ENHYPEN to Headline Inaugural We Bridge Music Festival & Expo in Las Vegas: Exclusive

K-pop fans will hit the jackpot when a new music festival comes to Las Vegas later this year.

Billboard can reveal exclusive first details for the inaugural We Bridge Music Festival and Expo, a new two-day music fest and three-day exposition celebrating Asian entertainment and culture hitting the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Billboard chart-toppers ENHYPEN are headlining the fest, marking the K-pop boy band’s latest U.S. arena performance. K-pop solo superstar Kang Daniel will join ENHYPEN, as will girl groups fromis_9, Dreamcatcher and VIVIZ, boy bands CIX and ONEUS, R&B-pop star BE’O, and more at the Vegas arena that hosted events like 2022’s Latin American Music Awards and Latin Grammy Awards.

Alongside the concerts, the GRAMMY Museum will host a stage throughout three days on the expo floor, promising special performances and Q&A panels with the festival performers open to all attendees. Each artist panel will include “hi-touch” meet-and-greets with the artists for qualifying ticket holders.

The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles has hosted conversations and live performances from a range of Asian and Asian American talent in its years of public events, featuring BTS, Steve Aoki, Tiger JK, Yoonmirae, Lang Lang, Amber Liu, Lay Zhang, ATEEZ, Woosung, ENHYPEN and more.

In a press release, We Bridge also promises to bring attendees “what is now, new, and next in Asian music, media, art, and fashion.”

The destination event comes via Infinite Prospects Entertainment, the production and management company focused on bridging Asian media with western culture in the States, with the support of MGM Resorts International.

Previously, the two companies joined forces for a coordinated, city-wide celebration for BTS’ record-setting string of sold-out shows at Allegiant Stadium last April that included pop-up shops, Bellagio Fountains performances, and Vegas’ top attractions all glowing in the band’s signature color purple.

“I’m honored to be bringing a celebration of Asian culture to Las Vegas, one of the most culturally blended cities and entertainment capitals in the world,” says Alex Kang, CEO of Infinite Prospects Entertainment. “With the rise in Asian entertainment into mainstream prominence, we wanted to bring more awareness and access to artists, talent, and brands within our community. We are excited to have K-pop at the forefront of We Bridge’s music showcase this year as the industry’s impact and popularity continue to grow. We see this as our humble beginning and have a vision of building an even bigger stage that is widely representative of all Asian talent.”

Adds Chris Baldizan, MGM Resorts’ executive vice president of entertainment: “K-pop has quickly become a global phenomenon which Las Vegas experienced first-hand last year with BTS’ incredible sold-out concerts. The We Bridge event gives us another opportunity to partner with Alex Kang and his team to deliver multicultural experiences of music, media, art and fashion to the destination.”

Meanwhile, the Grammy Museum says its involvement honors its goal to connect music genres and diverse backgrounds just like millions will see at this weekend’s upcoming Grammy Awards on Feb. 5.

“Our mission includes paying tribute to our collective musical heritage while also celebrating the dynamic connection in people’s diverse backgrounds and music’s many genres,” says Michael Sticka, president/CEO of the Grammy Museum. “We look forward to celebrating Asian entertainment and culture by bringing our renowned public programming to the We Bridge stage.”

We Bridge Music Festival and Expo comes to Las Vegas from April 21-23 with tickets and packages on sale now. More information will be announced soon, including additional talent, ticket sales and programming details. For up-to-date news, fans can follow @webridgeexpo on Twitter and Instagram, and check out webridgeexpo.com.

Day 1 – Friday, April 21
ONEUS
Dreamcatcher
CIX
Kang Daniel

Day 2 – Saturday, April 22
BE’O
ONEUS
VIVIZ
fromis_9
ENHYPEN

*Full lineup to be announced

Ozzy Osbourne Can No Longer Tour Following Spinal Injury

Ozzy Osbourne is calling time on touring due to crippling injuries which, despite several surgeries, have rendered the rocker “physically weak.”

The legendary Black Sabbath frontman, now 74, can no longer do the miles, though his singing voice is “fine.”

“This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to share with my loyal fans,” he writes on social media. “As you may all know, four years ago, this month, I had a major accident, where I damaged my spine.”

After three operations, stem cell surgeries, cutting-edge procedures and grueling therapy sessions, Ozzy admits he’s “not physically capable” of completing his upcoming European/U.K. tour dates, “as I know I couldn’t deal with the travel required.”

