Apple to pay royalties after Taylor Swift complains – AMEN

We need more artists like this! Bam!

Article from the Tennessean

Palo Alto, Calif. — Taylor Swift has Apple changing its tune.

Hours after the pop superstar criticized the giant tech company in an open letter posted online, Apple announced Sunday that it will pay royalties to artists and record labels for music played during a free, three-month trial of its new streaming music service.

“When I woke up this morning and I saw Taylor’s note that she had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change,” said Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue in an interview with The Associated Press.

Apple had already agreed to share revenue from paid subscriptions to the new Apple Music service, which will cost $10 a month. But Swift said she would withhold her latest album from the service because Apple wasn’t planning to pay artists and labels directly for the use of their music during the free, introductory period.

“We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation,” Swift wrote in an open letter posted Sunday on her Tumblr page, under the heading “To Apple, Love Taylor. “

Apple has maintained that it negotiated revenue-sharing at rates that are slightly higher than the industry standard, to compensate for the three months that it plans to offer its streaming service without charge.

“We had factored that in,” Cue said Sunday. But he added, “We had been hearing from artists that this was going to be rough on them, so we are making this change.”

Cue declined to say how much Apple will pay in royalties for streaming during the free trial period. He said Apple will share 71.5 percent of its revenue from paid subscriptions within the United States and 73 percent from subscriptions outside the country, while other streaming services generally share about 70 percent.

Some artists and independent labels had worried they would miss out on opportunities to get a financial return from new music that is released during the three-month trial. Swift said she spoke out on their behalf.

Swift wasn’t immediately available for comment on Apple’s change of heart. But she posted a reaction on Twitter late Sunday, saying “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”

Cue wouldn’t comment on whether she will now make her album “1989” available on Apple Music. But he said he spoke with Swift personally on Sunday. “She was very pleased to see that we would give her a call right away and have a discussion,” he said.

Since Apple began selling digital music through its iTunes store in 2001, he added, “We’ve always loved music and have strived to make sure that artists are getting paid for their work.”

Swift had written in her letter that she found Apple’s original stance to be “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”

While praising Apple for developing a paid music service that will compensate artists, she added, “We know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period.”

The singer and songwriter has been outspoken on the issue of compensating musicians for streaming music. Last year, Swift pulled her catalog of recordings from Spotify after complaining about its use of her music on the free, ad-supported version of its service.


Review: Kacey Musgraves Outgrows the Trailer Park on ‘Pageant Material’ | SPIN

SPIN Review of Kacey Musgrave’s latest album – Pageant Material. Get yourself a copy today!

The real world is hard, and Kacey Musgraves knows it. She knew it on her shit-talking debut, Same Trailer, Different Park, with such auspicious introductions as “Merry Go ‘Round” (which slagged off accepted small-town life cycles in lines like “We get bored so we get married”) and the game-changing “Follow Your Arrow” (the first LGBT-friendly CMA winner for Song of the Year). She knew it on last fall’s soundtrack one-off, “Love Is a Liar,” which continued to slash away at traditionalist conceptions of modern romance (Sample lyric: “Makes you think you’re on a high / When you’re really just on a high wire”).


She knows it too on Pageant Material, her understated sophomore masterpiece. Here, Musgraves draws on her small-town past while broadening her horizons ever so slightly. Countless non-country fans look to her as their exception to the genre, but with each album, the 26-year-old slowly, precisely rips that pigeonhole into little pieces.

There’s nothing not country about every step she takes; what separates and sends Musgraves soaring higher than her peers is her writing — the storytelling on Pageant Material could fill a memoir, secondary sources and all. The Grammy winner and her regular lyricist partners — Brandy Clark, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne — are the Inside Out of music, precisely capturing the microcosmic sensations that steer our every waking move with no frills. “Ain’t gotta be alone to feel lonely,” she muses on “High Time,” a stoner jangler filled with the sort of revelations no mind-altering substance could capture as well as Kacey does. She gives a voice to those trapped inside their own minds, offering advice like “nobody’s everybody’s favorite” half-flippantly on “Cup of Tea.”

“Late to the Party” treats its verses like little spikes of Musgraves’ nerves before unfolding a chorus that holds the mirror up to her own misgivings: “Who needs a crowd / When you’re happy at a party for two,” she sighs happily in one moment of unvarnished affection, repackaging “Que Sera, Sera” for millennials.

