’ signs in stores and so many restaurants that are closed. When are these businesses coming back?  When are these jobs coming back?”

Agent Dennis Arfa agreed, telling Billboard that the economics of moving large scale tours across the country don’t work unless tours can sell at least 85-90% of their tickets.”If there’s touring in January 2022, you need herd immunity by June so that the playing field is okay in October and November at the latest. And that means the NBA and the NHL and the sporting teams are all running at full capacity. That’s the reality,” Arfa said.

The rules apply to all arenas and stadiums in New York state, though major arenas likes the Time Union Center in Albany and the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester don’t have any events on their calendar until May.

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