He continues: “Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way. My team is currently coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country.”

With his concession, Ozzy calls time on his No More Tours 2 final tour of the U.K. and Europe, which had been pushed back due to his health issues and COVID.

Though it’s the end of the road for the legendary British rocker, he hasn’t ruled out performing, so long as travel isn’t required.

“My team is currently coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country.”

Ozzy has soldiered on for years. His injury dates back to 2019, when the singer, who is also battling Parkinson’s disease, had surgery to repair an older injury he sustained during a 2003 ATV accident. A fall at home in 2019 complicated matters by dislodging metal rods surgically implanted in Ozzy’s body after the ATV accident, resulting in 15 screws being placed in his back.

Last year, he went under the knife for a vitally important procedure that wife/manager Sharon Osbourne said could determine his future.

The heavy metal icon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 as a member of Black Sabbath and into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist and as a member of the band.

Read the statement in full below.

Charles ‘Chip’ Rachlin, Pioneering Agent for Billy Joel and The Beach Boys, Dies at 73

Charles “Chip” Rachlin, the trailblazing agent for Billy Joel and the Beach Boys, died last Wednesday (Jan. 25) following a short illness. He was 73.

A rock pioneer, Rachlin, like so many others of his generation, had a life-changing experience when the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show back in February 1964. He started a band, the Gremlins. But it was in presenting and showcasing talent that he found his calling.

Born in Summit, New Jersey, Rachlin — a lifelong Yankees fan — learned the ropes as an agent working for Bill Graham at the Fillmore East, and later, as a junior agent with the Millard Agency.

Rachlin and his Fillmore friend Michael Klenfner showed their entrepreneurial chops when, in February 1971, they booked the Beach Boys to headline Carnegie Hall. It was a turning point for everyone involved, as Rachlin soon found himself representing the group, and its lead singer, the late Carl Wilson during his solo career.

Once Graham closed the Filllmore, “Millard went ‘uptown,’’” remembers Rachlin in a timeline on the Rachlin Entertainment website.

“We built an All Star Team with Danny Weiner, Tom Ross, Budd Carr and Shelly Schultz,” with a roster that swelled to include Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, America, Seals & Crofts, Loggins & Messina, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, CSN, and Eagles.

By the mid-‘70s, Rachlin was a major figure in ICM’s music department, where he repped the future Rock And Roll Hall of Famers the Beach Boys and a young Billy Joel.

“By the end of my run with ICM we were the top concert department among the major agencies,” he recounts. “It was an amazing eight years and the best training ground in the music business.”

He toured with the Rolling Stones, and rode the “fantastic rocket ship ride” that was the launch of MTV.

As styles and formats changed, Rachlin went out on his own. In the early 1990s, he launched Rachlin Entertainment, an enterprise that would become a “unique talent resource” for elite buyers such as Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas and Cunard Cruise Lines.

Among the success stories for Atlantis Paradise Island are the late David Bowie, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry. It was Rachlin who produced the All Star Tribute To Brian Wilson at Radio City Music Hall in March of 2001, headlined by Elton John, Billy Joel, Paul Simon and many more.

Tributes are pouring in for the legendary talent booker. “Thanks to Chip being my agent in the early days,” writes Billy Joel on social media, “the band and I were able to make a living as performing musicians before I became more widely known as a recording artist. I will always be grateful for his efforts on my behalf back in the day.”

Eagles manager Irving Azoff recounts Chip as “not only a pioneer in how the business operates today,” but, for over 40 years, “he remained somebody who I always wanted to hear from.” The veteran music executive adds: “He was an innovator. More importantly, on a one-to-one level, he displayed all the personal qualities that make this business great. He was not just passionate about the music and any artist he worked with but a great person. This one hurts very badly.”

“We’re so saddened to learn of Chip Rachlin’s passing,” reads a post from the Bill Graham Foundation. Chip “went on to produce an amazing array of events. Along the way, he made many friends who now mourn his loss. Our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Rachlin is survived by his wife Wendy, his sons Josh and Alex, and their extended family.

Anitta Says She Will ‘For Sure, Definitely’ End Her Singing Career in the Next 6 Years

Ahead of the Grammys this weekend, best new artist nominee Anitta is back for part two of her Billboard interview, sharing more of the backstory along with her plans for the next phase of her career.

“I really wanted this because I heard so many times that it was impossible, and I wanted to prove that it was not, someone can do this,” Anitta says of the days she spent hustling in her native Brazil to make her career happen. When she was faced with the argument that Brazilians couldn’t cross over in the States, she says she simply “could not accept it.”

