Example Signs to Call & Response, Joining Global Management Team: Exclusive

BRISBANE, Australia — Example joins the management roster for boutique Australian music company Call & Response, alongside U.K.-based Circle Eight, Billboard can exclusively reveal.

The first release following the new pact will be a new album, due out in mid-2022, and the first single from it.

The chart-topping U.K. artist (real name Elliot Gleave) joins the Brisbane, Australia-based business ahead of its fifth anniversary and accompanies the upcoming unveiling of new branding and a fresh website in September.

The company also represents the likes of Carmouflage Rose, James Angus, Toby Hobart and Brooke Toia.

Micky McNeice of Circle Eight (Todd Edwards, Andy Sheldrake) and Joshua Taylor-Anderson of Call & Response will jointly guide Example’s career into album eight and beyond.

“We are at the beginning of taking him to new heights. With a global team in place and his most exciting, true to form and contemporary music to date,” Taylor-Anderson, Call & Response founder and CEO, tells Billboard.

McNeice adds, “Example is the hardest working artist I know, the past two years as management have been a blessing. With Elliot now being based in Brisbane the link up with Josh at Call & Response was the perfect addition to our global team”.

Example is an established artist in the U.K., where he has 15 Top 40 hits, including eight Top 10s and a pair of No. 1 singles, with 2011’s “Changed The Way You Kiss Me” and “Stay Awake.”

The singer, songwriter, rapper and producer also boasts a U.K. No. 1 album with Playing In The Shadows, one of three Top 10 appearances.

Currently, he’s based in Brisbane, where he resides with his wife Erin McNaught and two kids. With the U.K.’s summer festival season in full swing, Example will play a string of festival plays in his homeland, beginning Aug. 14 at Chelmsford City Racecourse in Essex, and Australia dates will follow.

He completed a final, sold-out tour in the U.K. before the pandemic closed venues and borders everywhere. Example’s forthcoming album was recorded in Australia.

Ashley Tisdale Backs Up Selena Gomez After Kidney Transplant Joke on ‘The Good Fight’

The Disney Channel family sticks together.

On Wednesday (Aug. 4), Ashley Tisdale took to her Instagram Story to support Selena Gomez after a joke about the pop star/actress’ kidney transplant from the Paramount+ show The Good Fight came to light.

“It’s sad to me that when a celebrity decides to share their story, especially difficulties with their health, writers have decided to turn that into a joke in multiple shows?!” Tisdale wrote. “It takes courage to come out and let people in to what you are personally going through and in turn you’re making that person’s journey into a joke. Maybe go back to school to come up with something clever and actually funny.”

Gomez herself called out the “tasteless” joke on Tuesday after her fans brought it to her attention on social media. “I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” she wrote. “I hope in the next writer’s room when one of these tasteless jokes are presented it’s called out immediately and doesn’t make it on air.” She went on to thank fans for always having her back and also urged followers to become organ donors and provided a link to sign up.

Selenators blasted The Good Fight (a spin-off of CBS’ The Good Wife) for a joke in its new season about Gomez’s 2017 kidney transplant, not even a year after Peacock’s Saved by the Bell reboot landed in hot water for the very same thing. In the Good Fight episode, Jay (played by Nyambi Nyambi) says it seems like people “need a permission slip to tell a joke” and asks what topics are completely off-limits, with Jim (Ifadansi Rashad) responding, “Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.”

In the Saved by the Bell reboot, which premiered in November 2020, two students were seen arguing about who the donor was for Gomez’s kidney transplant. “I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom. God, I wish that I had my phone so that I could prove it,” one character says. The other student replies, “Prove what? That you’re an idiot? It was Demi Lovato’s kidney. They’re best friends, like you and I were.” In a later scene, the words “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” were written near some lockers on the walls of the high school. The show later apologized, made a donation to The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC and removed the scenes from the Peacock series.

Gomez has lived with Lupus for many years and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017, later revealing that the donor was her best friend Francia Raisa.

Tisdale and Gomez grew up together on Disney Channel, with Tisdale starring in the High School Musical films and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, while Gomez got her start on Wizards of Waverly Place.

UK Artists Granted Visa-Free Touring in 19 EU Countries in Post-Brexit Agreements

LONDON – U.K. artists can once again tour large parts of Europe without the need of visas or work permits, after the British government secured agreements with 19 EU member states, including major live music markets Germany and France.

Under deals the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said on Wednesday (Aug. 4) that it had agreed to, U.K. musicians and performers will not need visas or work permits for “short-term tours.” The DCMS did not outline how long “short-term” would be, presumedly leaving it up to host nations to decide.

But the agreements will ease restrictions preventing the free movement of U.K. musicians across European borders which have been in place since the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on Jan. 31, 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic and accompanying shutdown of the live music industry have masked many of the problems created by Brexit for the live-music sector. And fears have lingered about extra customs checks and performers and crews requiring visa and work permits for when European touring does resume.

