KILLER MIKE AND T.I. ASK FOR CALM AMID CHAOS IN PROTESTS
ATLANTA (AP) - Killer Mike broke into tears as he and T.I. joined Atlanta’s mayor on Saturday urging peace after protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota turned violent over the weekend. Killer Mike says, “We have to be better than burning down our own homes. Because if we lose Atlanta what have we got?” Protests spread across the country in response to Floyd’s death after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck and kept it there for more than eight minutes. Billboard reports Halsey was hit by shrapnel and by pellets during a protest in Los Angeles, while Tinashe (tee-NAH'-shay) protested on an L.A. freeway. J. Cole, Lil Yachty and Machine Gun Kelly participated in protests as well.
COUNTRY FESTIVAL CALLED OFF
RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) - A country music event that could have been one of the first music festivals to be held since the coronavirus outbreak hit has been canceled. Organizers of the Hodag Country Festival in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, say they called it off in the interest of public safety and because it was causing stress and division, which was not their intent. The festival, which was scheduled for July 9-12, was expected to draw 16,000 people a day to see acts like Darius Rucker, Travis Tritt, Brett Eldredge and Ashley McBryde. The festival had won approval last week from the local public safety committee, despite opposition from local health officials and the public.
JUDGE RULES AGAINST COLLIN RAYE CONCERT
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah judge blocked a weekend concert featuring Collin Raye that was expected to attract thousands of people who were protesting coronavirus restrictions. On Friday, Judge Dianna Gibson ruled against Saturday’s concert at a remote amphitheater outside Salt Lake City. The group Utah Business Revival had expected as many as 5,000 people to attend the concert, which was to include booths from small business affected economically from the pandemic lockdown. Raye did not perform, and the event was turned into a protest picnic. Gibson’s ruling came hours after Utah marked its largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases.
THE PANDEMIC GIVES RICKY MARTIN ANXIETY
NEW YORK (AP) - Ricky Martin’s surprise EP is a result of his trying to hold it together during the coronavirus pandemic. Martin says he’s never suffered from anxiety, but the coronavirus is “a new monster and to top it all, it is invisible.” He says he spent two weeks with a poker face so his family would not be affected, but he felt like he was gasping for air. He channeled his anxiety into music, and the result is the EP “Pausa,” which came out Thursday. Martin calls “Pausa” “little magical things that happened during the quarantine.”
DAVID GUETTA PLAYS ATOP ROCKEFELLER CENTER
NEW YORK (AP) - David Guetta (GET’-ah) has raised $500,000 for coronavirus relief efforts through Saturday’s performance on the 70th floor observation deck of New York’s Rockefeller Center. While few people were able to see it in person, Guetta says he had a virtual crowd of 24 million. He did a similar event in Miami on April 18 that raised $750,000 for coronavirus relief.
LAUV IS WRITING LIGHTER STUFF FOR A WHILE
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lauv figures what the world needs now is the same thing he needs: fun music. Lauv says he’s just not into writing “heavy existential stuff” while following stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic. He says his new single, “Modern Loneliness,” was written before the lockdown. He says maybe he’ll write more angsty stuff later, but now is the first time he’s written music about having fun because music is his therapy. Lauv’s “How I’m Feeling” album is out now.
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“WUNNA” BY GUNNA IS TOP ALBUM
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gunna’s “Wunna” is number one. Billboard reports “Wunna” moved 111,000 units in its first week of release, putting it on top of the Billboard 200 albums chart. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” is second, with “High Off Life” by Future in third place. The 1975’s “Notes on a Conditional Form” debuts in fourth. “The Goat” by Polo G is number five.
By Margie Szaroleta