She tracks her hustling days, recalling the era when she’d perform in Brazil on Friday, Saturday and Sunday then fly to the States to network during the week, before flying back to Brazil to play shows on the weekend, all while taking English lessons and doing studio sessions in English to get used to recording in the language. “It was crazy,” she says, adding that she was “so tired.”

But of course, the work paid off, with Anitta crossing over in the States, particularly upon the release of her 2022 album, Versions of Me, and its big single “Envolver.” Of this success, Anitta says fans in her home country “are super happy and very supportive of me, whenever ‘Envolver’ was starting to get really really big on the charts out of Brazil, the Brazilians, they saw it and were like, ‘If you love your nation, you’ve gotta play this song.’ … When it was No. 1 global, it was a holiday.”

Anitta also reveals that she “for sure, definitely” will end her singing career in the next five or six years, saying that she loves “change, challenges and trying news things” and is eager to develop her acting career. (She notes that she’s already been invited to appear in a number of films.)

Given her penchant for both hustle and success, money is on Anitta achieving anything she sets out to get. Watch the complete interview above, and tune in to the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS to see if Anitta wins for best new artist.

Muni Long Is Still Wrapping Her Head Around 3 Grammy Nominations: ‘Everything That’s Happening Right Now Is Surreal’

Following her three Grammy nominations, Muni Long is feeling… well, she’s not so sure yet.

“I think everything that’s happening right now is surreal,” she shared with Billboard R&B/hip-hop reporter Neena Rouhani in a new Billboard News video interview. “I definitely have a delayed reaction.”

The “Hrs & Hrs” singer is up for three Grammys, including best new artist, best R&B song and best R&B performance for her breakout hit. “Watching the Grammys nominations on YouTube, I was like ‘yes!’” she exclaimed. “I was like, ‘I wonder when it’s gonna hit me?’ And then I just burst out crying for like five minutes.”

The 34-year-old artist saw great success with her 2021 viral hit “Hrs & Hrs,” following an already robust career as a songwriter for massive singers including Rihanna, Ariana Grande and Chris Brown. “Hrs & Hrs” spent three weeks atop Billboard‘s Hot R&B Songs chart, while her latest album Public Displays of Affection: The Album peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200.

Long also set the record straight regarding the common mispronunciation of her moniker, which Olivia Rodrigo pronounced as “mooney” during the Grammys nominee announcement stream. “I tend not to correct people when they get it wrong because once they find out how you actually pronounce it, they’ll never do it again,” she told Billboard. “They mispronounced Beyoncé at first and now everyone knows who she is.”

Long expressed special excitement for her “coveted four” best new artist nomination, noting it was the one she really wanted. She says she was a little nervous, considering that everyone doesn’t consider the longtime songwriter to be new. “In this iteration of myself as Muni Long — it is a character, a persona that I’ve created, but it’s also the real me,” she said. “As a songwriter, you have to be a certain way in order to be invited back. You can’t take up too much space. I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to be liked and not really being myself.

“To be acknowledged by my peers as one of the best new presences,” she went on, “It was just like, ‘Wow.’”

Watch the full video interview with Long above.

Pamela Anderson Says ‘Pam & Tommy‘ Series Gives Her ’Nightmares‘: ’I Have No Desire to Watch It’

Netflix’s newest documentary, Pamela, a Love Story, gives its viewers a deep dive into Pamela Anderson’s life and a chance to hear her side of the story regarding the infamous sex tape that she and then husband, Tommy Lee, made days into their marriage. But according to the star, she and the Mötley Crüe drummer’s sex tape wasn’t really a sex tape at all.

“What they did is they found all the nudity they could from different Hi8 tapes, and they spliced it together,” Anderson revealed in the documentary, which was released on Monday (Jan. 31).

Related

Elsewhere in the documentary, the Baywatch star’s sons with the rocker — Dylan and Brandon Lee — talk about the existence of Hulu’s Pam & Tommy series. The series — based on a 2014 Rolling Stone article titled “Pam and Tommy: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Infamous Sex Tape” — premiered on the streaming platform in February 2022 and detailed the events surrounding the sex tape and how it went impacted Anderson and Lee’s relationship.

The actress noted in the Netflix program that the existence of Pam & Tommy “really gives me nightmares.” She added, “I have no desire to watch it. I never watched the tape, I’m never going to watch this.”

