Category Archives: News

Louis Tomlinson Announces Plans to Launch New Management Company

Louis Tomlinson is looking to develop some new musical talent.

The 29-year-old singer took to social media on Saturday (March 6) to announce his plans to launch a new artist management company.

“I always dreamed of having my own label, having an imprint never really worked for me because I still had to have someone else’s blessing to sign people,” Tomlinson began his series of tweets. “People I believed in massively but unfortunately didn’t fit the traditional pop role hence never doing the deals….”

The former One Direction member continued, “So I’ve decided to put it out there in the world today. I’m going to start my own music management company to help develop new artists. Watch this space.”

Tomlinson pointed out that the management company announcement is “the first step of actualising the idea but at this stage that’s all this is. An idea!” He also clarified in another tweet that his plans do not included forming a record label.

In July 2020, Tomlinson announced that he had parted ways with Simon Cowell’s Syco. The artist had signed a solo recording contract with the label in 2017.

“Hope everyone is doing ok! Just wanted to let you know that Syco Music and I have agreed to part ways,” Tomlinson tweeted at the time. I’m really excited for the future and to be back in the studio writing the next album. Can’t wait to finally see you all on tour!!”

One Direction’s five studio albums were released through Syco/Columbia Records.

In early 2019, Tomlinson joined Arista Records within the Sony Music family, where he signed to Epic under Syco in 2017. As part of the deal, the singer’s solo music was distributed through Syco/Arista in the United States.

Tomlinson has released four solo singles since One Direction announced its hiatus in 2015. His latest album, Walls, was released in 2020 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, giving the relaunched Arista Records its first top 10 on the chart in years.

View Tomlinson’s tweets about launching his own management company below.

Beyonce Pays Tribute to Late Fan Lyric Chanel With Emotional Medley

Beyonce is honoring the memory of her young fan Lyric Chanel, who died Friday (March 5) after a two-year battle with brain cancer and anaplastic ependymoma.

The 13-year-old girl’s difficult illness was documented by her family on Instagram, which drew more than 600,000 followers and caught the attention of celebrities like Queen Bey and Cardi B.

Following Lyric’s death, Beyonce shared an emotional video montage on her website in celebration of the girl’s life. In the tribute, which features photos and videos of a smiling and dancing Lyric, Beyonce is heard singing a special medley of her hit songs “Brown Skin Girl,” “Halo” and “Love on Top.”

Toward the end of “Love on Top,” Bey changes the lyric “baby” to “Lyric” in remembrance of her late fan.

“Lyric it’s you/ You’re the one I love/ And you’re the one I need,” she sings. “You’re the only thing I see/ Come on Lyric it’s you/ You’re the one that gives your all/ You’re the one I can always call/ When I need you baby everything stops/ You put my love on top.”

Beyonce concludes the tribute with a heartfelt, “I love you with all my heart.”

In September, Lyric received a beautiful bouquet of white flowers from the 39-year-old mother of three after posting an adorable throwback video of herself singing the star’s 2011 hit “Love on Top.”

“When the Queen Bey sends you flowers,” Lyric’s family captioned a video of the girl alongside the flowers. “Thank you so much @beyonce Lyric was so shock to get mail from you and she said Beyonce is the Best!!! We love you so much and she hopes to one day meet you.”

Watch Beyonce’s beautiful tribute to Lyric Chanel below.

5 Uplifting Moments in Latin Music This Week (March 6)

From career milestones and new music releases to major announcements and more, Billboard editors highlight the latest news buzz in Latin music every week. Here’s what happened in the Latin music world this week.

Lunay’s Capsule Collection

This week, Lunay teamed up with clothing brand Pull&Bear for the launch of his basketball-inspired capsule collection “Lu-Lu Athletics Club.” The limited-edition set, which was first introduced in September, was inspired by the archetypal basketball aesthetic of the 2000s. “Lu-Lu Athletics Club” includes everything from varsity jackets, hoodies, T-shirts, jogging shorts, basketball caps, wristbands, and socks, to name a few. Click here for more information.

MAG Inks Deal with Warner

Warner Chappell Music has signed a worldwide publishing agreement with rising producer MAG (real name: Marcos Borrero), Billboard learned this week. MAG, short for “magnificent,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Producers chart (dated Dec. 12), thanks to seven production credits on Bad Bunny’s El Ultimo Tour del Mundo, including “Te Mudaste,” “Yo Visto Así,” “Haciendo Que Me Amas,” “Te Deseo Lo Mejor,” “Booker T,” “Maldita Pobreza,” and “La Droga.” He also produced “Trellas” and “Antes Que Se Acabe.”