According to a survey conducted by the Musicians’ Union and Incorporated Society of Musicians in April and May, 77% of U.K. musicians expected their earnings in Europe to decrease when touring resumes due to additional Brexit-related red tape and touring costs.

In January, over 100 acts, including Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Radiohead, signed an open letter to the British government saying it had “shamefully failed” them with the EU trade deal that was finalized on Dec. 24 by not securing visa-free touring for U.K. musicians in Europe.

An online petition calling for a Europe-wide visa-free work permit for U.K. artists drew over 280,000 signatures, including those of Dua Lipa, Louis Tomlinson and the Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro, and led to a Parliament debate in February.

Prior to today’s announcement, France had already said it would not require permits or visas from U.K. acts, provided visitors don’t stay longer than 90 days.

Along with Germany and France, the countries that have confirmed free movement of British musicians across borders are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.

The DCMS said it was “actively engaging” with the remaining eight EU Member States that do not currently allow visa and permit free touring — Spain, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and Cyprus — and called on them to reciprocate the U.K.’s own regulations, which allow touring performers and support staff to visit for up to three months without a visa.

“We recognize challenges remain around touring, and we are continuing to work closely with the industry,” DCMS said in a statement.

The government department has yet to clarify what impact the agreements will have on the transportation of equipment and merchandise across EU borders, and whether carnets — essentially passports for goods, costing 360 euros ($490) a year — will still be required.

Also unresolved are post-Brexit “cabotage” rules that require haulers to return to their home base in the EU or the United Kingdom after making three stops in either market. The regulations could have a major financial impact on bigger tours that use multiple trucks — not just for British artists, but for all European treks that begin in the United Kingdom.

“It remains that the U.K.’s music industry is in a far less advantageous position now than it was pre-January,” says a spokesperson for the #LetTheMusicMove campaign, which was launched in June in response to Brexit-related touring issues.

The government’s statement that it has secured “visa-free” touring with 19 EU countries “is nothing more than we already knew,” the spokesperson says, and fails to provide answers around touring in almost a third of EU countries.

LetTheMusicMove is calling for a country-by-country breakdown of the exact requirements for touring performers and crew across all 27 EU member states.

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of umbrella organization UK Music, tweeted that the government’s progress report was “encouraging,” but said it was vital that more work is done to “remove the practical barriers currently impacting musicians who need to work across the EU.”

Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts Exits 2021 U.S. Tour

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts will likely miss the band’s upcoming U.S. tour to allow him to recover from an unspecified medical procedure.

A spokesperson for the musician said the procedure was “completely successful” but that Watts needs time to recuperate. The Stones are set to resume their No Filter tour with a stadium show on Sept. 26 in St. Louis.

“With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming,” a spokesperson for Watts said in a statement.

Watts, 80, said in a statement he did not want his recovery to further delay the tour, which is set to visit several U.S. cities including Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. “For once my timing has been a little off. I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while,” Watts said.

Watts successfully underwent treatment for throat cancer in 2004. He will be replaced by understudy Steve Jordan, who has played with Keith Richards for years.

The Rolling Stones — No Filter Tour 2021 U.S. dates

Sept. 26 — St. Louis, MO @ The Dome at America’s Center
Sept. 30 — Charlotte, NC @ Bank Of America Stadium
Oct. 4 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field
Oct. 9 — Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium
Oct. 13 — New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Oct. 17 — Los Angeles, CA @ SoFi Stadium
Oct. 24 — Minneapolis, MN @ U.S. Bank Stadium
Oct. 29 — Tampa, FL @ Raymond James Stadium
Nov. 2 — Dallas, TX @ Cotton Bowl Stadium
Nov. 6 — Las Vegas, NV @ Allegiant Stadium
Nov. 11 — Atlanta, GA @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Nov. 15 — Detroit, MI @ Ford Field
Nov. 20 — Austin, TX @ Circuit of The Americas

Justine Skye Is Too Busy ‘In My Bag’ for Latest Music Video: Watch

Justine Skye is in her bag and won’t come out of it anytime soon in her new “In My Bag” music video, which she dropped Wednesday (Aug. 4).

She captures her bona fide boss girl song of the summer, off her cosmic Timbaland-produced album Space & Time, in a sleek visual starring her and her girlfriends Amilna Estevao and Yasmin Wijnaldum. The bombastic threesome hit the town, transforming the elevator ride to the new G-Wagon and even the ride to the restaurant is their dance floor and runway all at the same time. Skye flexes how she doesn’t have time to pay attention to her phone — singing, “When I’m in my bag/ My phone stay in my bag/ I’ma have to call you back” as well as “I know I ain’t pickin’ up on your calls or your FaceTime” — when she’s out with her friends securing the bag.

During the ultimate vibe check when she and her girls collect everyone else’s phones at lunch, Skye frees up her hands to cop a spare bottle of bubbly to pop with her posse.

The video, directed by Loris Russier, made its broadcast premiere Wednesday on MTV Live, MTVU and on the ViacomCBS billboard in Times Square.