“Why bring something up from 20 years ago that you know f–ked someone up?” Dylan said in the documentary. “The worst part of her life and making a semi-comedy out of it didn’t make sense.”

Pamela, a Love Story is available to stream on Netflix. Revisit the trailer for the documentary below.

Recent Classical Highlights

This past month our reviewers not only listened to recent releases like Malcolm Arnold’s Clarinet Concerto performed by Michael Collins, but also went back to a few worthwhile things that were missed in the last couple of years including Gottfried von der Goltz and the Freiburger Barockorchester playing Mozart’s very first symphonies.

The Weeknd Tops 2023 Juno Awards Nominations: Full List

The Weeknd is the top nominee for the 2023 Juno Awards, with six nods, including artist of the year, single of the year (“Sacrifice”), album of the year (Dawn FM) and songwriter of the year.

Avril Lavigne and Tate McRae follow with five nods each. NAV, Preston Pablo, Rêve and The Reklaws each received three nods.

Related

McRae and Rêve are both set to perform on the Junos, which will be held March 13. Also set to perform on the show: Nickelback (the 2023 inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and a nominee for rock album of the year for Get Rollin’), Tenille Townes (a two-time nominee this year) and AP Dhillon.

Lavigne, The Weeknd, Lauren Spencer-Smith, Michael Bublé and Shawn Mendes are nominated for artist of the year. The Weeknd is a three-time winner in that category; Mendes has won twice; Bublé has won once.

All of those artists except Bublé are also nominated for Juno Fan Choice, a fan-voted award.

Mendes, who won three consecutive awards for single of the year from 2018-20, is nominated again in that category for “When You’re Gone.” The other nominees in that category are The Weeknd’s “Sacrifice,” Lavigne’s “Bite Me,” McRae’s “she’s all I wanna be” and Preston Pablo and Banx & Ranx’s “Flowers Need Rain.” The Weeknd is a two-time winner in the category; Lavigne has won once.

The nominees for album of the year are The Weeknd’s Dawn FM, Lavigne’s Love Sux, McRae’s i used to think I could fly, Ali Gatie’s Who Hurt You? and NAV’s Demons Protected by Angels. As with single of the year, The Weeknd is a two-time winner in this category; Lavigne has won once.

Taylor Swift has two of the five nominees for international album of the year. She is nominated for both Midnights and Red (Taylor’s Version). The other nominees in that category – the only one reserved for non-Canadian artists – are Ed Sheeran’s =, Harry StylesHarry’s House and Lil Nas X’s Montero.

The 2023 Juno Awards will be held March 13 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The ceremony had originally been scheduled for March 12, but was pushed back a day to avoid competing with the Oscars. Actor Simu Liu, star of the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is hosting for the second year in a row. Music manager Ron Sakamoto is slated to receive the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award.

Here’s the complete list of 2023 Juno Award nominations.

Juno Fan Choice

Avril Lavigne, Warner

Lauren Spencer-Smith, Island/Republic*Universal

MacKenzie Porter, Big Loud*Independent

Preston Pablo, 31 East*Universal

Rêve, 31 East*Universal

Shawn Mendes, Island*Universal

Tate McRae, RCA*Sony

The Reklaws, Starseed*Independent

The Weeknd, XO*Universal

Tyler Shaw, Sony

Artist of the year

Avril Lavigne, Warner

Lauren Spencer-Smith, Island/Republic*Universal

Michael Bublé, Warner

Shawn Mendes, Island*Universal

The Weeknd, XO*Universal

Group of the year

Arcade Fire, Columbia*Sony

Arkells, Arkells Music*Universal

Billy Talent, Warner

Metric, Thirty Tigers

The Reklaws, Starseed*Independent

Single of the year

“Bite Me,” Avril Lavigne, Warner

“Flowers Need Rain,” Preston Pablo and Banx & Ranx, 31 East*Universal

“When You’re Gone,” Shawn Mendes, Island*Universal

“she’s all i wanna be,” Tate McRae, RCA*Sony

“Sacrifice,” The Weeknd, XO*Universal

Album of the year

Who Hurt You?, Ali Gatie, Warner

Love Sux, Avril Lavigne, Warner

Demons Protected by Angels, NAV, XO*Universal

i used to think i could fly, Tate McRae, RCA*Sony

Dawn FM, The Weeknd, XO*Universal

Music video of the year

“Fraud,” Emma Higgins, director; Jessie Reyez, Island*Universal

“Unholy,” Floria Sigismondi director; Sam Smith and Kim Petras, Capitol*Universal

