Mark Vaughan to Lead Live Nation’s Promoter Team For Australia and NZ

Mark Vaughan lands at Live Nation, where he leads the promoter team for Australia and New Zealand as vice president – talent and artist development.

With effect from Monday (Aug. 1), Vaughan works alongside LN’s existing promoter team to continue to “best serve artists as they hit the road,” reads a statement welcoming the new recruit.

The Australian concerts veteran has spent much of his career in Europe, where he served as partner/promoter at Norway’s All Things Live, said to be the largest independent concert promoter in the Nordics.

At the Oslo-based live music specialist, he worked with such artists as Rammstein, Justin Bieber, Twenty-One Pilots, Kendrick Lamar, Green Day, Shawn Mendes, Lorde and others.

“For a long time I have been closely following the live market in Australia and New Zealand and admiring the work of Live Nation,” Vaughan comments. “The team are delivering a stellar roster and growing number of tours from entry-level club acts to stadium artists, and it’s super exciting to come back home and lead a talented, successful and dynamic promoter team.”

Live Nation Concerts’ Talent & Touring team produces hundreds of tours each year across Australia and New Zealand, and beyond, working the likes of Beyoncé, BTS, Crowded House, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Drake, U2, Jay-Z, Post Malone, Billie Eilish, Pink, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and more.

Bringing in a “world-class promoter” like Vaughan is a “great add to our Live Nation team as he brings in-depth knowledge of Australia, New Zealand and the global touring market,” notes Roger Field, president of Live Nation Asia Pacific, “especially as artists continue expanding their tours around the world. Mark has a proven track record of delivering hit tours for huge artists, and we look forward to him continuing that success at Live Nation and welcoming him home.”

Vaughan is the latest piece in the constantly-growing concerts machine that is LN’s Australasian affiliate.

In recent weeks, LN added Anita’s Theatre, in Thirroul, a northern seaside suburb of Wollongong, about 40 miles south of Sydney, to its venues portfolio, which already includes The Palais Theatre in Melbourne, the Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane, and the soon-to-open Hindley Street Music Hall in Adelaide. The historic theater becomes LN’s first regional venue in Australia.

Separately, LN announced the mid-July strategic acquisition of Bec Sutherland’s Jubilee Street, one of the region’s prominent comedy artist management companies. With that arrangement, Sutherlands steps down from her role as VP of comedy at Live Nation APAC, to focus as managing director of Jubilee Street, overseeing her 11-strong roster which includes Julia Morris, Urzila Carlson, Nazeem Hussain, Kate Langbroek and Melanie Bracewell.

Also, LN is partnering with Melbourne Royal on the 11-night live music program for 2022 Melbourne Royal Show – The Show After Dark. Running from Sept. 22 to Oct. 2, the program’s headliners include The Veronicas, Baker Boy, Bag Raiders and Sneaky Sound System.

Kate Bush Extends Australian Chart Run, as Central Cee Cracks Top 10

Kate Bush is still running on Australia’s singles chart, and no one can catch her.

The veteran English singer’s mid-80s classic “Running Up That Hill” (via Warner) reigns supreme over the ARIA Singles Chart for a seventh week, thanks to its appearance in season four of Stranger Things.

Further down the chart, Steve Lacy impacts the Top 5 with “Bad Habit” (RCA/Sony), up 9-5 for a new peak in its third week.

Meanwhile, Central Cee makes his first appearance in the top tier as “Doja” (ADA/Warner) bows at No. 8, for the highest new entry on the current frame.

Also new to the chart this week is Billie Eilish’s “Guitar Songs” release “TV,” part of a two-pack which dropped July 21 and also includes “The 30th.” “TV” is new at No. 23.

Over on the ARIA Albums Chart for the week Aug. 1, 2022, Harry StylesHarry’s House (Columbia/Sony) locks-up another week at No. 1.