“This song is what made me call the album ‘the bad bitch manual,'” Skye told a small crowd at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles last month during an intimate performance of the album. The 25-year-old R&B artist also performed “In My Bag” during Billboard’s first-ever Songs of the Summer virtual concert.

Watch the “In My Bag” music video below.

Cyn Covers Sixpence None the Richer’s ‘Kiss Me’ for ‘He’s All That’ Soundtrack: Listen

Netflix’s upcoming rom-com He’s All That – a remake of the 1999 teen flick She’s All That — will feature another remake: Cyn’s cover of Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me.”

The indie pop singer’s sparkling rendition of the 1999 classic is heard in the trailer, which was released Wednesday (Aug. 4), and on the official soundtrack. He’s All That (Music From the Netflix Film) will drop Aug. 27 via Astralwerks, the same day the film will be released globally on Netflix.

“Of course, there are many songs that have influenced my career, but of all the songs in the universe, ‘Kiss Me’ has to be one of my absolute favorites,” Cyn says in an official statement. “I have many fond memories of discovering my voice to ‘Kiss Me’ while riding in the backseat of my mom’s car. When I was approached with the opportunity to sing this song, I was ecstatic and so grateful. I am thrilled with how it turned out and can’t wait to see it in He’s All That.”

The Sixpence song, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned a 2000 Grammy nomination for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal, was featured in the original film starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr. The 2021 remake flips the script and stars TikTok star Addison Rae as a beauty influencer on a mission to make over her unpopular classmate (Tanner Buchanan) into the prom king.

He’s All That (Music From the Netflix Film) will also feature new songs from Blu DeTiger (“Go Bad”), Valentino Khan (“Stop Talkin'” feat. ALMA) and Kaz Gamble and Doug Ray (“Mean Streets of Pali”). “Carried Away” by Surf Mesa with Madison Beer is also featured prominently throughout the film. Remixes of Cyn’s “Kiss Me” and Surf Mesa and Beer’s “Carried Away” will appear on the 16-song soundtrack too.

Cyn has recently secured multiple placements on popular movie soundtracks, including “I Can’t Believe” on Netflix’s To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You and “Uh-Oh” and “Drinks” for the Oscar-winning film Promising Young Woman.

Listen to Cyn’s version of “Kiss Me,” watch the trailer, and see the He’s All That soundtrack listing, below.

He’s All That (Music From the Netflix Film) track list:

“Carried Away” by Surf Mesa with Madison Beer
“Electric” by Katy Perry
“Go Bad” by Blu DeTiger
“Better Without You” TCTS feat. Glowie
“Chain My Heart” by Topic feat. Bebe Rexha
“Stop Talkin'” by Valentino Khan feat. ALMA
“ily (i love you baby)” by Surf Mesa feat. Emilee
“Jalebi Baby” by Tesher
“For a Minute” by WizTheMC
“Easy” by Troye Sivan with Kacey Musgraves feat. Mark Ronson
“Your Love” by ATB, Topic and A7S
“Losing It” by Fisher
“Kiss Me” by Cyn
“Carried Away (Tchami Remix)” by Surf Mesa feat. Madison Beer
“Mean Streets of Pali” by Kaz Gamble and Doug Ray
“Kiss Me (Remix)” by Cyn

MGM Resorts Donates Land for Las Vegas Route 91 Festival Memorial

MGM Resorts International has donated two acres of private land for a permanent memorial honoring victims and survivors of the Oct. 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson announced during a press conference Monday. The plot of land is located at the northeast corner of Las Vegas Village, the MGM Resorts-owned outdoor concert venue which hosted the festival.

“Having a permanent memorial commemorating the victims and heroes of 1 October is vital to our community’s continued healing, and we are honored to donate a portion of the Village site to help bring that memorial to fruition,” MGM Resorts said in a statement provided to Billboard. “We look forward to supporting the committee as it proceeds with planning for the memorial.”

The 1 October Memorial Advisory Committee, a group comprised of seven citizens appointed to develop ideas and recommendations for the memorial, is currently soliciting input from the public on what “artistic, design, and educational features should be included” at the site. Responses will be accepted through Aug. 15.

In a previous survey conducted by the committee, 66% of respondents said it was “extremely important” or “very important” that the memorial be built at the site of the festival, according to Gibson.

The mass shooting, which ranks as the deadliest by an individual in modern U.S. history, occurred on Oct. 1, 2017, as 22,000 attendees gathered on the festival grounds located diagonally across from MGM’s Mandalay Bay Resort. The shooter killed 58 people and injured more than 850 after he opened fire from the window of a room located on the hotel’s 32nd story before taking his own life. Two more victims died months later from injuries suffered during the shooting.

Last September, Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell approved a settlement agreement that saw MGM Resorts and its insurers agree to pay out $800 million to over 4,400 victims and their relatives. As part of the settlement, MGM Resorts acknowledged no liability for the tragedy.