“Have Mercy,” Karena Evans, director; Chlöe, Parkwood*Sony

“Different Than Before,” Mayumi Yoshida, director; Amanda Sum, Independent

“Remember Me for Me,” Sterling Larose, director;  SonReal and Lily Moore, Black Box*Fontana North/Warner

International album of the year

=, Ed Sheeran, Warner

Harry’s House, Harry Styles, Columbia*Sony

Montero, Lil Nas X, Columbia*Sony

Midnights, Taylor Swift, Republic*Universal

Red (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift*Universal

Breakthrough artist of the year

Dax, Columbia*Sony

Devon Cole, Arista*Sony

Preston Pablo, 31 East*Universal

RealestK, Columbia*Sony

Rêve, 31 East*Universal

Breakthrough group of the year

Banx & Ranx, Universal

Harm & Ease, Cosmo Cat*Independent

Rare Americans, EMPIRE/Crooked City*AMPED

Tommy Lefroy, Independent*AWAL

Wild Rivers, Nettwerk*Amped

Songwriter of the year

Abel Tesfaye, publisher: XO Music Publishing/Kobalt Music Publishing

Faouzia, publisher: Faouzia Music/Kobalt Music Publishing

Tate McRae, publisher: T8 Entertainment Inc/Sony Music Publishing

Tenille Townes, publisher: Year of the Dog

TOBi, publisher: Oluwatobi Ajibolade Publishing

Jack Richardson producer of the year

Akeel Henry

Banx & Ranx

Kaytranada

Mike Wise

Murda Beatz

Recording engineer of the year

Derek Hoffman

George Seara

Gus van Go

Jason Dufour

Serban Ghenea

Pop album of the year

In the Meantime, Alessia Cara, Def Jam*Universal

Love Sux, Avril Lavigne, Warner

The Loneliest Time, Carly Rae Jepsen, 604*Warner

i used to think i could fly, Tate McRae, RCA*Sony

Dawn FM, The Weeknd, XO*Universal

Adult contemporary album of the year

Adventure Book, Francois, Klark Independent

Descendant, Jann Arden, Universal

He Sang She Sang, Marc Jordan & Amy, Sky Linus*Universal/IDLA

Higher, Michael Bublé, Warner

A Tyler Shaw Christmas, Tyler Shaw, Sony

Rock album of the year

Otherness, Alexisonfire, Dine Alone*The Orchard

Crisis Of Faith, Billy Talent, Warner

Get Rollin’, Nickelback, BMG*Warner/ADA

Outta Sight, The Sheepdogs, Warner

Explosions, Three Days Grace, RCA*Sony

Metal/hard music album of the year

Psychic Jailbreak, Cancer Bats, New Damage*The Orchard

Merciless Destruction, Get the Shot, New Damage*The Orchard

Paid In Full, Skull Fist, Atomic Fire*Fontana North/Warner

Synchro Anarchy, Voivod, Century*Sony

Thought Form Descent, Wake, Metal Blade*Sony

Adult Alternative album of the year

Born Losers, Altameda, Pheromone*Fontana North

The Garden, Basia Bulat, Secret City*F.A.B.

Being Somewhere, Dan Mangan, Arts & Crafts*Universal

Colder Streams, The Sadies, Dine Alone*The Orchard

How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars, The Weather Station, Next Door*Outside