Australian country start Amber Lawrence starts at No. 5 on the albums survey with Living For The Highlights (ABC/Orchard), her seventh studio album. It’s the followup to 2019’s Spark, which peaked at No. 13.

A smattering of new releases drop further down the list, including titles by Odesza (The Last Goodbye at No. 22 via Ninja Tune/Inertia), Joey Bada$$ (2000 at No. 41 via Columbia/Sony), Jack White (Entering Heaven Alive at No. 43 via Third Man Records/Orchard), and Alex the Astronaut (How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater at No. 47 via Warner).

Finally, a muddy edition of Splendour in the Grass was just ticket for Tyler, the Creator, who enjoys sales spikes after his headline performance at the three-day fest.

Igor (Columbia/Sony) rises 50-26 and Call Me If You Get Lost (Columbia/Sony) lifts 86-31.

‘The X Factor’ Releases Extended Cut of Harry Styles’ Original Audition

A week after The X Factor showed exactly how the show put together One Direction, the music competition series is sharing the original, extended cut of Harry Styles‘ audition as a solo artist.

Although it was Styles’ soulful, a capella rendition of Stevie Wonder‘s “Isn’t She Lovely” that made it to air back in 2010, he actually first brought a Train song to the stage — and now, that moment has been unearthed and uploaded to YouTube.

The then-16-year-old Styles sang the group’s 2009 earworm “Hey, Soul Sister” for the judges, but Simon Cowell wanted to hear his voice without the distraction of the track.

“I don’t know whether it’s the track that’s throwing you, but can I hear something just you, without any music?” Cowell asked. Styles then launched into the Wonder classic, which ultimately moved him on to the next round.

The previously unseen footage from The X Factor also includes some banter about Styles’ former weekend bakery job — where, he said, Viennese fancies and millionaire’s shortbread were the top picks — and how his “mum’s always” told him he was a good singer.

“I think I could do it, but I think with your help I could be a lot better than I am,” Styles said.

Watch the full audition below.

Ne-Yo Asks for Privacy Amid Cheating Accusations From Wife

Ne-Yo‘s wife, Crystal Renay, says she will not be staying with her husband after claiming he has been unfaithful to her for eight years.

Renay shared a personal update about her marriage with Ne-Yo on social media on Saturday (July 30), telling followers that saying she is “heartbroken and disgusted” over the situation would be an “understatement.”

“For the sake of our children, my family and I will work through our challenges behind closed doors,” Ne-Yo responded on Twitter Sunday afternoon (July 31), a day after Renay posted a lengthy note on Instagram. “Personal matters are not meant to be addressed and dissected in public forums. I simply ask that you please respect me and my family’s privacy at this time.”

On Saturday, Renay had written: “8 years of lies and deception. 8 years of unknowingly sharing my life and husband with numerous of women who sell their bodies to him unprotected … every last one of them! To say I’m heartbroken and disgusted is an understatement. To ask me to stay and accept it is absolutely insane. The mentality of a narcissist.”

“I will no longer lie to the public or pretend that this is something it isn’t,” she said of the allegations. “I choose me, I choose my happiness and health and my respect. I gained 3 beautiful children out of this but nothing else but wasted years and heartache. I ask that you all please stop sending me videos or information of him cheating because what he does is no longer my concern. I am not a victim. I’m choosing to stand tall with my head held high. If someone can’t love you the way you deserve then it’s up to you to love yourself. With no hate in my heart I wish him nothing but the best.”

Ne-Yo recently addressed prior marital problems he endured with Renay in an interview with Billboard. Earlier this month, while speaking about new album Self-Explanatory, he said, “It’s no secret that during the course of the pandemic” the pair were briefly considering divorce. But he said the couple, who wed in 2016 and renewed their vows in 2022, worked it out at the time.

“It took the pandemic for us to really sit and have those necessary, yet really uncomfortable conversations … Those situations for whatever reason always make for incredible song lyrics. A lot of those song lyrics are on this album,” the R&B singer had said of the experience with his wife.