“MAG is an unbelievable talent and exactly the type of producer who we’re looking to add into the mix,” Ryan Press, Warner Chappell Music’s president of A&R for the U.S., said in a statement. “His work with Bad Bunny broke down cultural barriers and has opened so many new doors for him. We already have big things planned to help raise his profile even more and can’t wait to get started.”

Raised in Brooklyn but residing in Los Angeles, the half-Puerto Rican, half-Dominican producer has been in the business for more than 10 years and has previously worked with Nicky Jam and Rauw Alejandro.

The Exclusive Agency Launches

California-based publicist Elina Adut, who was formerly the senior VP for entertainment & multicultural PR at The Lippin Group for more than six years, has launched her own PR firm called The Exclusive Agency. The promising roster at the EA include A Tiny Audience on HBO (USA) and DIRECTV (LatAm), AQUIHAYAQUIHAY, Debi Nova, Guaynaa, Imagine It Media, Latin Recording Academy/Latin GRAMMYs, NEON16, Premio Lo Nuestro, SLOWLY Records, Sony Music Latin, Tainy, and Vice Menta.

“I am excited to embark on this new journey that has always been a dream of mine,” Adut tells Billboard. “I feel blessed to count with amazing clients who have trusted me over the years and empowered me to continue doing what I love. I’m eager to continue working hard for my clients and growing alongside so many talented people.”

Molusco & LaMusica APP Join Forces

SBS’ digital platform LaMusicApp announced this week its partnership with Puerto Rican host and actor Jorge “El Molusco” Pabón. Exclusive content will be shared via the strategic alliance between MoluscoTV and La Música App. For Molusco, teaming up with LaMusica, which is followed by many Hispanics in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and other parts of the world, is a great opportunity. “This strengthens us even more in the field of communications and in the world of entertainment,” he said in a statement.

Cuban Artists Sign to Planet Records

Planet Records signed an exclusive contract with Cuban reggaeton duo El Kimiko & Yordy, composed of Osniel Andres Cobarrubia Alfonso and Yordano Ulacia Creagh in 2019. “I love working with them,” Planet Records’ CEO Roberto Ferrante said in a statement. “From the beginning, they have produced high-quality music, and the public is supporting them in a massive way. Our main goal will be to take the Cuban urban movement to the top.”

El Kimiko & Yordy went viral with their debut single “Cambia Tu” in December 2020. With their single “Tengo un Pila,” they won the popularity award at Cuba’s Premios Lucas. Under the new deal with Planet Records, the duo will launch their debut album, Los Pa’Rato, which includes collaborations with El Micha, Lenier, and other artists.

20 Questions With Danny Tenaglia: The Dance Legend On Paradise Garage, Turning 60 & Life Off the Road

Danny Tenaglia has been into — and influencing — dance music before the genre had really even been fully defined. Growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the ’60s and ’70s, Tenaglia absorbed the sounds and styles of his diverse neighborhood and cultivated a love of rummaging through records as a child into a career that is now well into its fourth decade.

Starting in the ’80s, when Tenaglia was working for the Billboard charts before signing his first record, his profile rose on — first in New York and then into international circuit — via the power of his transportive, eclectic, deep, performances. His extended sets (which have on occasion lasted for 24 hours) are legendary. His residency at TwiLo is legendary. Even just speaking to him through Zoom is kind of legendary, with Tenaglia warmly sharing stories of Paradise Garage and Giorgio Moroder and moving the camera around to show you his dining room table and the snowy yard of his home in rural New Jersey.

If anything points to the respect Tenaglia commands across dance artists of all generations, it’s the lineup for his 60th birthday party livestream fundraiser. Featuring sets by Carl Cox, Seth Troxler, Nicole Moudaber, Victor Calderone, Blond:ish and 25 other artists (including the birthday boy himself, of course) the event launches off today (March 6) via Beatport’s Twitch, YouTube and Facebook and continues into Sunday (which is Tenaglia’s actual birthday.) The party is free to stream, and all proceeds benefit UNICEF.

To commemorate the occasion, Tenaglia here answers 20 questions about falling love with dance music, the moment his parents really understood his success, the challenges of being off the road during the pandemic and how the dance world has changed (and stayed the same) since he got his start.

1. Where are you in the world right now, and what’s the setting like?

I am happy to say I’m in New Jersey. I’d never thought I’d live in this state, but it’s absolutely wonderful. I got a place here last December before COVID. I was in between Queens and Miami, but now I’m in this beautiful area of New Jersey that I’d never even heard of, Rainwood. It’s desolate. It’s in the woods and people come up for hiking trails. There’s no streetlights here. It’s private, there are amazing lakes nearby. I feel like I’m in a different state altogether, really.

