Music Streaming Service Spotify Goes Public On The New York Stock Exchange
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Spotify Testing Feature That Allows Users To Mute Certain Artists

The “don’t play this artist” option is set to appear on the new IOS update.

Spotify users will be able to mute certain artists, for their listening pleasure. The streaming company introduced a “don’t play this artist feature” as apart of a new IOS app update, according to Thurrott, which got its hands on an early version of the feature.

The block button allows listeners to banish specific artists from their personal music libraries, and stops them from popping up in automatically curated playlists, and other pages on the music streaming app. In order to utilize the mute feature, users clicks on the menu above an artists’s page and selects the “don’t play” option. The feature doesn’t work for songs that the artist may be featured on, the Verge reports.

The update could be a middle ground for Spotify as it faces increased pressure in wake of the #MuteRKelly movement, and Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly  documentary. A Change.org petition calling for Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to remove R. Kelly’s music from its services is close to garnering 150,000 signatures.

Last year, Spotify briefly removed Kelly, XXXTentacion and T-Kay (a Texas rapper convicted of murder) from featured playlists due to the company's hateful conduct policy. “We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values,” the company explained in statement to Billboard last May. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."

Spotify abandoned the plan after pushback from fans of the artists singled out, and industry heavyweights like Top Dawg Entertainment founder Anthony Tiffith, whose label imprint is home to Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolBoy Q and more.

Tiffith reached out to Troy Carter, Spotify’s global head of creator services, and threatened to remove his artists’ music from the streaming service. “I don't think it's right for artists to be censored, especially in our culture,” Tiffith told Billboard. “How did they just pick those [artists] out? How come they didn't pick out any others from any other genres or any other different cultures? There [are] so many other artists that have different things going on, and they could've picked anybody. But it seems to me that they're constantly picking on hip-hop culture."

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Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Postponed Over “Unique Challenges”

Amy Winehouse's hologram tour is officially postponed, BASE Hologram, the company behind the digital production, announced via Twitter Tuesday (Feb. 19).

“In developing the type of highly ambitious, state of the art hologram/augmented reality theatrical event that would truly capture her genius and incredible artistic and social contributions, we encountered some unique challenges and sensitivities,” the company revealed.

The tour, originally scheduled to launch sometime this year, is delayed until BASE can “determine the best path to a creatively spectacular production that would properly honor Amy’s legacy.”

Mitch Winehouse, the “Back to Black” singer's father, announced the tour last fall, which was expected to feature a live band backing a digital projection of Winehouse.

Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning in 2011, following a very public battle with addiction that ultimately cut her life short. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation, an organization that works to prevent “the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people.”

Read BASE Hologram’s full statement on the tour delay below.

pic.twitter.com/9RtqQVeDzU

— BASE Hologram (@BASEHologram) February 20, 2019

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Beyonce And Travis Scott Are Reportedly Working On Music Together

Who would have imagined Beyonce and Travis Scott would be embarking on new music together? According to Tone Stith, talks of a collaboration between the two artists were buzzing for L.A. songwriters.

Speaking to VIBE for our Views From The Studio series, the 20-year-old shared how his single "Good Company" with Swae Lee and Quavo was created with Beyonce and Travis Scott in mind.

"I made the track originally for Travis Scott and Beyonce because somebody told me they were looking for a song but he [Swae] heard the track and was like, "Let me do something with this."

"Good Company" was also conceived by way of a pick-up basketball game. "They just came over to the house one day. Swae Lee came over first and we were playing basketball," the singer continued. "I don't know if everybody loves basketball, it was a good ice breaker."

Nobody was aware that the "Sicko Mode" rapper was in talks of collaborating with Queen Yonce herself, but we are obviously all here for it. The Houston natives are fans of each other as Bey attended Scott's Astroworld tour last year with Jay Z.

Stream Tone Stith's "Good Company" single below.

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Beyonce Applauds Meghan Markle For Including Black Traditions At Wedding

This Black History Month, Beyonce has been honoring a number of public figures who have contributed to their communities. On Wednesday (Feb. 20), Bey penned a heartfelt tribute to Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle for her philanthropic work and for her culturally-inclusive royal wedding.

In the post, which is published on her official website, Beyonce commended Markle on her "charitable work in communities of color." "Meghan’s background as a film and tv actress has allowed her to use her platform for good," the singer wrote. "As a global ambassador for World Vision, she traveled to Rwanda to see how access to clean, safe water impacts children, an issue that is near and dear to our hearts. She also visited and supported the Myna Mahila Foundation in Mumbai, an organization that helps solve the menstruation challenges many women and girls in the community face."

The Lemonade artist also praised the Duchess for incorporating traditions from her own culture in her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. "[She] brought many Black traditions to her Royal Wedding including a Chicago-based Black pastor, an amazing gospel choir, and a young Black cellist" she continued. "At the wedding her culture was front and center, and she and Prince Harry have continued to push the race relations dialogue forward both near and far."

She concluded her note, by congratulating Markle on her pregnancy. "In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas,” Bey added. "Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy."

The tribute comes shortly after honored Markle on Instagram after winning Best International Group at the 2019 Brit Awards with husband, Jay-Z. The video showed the power couple standing in front of a reimagined image of Markle as the Mona Lisa as their single "Apesh*t" played in the background. "We wish you so much joy," Beyonce wrote in the caption of her Instapost.

Read Beyonce's full tribute here.

 

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Thank you to the Brits for the award for Best International Group. I won this award back in 2002 with my besties, Kelly and Michelle. How lucky am I to have been in a group with my other best friend, the GOAT Hova. 🙌🏾 In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Feb 20, 2019 at 2:48pm PST

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