The pair welcomed their third child together last year, in June 2021. Ne-Yo is also the father of two more children from a previous relationship.

See Crystal’s note and Ne-Yo’s response from this weekend below.

Fans Choose Beyonce’s ‘Renaissance’ as This Week’s Favorite New Music

Beyoncé‘s seventh studio album, Renaissance, has topped this week’s new music poll.

Music fans voted in a poll published Friday (July 29) on Billboard, choosing the superstar singer’s first solo studio release since 2016’s Lemonade as their favorite new music release of the past week.

Renaissance brought in nearly 57% of the vote, beating out new music by BLACKPINK (“Ready For Love” music video), Rosalía (“Despechá”), Hayley Kiyoko (Panorama), Maggie Rogers (Surrender), and $uicideboy$ (Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation).

Recorded over three years during the pandemic, Renaissance is “Act 1” of three. The 16-song project is crammed with features from Grace Jones, BEAM and Tems, along with production assists from husband Jay-Z, Drake, Skrillex, Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers and others.

The house-infused “Break My Soul,” released in late June, was the first single from Renaissance. The song hit No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated July 7, 2022, marking Beyoncé’s milestone 20th top 10 as a soloist.

Renaissance follows 2016’s Lemonade, Queen Bey’s landmark album that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, earning Beyoncé her sixth-chart topper. The set included guest appearances by Jack White, James Blake, The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar.

Placing second on the past week’s tally with almost 15% of the vote was the music video for BLACKPINK’s newly released song “Ready For Love.” The K-pop quartet — Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa — first unveiled the track in their recent in-game concert for PUGB Mobile, titled “THE VIRTUAL,” which featured the members performing a medley of their hits through virtual versions of their human forms.

See the final results of this week’s new music release poll below.


Lil Durk Says He’s Taking a Break to ‘Focus on My Health’ After Stage Explosion at Lollapalooza

Lil Durk is taking some time off to recover following an onstage mishap at this year’s Lollapalooza in Chicago.

The 29-year-old drill rapper took to social media on Sunday (July 31) to share an update on his health after being hit in the face by a pyrotechnic during his early evening set on Saturday at the music festival.

“Due to the incident that happened at Lollapalooza in Chicago on stage, I’ma take a break & focus on my health,” Lil Durk captioned the post on Instagram, which shows a photo of the hip-hop artist in a hospital room wearing a mask and a large patch covering his right eye.

“I finished my performance yesterday for my fans. Appreciate y’all.”

In a fan-captured video of the incident, Lil Durk is seen walking across the stage before being struck directly in the face by powerful bursts of smoke. The music then cuts off as the rapper takes a few steps backward and covers his face with his white T-shirt.

“Woah, woah, you alright, bro? That one came a little close. It shot straight up,” a person from the stage is heard saying in reference tp the blast.

Lil Durk took a few moments to collect himself before continuing his performance. “F— it, no more smoke, let’s do it,” he told the packed crowd, according to Page Six.

The “Broadway Girls” rapper had more than 20 U.S. tour dates scheduled through mid-October at press time.

Lil Durk scored his second No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in March with his latest album, 7220. The release then spent three weeks in the runner-up position, before returning to the top in April. The rapper previously topped the list with The Voice of the Heroes, a collaborative set with Lil Baby, for one week in 2021.

See Lil Durk’s post on Instagram here.

Bad Bunny’s ‘Un Verano Sin Ti’ Hits Seventh Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart

Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti collects a seventh nonconsecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart (dated Aug. 6). The title earned 98,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending July 28 (down 5%), according to Luminate. Un Verano Sin Ti is the album with the most weeks at No. 1 in over a year, since Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album spent its 10th and final week at No. 1 on the list dated March 27, 2021. (Since Dangerous, Adele’s 30 had clocked six weeks at No. 1.)