2. What is the first album or piece of music you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?

It’s hard for me to know exactly which one. There was a record store that was on my black and my godmother used to take me there when I was a kid. I started absorbing this at so young an age, maybe six or seven. The one that comes to my mind is an instrumental called “Grazing In the Grass” by Hugh Masekela. It was a 45.

3. What’s distinctive about the place you grew up, and how did it shape you?

I was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I lived there for the first 25 years of my life, and I think it was the diversity of the community. I’m Italian, and it was an Italian community, but there was also a large community of Puerto Rican and Black people as well, especially in school. As a child, loving music, I really related to this – people listening to salsa, the jukeboxes, people dancing. I gravitated towards the rhythms. That helped shape me as a DJ, those different cultures. It was very soulful.

4. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid, and what do they think/did they think of what you do for a living now?

My mom used to work at Bergdorf Goodman, but she had five boys, so naturally that didn’t last very long. She was a housewife and my dad was in the military and a head mechanic at the National Guard for twenty-something years. As of last year my dad is gone. He was 91. My mom passed in 2008.

When I first told them that I wanted to leave high school to be a DJ, they didn’t understand. They were thinking like, Howard Stern and Cousin Brucie. And I was like, “No, I want to play nightclubs.” The great thing is that they saw I was never in trouble. Never arrested. Didn’t fall into drugs. I was just addicted to music. Those were the things that were important to them. But in 2002, when I was nominated for a Grammy [for best remixed recording], I think that elevated things for them, even though it didn’t mean as much to me as the DJ awards that I get from the dance music community.

5.What was the first song you ever made?

It was called “Waiting For a Call,” and I used the artist name Deep State, which wouldn’t be too good to use today. This was in 1988, so I just thought I was being deep. It got signed to Atlantic Records, so it was like “wow.” I think the connection is that back then I was a Billboard reporter for the dance charts, in the ’80s and top of the ’90s, so I had a connection with the people that would call from the promotion companies and the record labels. There was a guy named Joey Carvello who used to work at Atlantic. He heard my demo, and he signed it.

6. If you had to recommend one album for someone looking to get into electronic music, what would you give them?

I probably have to say Kraftwerk. They really took dance music into an electronic way, and I grew up with them as well. It was 1975 when they put out Trans-Europe Express. I was hearing that in straight clubs, gay clubs, Black clubs – people listening to Kraftwerk. Every album they did was just more advanced.

7. What’s the first non-music gear item that you bought for yourself when you started making money as an artist?

Besides being a DJ, I started loving collecting lamps and furniture. I bought a Warren Platner dining set from a store called Knoll. It’s from the ’60s, and it still sells today. It was probably about $16,000, and I still have it! Want to see it? [He carries the camera to the dining room to show me the table, which is beautiful.]

8. What was the first electronic music show that really blew your mind?

I would have to say a band called Orbital. It might have been while I was on the road at a festival. I was so impressed, because it was almost like seeing a Kraftwerk kind of show. I didn’t see Kraftwerk until a few years ago. Orbital was a great dance/electronic band from England.

9. Give me a particularly resonant Paradise Garage memory?

I’ll give you two. I remember the first time I walked in. People knew my love of clubs and dance music and they were like, “Danny, you’ve gotta go the Garage.” So I went. I walked in early. They used to open around 1 a.m., believe it or not. It was opening hour kind of vibe. Larry was playing Peter Brown’s “Do you Wanna Get Funky With Me.” It’s a funky electronic record. I was mesmerized. It was like a kid going to Disney World or something. I’d never heard a sound that large in my life. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and then slowly the people start coming and the lights started getting a little more dim, and 11 hours later, I didn’t want it to stop.

After I was going for a couple years, Larry had mixed a song on Atlantic Records called “Can’t Play Around” by Lace. That was around ’81. They only had that one song, and it was so famous at the Garage. They came out to perform it, and it was like going to a gospel kind of church. What I remember the most is that I happened to be up in the DJ booth – they had like a mezzanine in the DJ booth, and I’m watching the stage, full of goosebumps, and when the song ended the crowd was stomping and hollering so loudly in appreciation that they actually had to do it again, because they didn’t have another song to sing. I got goosebumps telling you this story, swear to god. And the second time they performed it was even better.

10. You’ve been in the dance scene for longer than many. What are the biggest changes between the dance world when you were starting out and the dance world now?