Alternative album of the year

Blue Rev, Alvvays, Celsius Girls*Universal

Duality, Luna Li, AWAL

Sewn Back Together, OMBIIGIZI, Arts & Crafts*Universal

The Unraveling of Puptheband, PUP, Little Dipper*Universal

Tongues, Tanya Tagaq, Six Shooter*Universal

Dance recording of the year

“Afterglow,” Bob Moses and Kasablanca, Astralwerks*Universal

“Shinigami Eyes,” Grimes, Columbia*Sony

“These Nights,” Loud Luxury feat. Kiddo, Armada*Sony

“CTRL + ALT + DEL,” Rêve 31, East*Universal

“Spiral,” Rezz, RCA*Sony

Underground dance single of the year

“Debonair,” Bensley, mau5trap*Independent/AWAL

“Aye Aye,” Blond:Ish and Cameron Jack, Abracadabra*Above Board

“The Time Is (Now),” Fred Everything, Lazy Days*Prime Direct/Paradise

“I Knew Techno,” Greg Gow, Restructured*The Orchard

“Easy,” Tiga, Turbo*!K7

Electronic album of the year

Not OK, Mecha Maiko, NewRetroWave*HHV/Believe

Spectrums, Odonis, Odonis Felte*Secretly

Nightmare on Rezz Street 2 Mix, Rezz, HypnoVizion*Universal

Synthetic Season One, Rich Aucoin, We Are Busy Bodies*Redeye

Interior, Teen Daze, Independent*Believe

Contemporary R&B recording of the year

“When Flowers Bloom,” Adria Kain, ArtHaus*Warner

“If I Get Caught,” dvsn, OVO

“No Longer in the Suburbs,” Dylan Sinclair, Five Stone*The Orchard

“Yessie,” Jessie Reyez, Island*Universal

“WTF,” Savannah Ré, Universal

Traditional R&B/soul recording of the year

“Please Do Not Lean,” Daniel Caesar feat. BadBadNotGood, Republic*Universal

“Palisade,” Jon Vinyl, Vinyl Recordings*Foundation

“All I Need,” Safe, RCA*Sony

“Last One,” Savannah Ré feat. Dylan Sinclair, Universal

“How to Make Love,” Thehonestguy, Independent*Believe

Rap single of the year

“Alejandro Sosa,” 6ixbuzz and Pengz, Warner

“Been Himma,” Dom Vallie, Natalus*The Orchard

“Wrath,” Freddie Dredd, RCA*Sony

“Twin Flame,” Kaytranada and Anderson .Paak, RCA*Sony

“Wrong Decisions,” XO*Universal

Rap album/EP of the year

GONZO, Boslen, Capitol*Universal

Retrospected (Acoustic), Classified, Halflife*Universal

The Fleur Print Vol. 2, Jazz Cartier, Petal Garden*Believe

Demons Protected by Angels, NAV, XO*Universal

Shall I Continue?, TOBi, RCA

Country album of the year

Way Back, High Valley, Cage Free*The Orchard

Honkytonk Revival, Jade Eagleson, Starseed*Independent

Bronco, Orville Peck, Columbia*Sony

Masquerades, Tenille Townes, RCA*Sony

Good Ol’ Days, The Reklaws, Starseed*Independent

Reggae recording of the year

“Water,” Ammoye, Lulaword*Symphonic

“Like a Star,” Celena, Independent

“Jah Love,” Exco Levi, Independent

“In the Streets,” Kairo McLean, Soul Survival*Independent

“Reggae Party,” Kirk Diamond, Kairo McLean and Finn, Independent

Contemporary roots album of the year

O Glory, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Divine*Warner

That Was You and Me, Fortunate Ones, Sonic *Warner

Hold on to Love, Shakura S’Aida, Independent

Come Morning, The Bros. Landreth, Birthday Cake*The Orchard

House of Dreams, The East Pointers, Nettwerk*Amped

Traditional roots album of the year

Hurricane Clarice, Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, Free Dirt*AMPED/MNRK

20 printemps, Le Vent du Nord, La Compagnie du Nord*IDLA

Narrow Line, Mama’s Broke, Free Dirt*AMPED/MNRK

Tell ‘Em You Were Gold, Pharis & Jason Romero, Smithsonian Folkways*AMPED/The Orchard

The Empress, The McDades, Independent

Blues album of the year

Long River, Angelique Francis, Independent

Midnight Blues, Crystal Shawanda, True North*Universal/IDLA

Thanks for Tomorrow, Harrison Kennedy, Electro-Fi*Isotope Music/The Orchard

Preach to My Soul, Spencer Mackenzie, Gypsy Soul*Warner

Live at the King Eddy, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, Fontana North*The Orchard

Contemporary Christian/gospel album of the year

Into The Wild, Dan Bremnes, CURB | Word*New Day

Trust, Daniel Ojo, Psalmist*Independent

Jordan St. Cyr, Jordan St. Cyr, BEC*The Orchard

Only Ever Always, Love & The Outcome, CURB | Word*New Day

The Church Will Rise, Tehillah Worship, Independent*Wings

Global music album of the year

In the Footsteps of Rumi, Ghalia Benali, Constantinople, Kiya Tabassian, Glossa*Naxos