Other times, the singer-songwriter uses her honey-smothered drawl to subvert her own rollicking melodies. “Pouring salt in my sugar won’t make yours any sweeter / Pissing in my yard ain’t gonna make yours any greener,” she finger-wags on “Biscuits,” the album’s perkiest outlier. “Good Ol’ Boys Club” gets more pointed: “When did it become / About who you know / And now about how good you are?” she asks in the most obviously rhetorical question since “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?” arranged as a tambourine-rattling kiss-off.

The album’s title track lays out a tricky dichotomy: the former Nashville Star contestant accepts that she doesn’t mesh with glitz-and-glamour popularity contests, but she also struggles to escape that conditioning entirely. “When I’m performing, I just love for the look and the world that we’re in to be this kitschy, very Western, almost tongue-in-cheek, very colorful style,” she told Cosmopolitan earlier this year. The divide is a thin one, but Musgraves toes it well. “Don’t you forget it / As big as we’re getting / This town’s too small to be mean,” she warns later on “This Town,” before unfurling her ancestral tree full of pushpins and Post-Its of dirt on each generation, connecting a web of interpersonal gossip on “Family Is Family.”

But Musgraves produces her finest songs when she squints into the sun and wonders about the future. “Dime Store Cowgirl” plants roots in humble beginnings — “You can take me out of the country / But you can’t take the country out of me,” she sings — while its banjo-plunking melody suggests an alternate route out of dodge. “Die Fun” turns a shoulder on aging, just carefree Kacey and her guitar stargazing in the backyard. “We don’t even have to come back,” she says, knowing full well she will — family is family, jagged edges and all.

Musgraves reserves her sharpest dagger for last: Album closer “Fine” is one of this century’s most brilliantly rendered takes on masking one’s own heartbreak for public consumption, following in the unconvincingly self-assuring footsteps of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” and John Waite’s “Missing You.” “Baby I wait… Just like I always do,” she sings, trailing off, dragging a finger across her empty king bed. There’s a pause — not to be mistaken for a conclusion — followed by a breath, dimmed lights, beachy guitars, and all of a sudden, Willie Nelson’s uncredited vocals. “Are you sure / That this is where / You want to be?” he croons, gruff and stoic as the melody slows and drowns itself in wine.Much like Same Trailer, Different Park’s melancholic standout “It Is What It Is,” “Fine” proves that bouncing back’s not easy, but acceptance comes in due time.

At its core, Pageant Material is about how you never quite escape small-town struggles with family, neighbors and old flames, even after your big break. Last time out she sang “If I can’t bring you to my house / I’ll bring my house to you.” On her excellent second album, she brings us the whole block.


Tune in tonight for the CMT Awards!

I’m here at the CMT Awards working hard…or hardly working 🙂 Be sure to tune in tonight 8/7c on CMT. Red Carpet begins on CMT at 7/6c.


CMT kicks off the summer with the 2015 CMT Music Awards live in Nashville on Wednesday, June 10, with Erin Andrews and Brittany Snow hosting. Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Jake Owen, Sam Hunt and Zac Brown Band are scheduled to perform.

Nominees for the 2015 CMT Awards…

Video of the Year
Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Darius Rucker, “Homegrown Honey”
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

Male Video of the Year
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Eric Church, “Talladega”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Keith Urban, “Somewhere in My Car”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”

Female Video of the Year
Carrie Underwood, “Little Toy Guns”
Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Lee Ann Womack, “The Way I’m Livin’”
Miranda Lambert, “Little Red Wagon”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Reba, “Going Out Like That”

Group Video of the Year
A Thousand Horses, “Smoke”
Eli Young Band, “Dust”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Little Big Town, “Day Drinking”
The Band Perry, “Chainsaw”
Zac Brown Band, “All Alright”

Duo Video of the Year
Big & Rich, “Look at You”
Brothers Osborne, “Rum”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Florida Georgia Line, “Sun Daze”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
The Swon Brothers, “Later On”

Collaborative Video of the Year
Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”
Brantley Gilbert featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, “Small Town Throwdown”
Jennifer Nettles featuring Brandy Clark, “His Hands”
Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, “Wild Child”
Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”
Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”

CMT Performance of the Year
Bob Seger and Jason Aldean, “Turn the Page” from CMT Crossroads
Brett Eldredge, “Beat of the Music” from CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack, “You & I (Nobody in the World)” from CMT Crossroads
Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, “Roar” from CMT Crossroads
Keith Urban, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” from 2014 CMT Artists of the Year
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids” from Instant Jam
Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc, “Wake Me Up” from CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party
Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton, “Drink a Beer” from 2014 CMT Artists of the Year

Breakthrough Video of the Year
Chase Rice, “Gonna Wanna Tonight”
Frankie Ballard, “Sunshine & Whiskey”
Kelsea Ballerini, “Love Me Like You Mean It”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”