Andrew Flanagan

Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Gord Downie, singer of The Tragically Hip, died of complications from brain cancer Tuesday night at the age of 53. His death was announced in a statement from his family.

Finding a river to slide down, to escape onto, is a subjective thing. One should float without friction — it's working when you don't have to think all that much. Sometimes, similarly minded people who prefer the same the same amount of siltgrit, jumping in and gliding before returning to shore, when the real world can't be ignored anymore.

A little over two months after it became the most-viewed video on YouTube, "Despacito" has broken another record, being the first on the platform to surpass 4 billion views. The video's growth is astronomical, surpassing Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's 2015 hit "See You Again," the second-most-viewed video on the site, by hundreds of millions of views in less than a year.

Latinx Pop Crossovers, Cultural Globalization And YouTube's Primacy

The receipts from Bruce Springsteen's first week on Broadway are in. The Boss, over five sold-out performances, grossed $2.33 million — or about $466,000 per night.

This week, you may have seen headlines offering you — yes, you! — the chance to buy a slice of Eminem's royalty pie, with the prospect of making a little profit:

Donald Trump has revivified the silent protest begun last year by football player Colin Kapaernick, who began to kneel during the performance of the national anthem at the beginning of football games to draw attention to racially motivated violence and unrest in the country.

Saturday night, music legend Stevie Wonder told the crowd gathered in Central Park: "Tonight, I'm taking a knee for America ... but not just one knee — I'm taking both knees." Wonder's brief speech was met with deafening applause.

Charles Bradley, the "Screaming Eagle of Soul," whose late-blossoming career was built on fiery performances that evoked his idol, James Brown, died in Brooklyn on Saturday, Sept. 23, according to a statement by his publicist. In 2016, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver. He was 68 yeas old.

Since the beginning, Corbin — formerly known as Spooky Black — has, in his languid and gurgling and romance-afflicted music, foregrounded the landscapes of his home state, Minnesota. Flicking through the search results of his early videos, there's always a forest visible.

In 2011, the Justice Department classified Juggalos — fans of the Michigan-born rap duo Insane Clown Posse — as gang members, writing: "Crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism."

Vevo, the music video platform co-owned by the three major labels along with Google's parent company and the Dubai-based Abu Dhabi Media, was the victim of a hack by the prolific group OurMine in the early hours of Friday. The hack was revealed by OurMine in a blog post.

Grant Hart, a drummer and songwriter best-known as a member of Minneapolis' widely influential punk trio, Hüsker Dü, died Wednesday night at the University of Minnesota Medical Center of complications from liver cancer and hepatitis, his wife, Brigid McGough, confirmed to NPR. He was 56 years old.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Among the deals being signed that shape the way the world experiences culture, a new partnership will exert a great influence on the flow of content from the world's three remaining major record labels to an enormous and growing marketplace — as long as everyone plays by China's opaque rules around expression.

Don Williams, who began a long career in country music as a Nashville songwriter in the early 1970s and who entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, died today at his home in Alabama following a short illness, a publicist confirmed to NPR. He was 78.

You can find the name of Len Blavatnik, the Ukraine-born, Russia-raised billionaire and owner of the world's third-largest record label Warner Music Group (WMG), on several of the world's most prestigious buildings: London's Tate Modern and V&A Museum, New York's

Martin Shkreli, the "pharma bro" convicted in early August of securities fraud, is claiming he's prepared to sell the sole copy of a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album.

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2:45 p.m.: This article and its headline have been updated with details of the telethon.


Scooter Braun, the artist manager responsible for cultivating Justin Bieber's career, told the Associated Press last week of his plans for a benefit concert to support those affected by Harvey.

Updated 10:25 a.m., Aug. 29 with additional companies and individuals' contributions to the relief effort in Houston. Head here to learn more about how you can help.

Taylor Swift has announced Reputation, her sixth album. After a cryptic, drip-drop, nearly weeklong lead-up complete with easter-eggs — like putting "ivegotablankspace" in a website's source code — designed to stoke theorizing by superfans, Swift confirmed via social media that the album Reputation will arrive Nov. 10, and fans should expect its first single Thursday night.

King Krule is Archy Marshall, who beat-sings poetry that tumbles up and down like a diary written in M.C. Escher-space, through a voice like a languorous boxing glove.

Just over a month after publishing a report in which the parents of a young woman alleged their daughter was "brainwashed" by R. Kelly, and in which a former personal assistant of the singer referred to him as a "puppet master," BuzzFeed has published another article about the Chicago-born singer with more serious allegations.

The estate of Prince Rogers Nelson remains a bed of thorns, in some ways. A $30 million deal between Universal Music Group and Prince's NPG Records, being overseen by his estate, is now the subject of a special investigation into whether wrongdoing took place in its formation, according to documents filed today in Minnesota.

Spotify and other streaming services have begun removing white supremacist content from their platforms, as websites and musicians alike scramble to distance themselves from the white nationalist movement.

In a statement on Wednesday, Spotify blamed the labels and distributors that supply music to its database but said "material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention."

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