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Billboard Magazine April 24, 2021

Written for music industry professionals and fans. Contents provide news, reviews and statistics for all genres of music, including radio play, music video, related internet activity and retail updates.

United States
Penske Media Corporation
€ 7,18(Incl. btw)
€ 88,90(Incl. btw)
29 Edities

in deze editie

6 min
reigning ‘rapstar’: polo g notches first no. 1

WHILE POLO G’S “RAPSTAR” SOARS IN STRAIGHT AT No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — marking his first leader on the chart — the hit has been building buzz for nearly a y ear. On May 25, 2020, he teased what would later become the full song during a YouTube clip in which he and one of the track’s producers, Einer Bankz, perform an acoustic version, with Bankz playing the ukulele. On the Hot 100 dated April 24, “Rapstar” launches with 53.6 million U.S. streams in its first week (ending April 15), according to MRC Data — the highest weekly streaming total for a male artist in 2021 so far. Likewise, the track starts atop the Streaming Songs chart, where it’s also Polo G’s first No. 1. “Rapstar” is the second…

5 min
fair play?

AS THE ONGOING MUSIC industry boom puts labels under renewed pressure to make recording contracts more equitable and transparent, the next battle over creators’ rights will be fought in Sacramento, Calif., where artists, managers and their allies are lobbying to change the state’s “Seven-Year Statute.” Enacted in 1937 after the judgment in actress Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit against Warner Bros. Pictures, California Labor Code Section 2855 limits personal services contracts for state residents to seven years. In 1987, however, the law was amended, with the major labels’ support, to allow record companies to sue for damages (including potential revenue) if an artist attempts to leave after seven years but before delivering the required number of albums in a contract. In 2001, a group of artists and managers including Irving Azoff and…

1 min
gene smith

EUGENE “GENE” SMITH, the charismatic advertising executive who during nearly four decades at Billboard was instrumental in building the brand’s Latin and international businesses, died April 17 of cardiac arrest. He was 88. A gregarious figure, immediately recognizable for his impeccable fashion style and shock of white hair, Smith sold ads for Billboard until the week of his death. Smith began his run at Billboard in 1985 as associate publisher and directories publisher but is best known for his role as managing director of Latin. Although he wasn’t Latin and barely spoke Spanish, Smith co-founded the long-running Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards, the brand’s longest-running event. “Gene Smith,” says concert promoter Phil Rodriguez, “was, unquestionably, one of the good guys in our business.” “He will be missed.”…

2 min
sonic boom?

THE LIVE BUSINESS has a new champion: Bad Bunny. His 35-date North American El Último Tour del Mundo sold over 480,000 tickets at presale and more after for a total of $84 million in under a week after going on sale April 15, according to promoter Henry Cárdenas — Ticketmaster’s fastest-moving series of shows since Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s 2018 On the Run II Tour — kick-starting a concert business that has been closed for over a year. The Latin star brought in an average of $2.4 million per show (in 2019, only Metallica’s WorldWired tour had a higher per-show average), with most tickets priced at a face value of $240. Now tickets are selling for an average of 10-times face value on the resale market, higher than any tour ever,…

2 min
live tonight: the jabs

ALFREDO ALONSO, THE entertainment director for Chile’s biggest concert promoter, Bizarro Entertainment, was considering other ways to bring in money during the pandemic when he saw Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino’s Jan. 16 Instagram post: “If the live event industry was tasked with vaccination distribution we would have it done in a weekend, sold T-shirts and beer and a meet n greet with Fauci.” Alonso took this to heart. “We have the know-how to put together massive events,” he says, “so why not run massive vaccination sites?” Since February, Bizarro has worked under contract with local governments across Chile to coordinate vaccination efforts at four sites, including La Florida stadium in Santiago, overseeing nonmedical logistics like crowd management, catering and parking. It has even introduced production elements more common at concerts, including…

2 min
‘an afterlife of tragedy’

THERE’S A SCENE IN THE UNITED STATES vs. Billie Holiday when the iconic jazz singer — played by Andra Day, a contender for best actress at the Academy Awards on April 25 — is dying in bed, contemplating her legacy. “He’s trying to control my estate,” she says of her abusive third husband, Louis McKay. When Holiday died in 1959 without a will — but with a roll of $50 bills strapped to her leg, as the story goes — McKay did end up inheriting her estate, including her recording royalties, rights to her image, her publishing to songs including “God Bless the Child” and “Fine and Mellow,” and her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. (McKay even served as an adviser on the film of the same name, in which he…