The ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is out, and it’s the most diverse in the Hall’s history. There’s world music, R&B, hip hop, 60s pop, metal — something for almost everyone. And more importantly, it has the most female artists ever and the most Black artists in many years. Check it out and vote at vote.rockhall.com through April 30.
“One Long WTF”
If you’re a Prince fan, you’ll want to check out this in-depth profile that looks back at the Purple One five years after he so tragically and abruptly left us. One long “WTF” indeed.
It’s been 17 YEARS since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s infamous Super Bowl halftime appearance. Since then the two superstars have had wildly different fortunes. Justin became even more of a global superstar, adding acting to his resume and headlining the Super Bowl again in 2018.. Meanwhile, Janet took most of the blame by far in the media and the court of public opinion. And only recently did we learn about the campaign carried on for years by then CBS head Leslie Moonves. She didn’t fall of the radar entirely, but his personal vendetta locked her out of appearances and stalled sales of her albums. Two people were onstage that night, but somehow what happened was all her fault.
It’s been even longer since Timberlake’s famous teenage relationship with Britney Spears. It didn’t end well. When they broke up, he talked publicly about sleeping with her and accused her of cheating on him. All that may be true. And he’s not to blame for all her all-too-public troubles. But dude – discretion. And in the new “Framing Britney Spears” documentary, we’re finally seeing how people in Britney’s life have treated her like a commodity for years.
This past week, Timberlake issued an apology on Instagram that reads in part,
“I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right.
Some people see this as a long-overdue mea culpa. Others see it as a cynical ploy by a performer with a new movie out who’s worried about professional blowback. Britney hasn’t responded. But Janet posted on Instagram to thank fans for making “Control” Number One again on the charts after more than 30 years.
And speaking of control, what do you do when someone with whom you have professional issues manages to get ownership of your intellectual property? Taylor Swift’s former label, Big Machine, sold her masters to uber manager Scooter Braun, giving him the say over licensing. Taylor is NOT a lazy artist: she announced plans to re-record her material from before 2019. This past week “Taylor’s Version” of “Love Story” dropped, and the full “Fearless” album will follow on April 9. “Fearless” will have 26 tracks, including bonus tracks and outtakes. Six of them have never been heard before. So if you’re a Swiftie, you’ve got to be enjoying all this new music.