Thieves of Dreams, Lenka Lichtenberg, Sunflower*Independent

José Louis and the Paradox of Love, Pierre Kwenders, Arts & Crafts*Universal

Vox.Infold, Ruby Singh, Independent

Tradisyon, Wesli,WUP/Disques Les Nuits d’Afrique/Cumbancha*Believe

Vocal jazz album of the year

Featuring, Caity Gyorgy, La Reserve*The Orchard

Blue, Diana Panton, Independent*The SRG/ILS Group

Venez donc chez moi, Laura Anglade and Sam Kirmayer, Justin Time*F.A.B./Nettwerk

Nikki By Starlight, Nikki Yanofsky, MNRK

The Ostara Project, The Ostara Project, Cellar*The Orchard

Jazz album of the year (solo)

Joy, Ernesto Cervini, TPR*A-Train

A Little Louder Now, Lauren Falls, Independent

El Tinajon, Luis Deniz, Modica*Believe

Rumba, Rafael Zaldivar, Effendi*Propagande/Naxos

Kinds of Love, Renee Rosnes, Smoke Sessions*The Orchard

Jazz album of the year (group)

Semantics, Andrew Rathbun Quintet, SteepleChase*Stateside/The Orchard

Talk Memory, BadBadNotGood, People’s Champ*Stem

The History of Us, Carn Davidson 9, TPR*Independent

Desert Bloom, Florian Hoefner Trio, Alma*Universal

The Dragon’s Tail, Mark Kelso & the Jazz Exiles, Independent

Instrumental album of the year

Canadiana, Canadian Brass, Linus*Universal/IDLA

Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More, Esmerine, Constellation*Secretly

Iguana, Hard Rubber Orchestra, Redshift*Independent

Aubades, Jean-Michel Blais, Arts & Crafts*Universal

Lionheart, Stephan Moccio, Decca*Universal

Francophone album of the year

medium Plaisir, Ariane Roy, La maison fauve*Universal

Mercure en mai, Daniel Bélanger, Secret City*F.A.B.

Pictura De Ipse : Musique directe, Hubert Lenoir, Simone*The Orchard

Crash, Les Louanges, Bonsound*Sony/The Orchard

Chiac Disco, Lisa LeBlanc, Bonsound*Sony/The Orchard

Children’s album of the year

Nice to Meet You, Beppie, Platoon

Say Hello, Jeremy and Jazzy, Hidden Pony*Universal

I Am Love, Splash’N Boots, Independent*The Orchard

Walk off the Earth & Romeo Eats, Vol. 2, Walk off the Earth and Romeo Eats, Golden Carrot*The Orchard

Maestro Fresh Wes Presents: Julia the Great, Young Maestro and Keysha Freshh, Independent

Classical album of the year (solo artist)

Winner of the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition Warsaw 2021, Bruce Liu, Deutsche Grammophon*Universal

Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1, David Jalbert, ATMA*Universal

La Zingarella: Through Romany Songland, Isabel Bayrakdarian, AVIE*Naxos

Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, James Ehnes, Onyx*PIAS America/The Orchard

Fables, Philip Chiu, ATMA*Universal

Classical album of the year (large ensemble)

Clara – Robert – Johannes: Lyrical Echoes Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Shelley, Analekta*F.A.B./The Orchard

Handel: Messiah, HWV 56, Ensemble Caprice, Ensemble Vocal Arts-Quebec, conducted by Matthias Maute, featuring Karina Gauvin, Leaf Music*Naxos

Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen – Arvo Pärt: Symphonie No. 4, “Los Angeles,” I Musici de Montréal, conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni, ATMA*Universal

Viola Borealis, Orchestre de l’Agora, conducted by Nicolas Ellis, featuring Marina Thibeault, ATMA*Universal

Radiant Dawn: Music for Advent and Christmas, The Elora Singers, conducted by Mark Vuorinen, Independent

Classical album of the year (small ensemble)

Nagamo, Andrew Balfour and musica intima Redshift*Independent

Hemsi: Chamber Works, ARC Ensemble Chandos*Naxos/PIAS

Vagues et ombres, collectif9 Alpha*Independent

Early Italian Cello Concertos, Elinor Frey and Rosa Barocca, conducted by Claude Lapalme, Analekta*F.A.B./The Orchard

De la cour de Louis XIV à Shippagan! Chants traditionnels acadiens et airs de cour du XVIIe Siècle, Suzie LeBlanc, Marie Nadeau-Tremblay, Vincent Lauzer, and Sylvain Bergeron, ATMA*Universal