Also in the new top 10, SEVENTEEN and Jack White both score their second top 10-charting albums of 2022 with their latest releases.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Aug. 6, 2022-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Tuesday (Aug. 2). For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of Un Verano Sin Ti’s 98,000 equivalent album units earned, SEA units comprise 97,000 (down 5%; equaling 135.9 million on-demand official streams of the set’s tracks) and album sales and TEA units comprise the remainder of the week’s total.

Un Verano Sin Ti has exhibited strong staying power, as it earned in excess of 100,000 units in its first 11 weeks on the chart. The latest tracking frame is its first to dip below 100,000. Further, the album has declined less than 10% in weekly units in every week from its fourth through 12th frames. (The album eroded by 34% in its second week, then fell by 15% in its third, and then from its fourth week onwards has only dropped by 2-9% weekly.)

Un Verano Sin Ti has spent its first 12 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart lodged in the top two. The last album to start off as strong was Drake’s Views, which spent its first 17 weeks in the top two (May 21-Sept. 10, 2016-dated charts).

Un Verano Sin Ti bowed at No. 1 on the May 21-dated chart, then stepped away from the top slot for three weeks. It returned to No. 1 on June 18, and then moved aside for two more weeks, until coming back to No. 1 for the last five consecutive weeks.

Un Verano Sin Ti may vacate the No. 1 slot on the Aug. 13-dated chart, as Beyoncé’s seventh solo studio album, Renaissance, is due to debut on the tally, following its release on Friday (July 29). All six of Beyoncé’s previous solo studio sets opened at No. 1.

Wallen’s Dangerous rises 4-2 on the latest Billboard 200 with 49,000 equivalent album units earned (up 1%) while Harry Styles’ fellow former No. 1 Harry’s House is a non-mover at No. 3 with 48,000 units (down 8%).

SEVENTEEN logs its highest-charting album yet and second top 10, as 4th Album Repackage: Sector 17 debuts at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 with 34,000 equivalent album units earned. On the June 18 chart, the South Korean group debuted and peaked at No. 7 with SEVENTEEN 4th Album: Face the Sun. The new Sector 17 release contains Face the Sun’s same tracklist, but adds additional songs and retitles the album.

Of Sector 17’s first-week units of 34,000, album sales comprise 31,000; SEA units comprise 2,000 (equaling 3.31 million on-demand official streams of the set’s tracks); and TEA units comprise the remainder of the units.

Like many K-pop releases, the CD configuration of Sector 17 was issued in collectible deluxe packages (six total, including an exclusive version for Target), each with a standard set of items and randomized elements (such as photocards and photobooks); 99.8% of the album’s first-week sales were on CD. The other fraction of a percent were digital album purchases. (The set was not released in any other format, such as vinyl or cassette.)

Future’s former No. 1 I Never Liked You rises 6-5 on the Billboard 200 with 33,000 equivalent album units earned (down 5%) and Drake’s chart-topping Honestly, Nevermind dips 5-6 with 32,000 units (down 14%). Lizzo’s Special falls 2-7 in its second week with 29,000 units (down 58%) and Lil Durk’s former leader 7220 rises 10-8 with 28,000 (down 11%).

Jack White collects his sixth solo top 10 album on the Billboard 200 — and second of 2022 — as Entering Heaven Alive debuts at No. 9. The set starts with 27,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 25,000, SEA units comprise 2,000 (equaling 2.05 million on-demand official streams of the set’s tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. White previously hit the top 10 this year with Fear of the Dawn, which debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the April 23-dated list. He’s also claimed top 10s as a member of the bands The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather and The White Stripes (three each).

Rounding out the new top 10 is Olivia Rodrigo’s former No. 1 Sour, which rises 13-10 with 26,000 equivalent album units earned (down 5%).

Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes an exhaustive and thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data, removing any suspicious or unverifiable activity using established criteria before final chart calculations are made and published. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious and unverifiable is disqualified prior to the final calculation.