What hits me is that it’s music made for dancing, and that people don’t really dance anymore. When I was a kid, people would dance — silly dances like the twist, and the tango and waltz. During my era and the disco era, people were doing the hustle and the bus stop. I was even on a TV show dancing the hustle – Soul Alive, the disco version of Soul Train. I lived through the breakdance era, the vogueing era, when I worked in clubs. I always absorbed all of that. Now it’s all been narrowed down to head bobbing and first bumping, so I miss all that.

11. In 2012 you famously resigned from DJing, only to come back two years later. What inspired each decision?

It was a classic case of lost in translation. I had an issue where I was on may home from Montreal to Miami. When I got back to my apartment, I realized I didn’t have my computer. I had a meltdown. I got dressed. I ran do the airport. It was late at night, and I had to wait until 6 a.m. until they opened up the gates, and sure enough — it wasn’t on there. Never saw it again. I went home so distraught — and something also happened that day in new York pertaining to business — and I was starting to realize that traveling overseas, the time changes, residencies, remixes, it was getting the best of me.  I said in my post on Facebook that I was “resigning” not “retiring” but everyone took the information a different way. I never stopped working. I did all the gigs I had booked and didn’t take on any international gigs to the next year.

The funny thing is, I got to work on a project with Giorgio Moroder, and we became friendly. The last time I saw him he said, “Danny is it true you’re retiring?” I was like, “Giorgio Moroder cares about this?” I told him the information had gotten confused and he was like “Oh, thank god.” Just for that, it was worth it.

12. After decades of playing clubs, how do you still get yourself excited to play a set?

It has changed. 45 years later since Miami Lounge in Brooklyn, I’m procrastinating more to actually sit down and listen to the music. It’s become so different from the first 30 years of my career. Going to record stores, getting the promos in the mail, physical vinyl, the CDs, the flash drives and then files in your computer where everything looks the same. It started losing the glory a little bit, especially when the record stores and labels started closing and everything became digital. The social aspect, with that you felt a drive and energy. But getting into my 50s, you start getting interested in other things, and your next gig might not be for the next five weeks. But when I finally do sit down and do it, it’s like all that time is erased. I’m that kid filing through records all over again.

13. Finish this sentence: The most exciting thing currently happening in the dance scene is ____?

I’m so removed from things at the same time as being involved. I’m not big on social media. I never use Twitter. I don’t have notifications on my phone. What I’m trying to say is, what it’s all grown into with the DJs and the travel and the agencies and the festivals, I do feel that even though many of us have completely different styles, there’s still a sense of community and unity among DJs, because ultimately we all do the same thing. A good example is my birthday event, and how many people said yes to doing this. We’re all different in many ways, but we’re all coming together to celebrate dance music and house music and someone like myself, who’s lived it for over four decades.

15. The lineup for that birthday livestream is stacked. Is curating a show like that simply a matter of calling up your friends and asking?

I still have to pinch myself. With regards to the pandemic and not being able to really travel, you don’t really get to see these people, but it felt like a curse – and now maybe I’m finding the blessing – that if there was no pandemic this probably wouldn’t have happened. You look at the lineup, and it looks like Ultra or Electric Zoo. I feel a sense of unity with DJs, and we’re all in this together, and suffering.

16. What’s been the hardest part of being off the road during the pandemic?

I miss everybody. I miss the communications, all that’s natural about it…I think the hardest part honestly is it being the first time in I can’t remember however long that I’m not making any money. I have no income. I’ve always had income since the ’80s, and now that I’ve taken on this home in New Jersey before COVID, I’m stuck with two properties, and so I’m actually on unemployment. Thank god the government has helped me as a small business owner; I have one employee. People see a DJ like myself, and I’m having David Guetta and Carl Cox play my show. These guys, they’re comfortable. And people probably also think this of me too. I don’t have any hit records. I don’t command mainstage appearances. I’m happy. I’m comfortable. I have all the things I need in my life like the home and the car, but without a consistent income, it became challenging with the two properties.

17. That maybe makes the next question a little crass, so tell me if you want to skip it, but what’s the best business decision you’ve made during your career?

Well I did look at this question, and I thought about it and I was thinking that considering I’m a DJ/producer/remixer guy on the international scene, I think the best decision I made was to never start my own record label.  A guy like myself who was a full time DJ — then took on the remix field, spending countless days in the studio, and then the travels and the jetlag — if I was a label owner, that would be more decisions to occupy my time. In hindsight, I don’t think it would have been lucrative for me, because I’m not in the commercial music world. I’m glad I didn’t waste years of my life listening to demos and working records that are only going to sell 500 copies.