Classical composition of the year

“An Overall Augmented Sense of Well-being,” Anthony Tan, Independent

“Bestiary I & II,” Bekah Simms, Centrediscs*Naxos

“The Black Fish,” Keyan Emami, Centrediscs*Naxos

“Prayers for Ruins,” Nicole Lizée, Analekta*F.A.B./The Orchard

“Supervillain Études,” Vincent Ho, Navona*Naxos

Contemporary indigenous artist or group of the year

“Watin,” Aysanabee, Ishkōdé*Universal

“Zhawenim,” Digging Roots, Ishkōdé*Universal r&b

“Code Red,” Indian City, Rising Sun*Warner

“Beyond the Reservoir,” Julian Taylor, Howling Turtle*Warner

“The Crossing,” Susan Aglukark, Aglukark*Universal/IDLA

Traditional indigenous artist or group of the year

kâkîsimo ᑳᑮᓯᒧᐤ, Cikwes, Nehiyaw Soul*Bigstone Cree Nation

Katajjausiit, Iva & Angu, Independent

Mikwanak Kamôsakinat, Joel Wood, Independent

Ôskimacîtahowin: A New Beginning, Northern Cree, Independent

Unbreakable, The Bearhead Sisters, Independent

Comedy album of the year

Let Me Hold Your Baby, Courtney Gilmour, Comedy Records*Independent

Splash Pad, Jackie Pirico, Independent

A Person Who Is Gingerbread, Jon Dore, Howl & Roar*Independent

Here Live, Not A Cat, Matt Wright, Chillybrain

Things Black Girls SayThe Album, Zabrina Douglas, Howl & Roar*Independent

Album artwork of the year

Emy Storey (Art Director, Designer, & Photographer), Becca McFarlane and Pamela Littky (Photographer); CRYBABY – Tegan and Sara, Mom+Pop*Redeye

Ian Ilavsky (Art Director & Designer), Maciek Szczerbowski (Illustrator); Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More – Esmerine, Constellation*Secretly

Jud Haynes (Art Director & Designer); Kubasongs – Kubasonics, Independent

Kee Avil (Art Director), Lawrence Fafard (Photographer); Crease – Kee Avil, Constellation*Secretly

Lights (Art Director & Illustrator), Virgilio Tzaj (Designer), Matt Barnes (Photographer); PEP – Lights, Fueled By Ramen*Warner

Beatport Acquires Majority Stake In International Music Summit

The Beatport Group has acquired a majority stake in the International Music Summit, the electronic music and culture platform known for its flagship industry conference, IMS Ibiza, Billboard can exclusively reveal.

This partnership is intended to secure the growth of IMS, which has happened annually in Ibiza since 2007 (minus the two years it rolled out online during the pandemic) and has over the years produced additional summits in Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore and Malta.

Via this partnership, IMS has plans to again expand its global footprint, with details forthcoming. IMS will continue to operate under the direction of its co-founders, with full support from The Beatport Group. (The Beatport Group currently encompasses digital electronic music store Beatport, open format DJ community Beatsource, Loopmasters, Loopcloud and other platforms.)

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

IMS Ibiza was founded in 2007 by five partners including dance scene pioneer Pete Tong and industry exec and artist manager Ben Turner, with the intention to create a hub for conversation and progressive change within electronic dance music.

“We are very proud of what we’ve built at IMS over these past 16 years, driving the narrative and agenda of the culture forward from the genre’s spiritual home of Ibiza,” IMS’ founding partners say in a joint statement.

“Aligning with Beatport, who have been supporters of IMS from our inception,” the statement continues, “will enable us to action many of our ideas on how to continue to grow the platform all year round; to further educate and mentor the next generation; and to help focus the industry’s attention on the issues that matter. It will help increase our ability to have more impact for the genre.”

The next IMS Ibiza summit is set for April 26-28 at the island’s luxe Destino Pacha Ibiza resort. This three-day conference will again feature keynotes, seminars, performances, masterclasses, mentorship, health and wellness initiatives, parties and much more. A pillar of the conference is its annual presentation of the IMS Business Report, the annual valuation of the global electronic music industry presented in conjunction with data and analysis on myriad aspects of the business. IMS Ibiza 2023 will once again be hosted by Tong and fellow BBC Radio 1 presenter Jaguar.

“IMS has become one of the most impactful gatherings for the global DJ and dance music industries, and everyone at Beatport is excited to take this brand to the next level,” Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels says in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with Pete, Ben and the entire IMS team to broaden the IMS footprint as a major component of our plan to expand the Beatport brand around the world through community, education, and thought leadership initiatives.”