18. What’s one thing you’d like your fans to know about you?

My spirituality, it’s what keeps me going. At the end of the day, I pray about everything and it’s really what gets me though. Before each gig I pray. I pray for everybody. I thank god every day.

19. Your credo has always been “Be Yourself.” What makes you so passionate about this message?

I did that song with Celeda, who’s trans. She flew to New York to meet me in the studio, and we finished that one pretty quickly… She really related to the [androgynous disco artist and activist] Sylvester, who was one of the first people to come across that way and live his life. I guess she aspired to be like Sylvester. And I guess we can all relate to it in many ways – you don’t want people to judge you or tell you what to do.

20. One piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

I think it’s relative to be yourself. Don’t let anybody tell you how to live, what to wear, what record what to play, and most especially don’t let anybody tell you who you should love, because love is from above.

Roc Nation Wins $12M Insurance Claim Over Maroon 5 Manager’s Death

Roc Nation has won a $12 million lawsuit against Texas-based insurance provider Houston Casualty Company (HCC) for failing to pay out a “key man insurance policy” on Maroon 5’s late manager Jordan Feldstein.

Feldstein, older brother of actors Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein, was the co-founder and CEO of Career Artist Management (CAM) where he principally managed Maroon 5 and Adam Levine, his childhood friend. He died unexpectedly of natural causes at the age of 40 on Dec. 22, 2017, a day after Roc Nation paid the premium on his insurance policy with HCC.

Roc Nation obtained the policy on Feldstein as part of its 2016 purchase of a 49% ownership interest in CAM. Because of Feldstein’s importance to CAM, he and Roc Nation agreed in their purchase contract to obtain insurance protecting Roc Nation’s investment should Feldstein die or become disabled, according to court papers. Roc Nation purchased the “key man insurance policy” from HCC in 2016 and renewed the policy on Dec. 21, 2017, making it effective from Dec. 15, 2017, onward.

Feldstein died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism, with the Los Angeles Medical Examiner declaring his cause of death as natural. But HCC denied paying out Roc Nation’s claim and Roc Nation responded by suing in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York on Jan. 18, 2019, for wrongfully denying insurance coverage.

HCC argued in court papers that Roc Nation was precluded from any recovery because the company failed to cooperate with HCC’s investigation of the claim — a contention that Roc Nation denied. HCC also argued that the policy language required the insurance payment be reduced by all future profits that could have been traceable to Feldstein’s services. To this, Roc Nation’s legal team argued that the policy’s plain language outlines that it was entitled to recoup from HCC its full investment in CAM, minus any dividends it had received from CAM by the time Feldstein died.

Both sides debated over whether the meaning of “and/or,” writing “insured” rather than “insured person,” and whether misplaced words such as stating “Direct Ascertained Net Loss” rather than “Direct Net Ascertained loss” created other contractual meanings. HCC attorneys tried to convince the judge that term “generated” in the policy referred to revenue that Feldstein meant to set forth “to bring into existence.”

Ultimately, in a 52-page ruling issued Wednesday in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, Judge Paul Engelmayer sided with Roc Nation finding it “complied with the overwhelming majority of HCC’s requests, and offered reasonable justifications when it failed to do so.” Engelmayer said he found Roc Nation submitted extensive information in response to HCC’s “unreasonably broad” requests and had “only drawn the line when the requests [were] overtly irrelevant or not reasonably-tailored. He also said that term “generated” referred to revenue that was generated and was not a “forward looking” meaning.

Engelmayer ruled that HCC must pay Roc Nation a $12,529,222 policy amount, minus any money generated by Feldstein while he was alive and performing services through December 22, 2017. Engelmayer, however, denied that any post-death revenue from artists formerly associated with Feldstein or CAM needed to taken into account.

“Cases against insurance companies are complex and fact intensive,” says Scott Zolke, a partner at Loeb & Loeb, not affiliated with the case. “It is incumbent upon the insurance company to say precisely what they’re covering, as opposed to using terms that can be interpreted a couple of different ways. And this was an instance where when you look at these terms that I want to say were conflicting, it clearly created an ambiguity, and that ambiguity is going to every time be interpreted against the insurance company and in favor of the insured.”

“It is of paramount importance to specifically and clearly say what you’re insuring…. It underscores the importance of actually reading what you’re signing. A typo leaves us with ambiguity and ambiguity leads to litigation…. If you don’t define precisely what you are insuring, then you’re leaving yourself subject to a differing view.”

Attorneys for Roc Nation and HCC did not respond to request for comment.