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Roc Nation’s Lauren Valencia passes

Artists and music industry professionals have taken to social media to pay respects to late artist manager Lauren Valencia, who died following a battle with cancer.

Valencia joined Roc Nation in 2012 and worked with artists including Grimes and My Chemical Romance.

“Our hearts are heavy,” says Roc Nation chief executive Jay Brown. “We’ve lost a family member in the physical world but we know Lauren’s spirit will continue on until the end of time. She lived in love, happiness, empathy and camaraderie. The world is a better place because Lauren walked among us.”

Members of My Chemical Romance, who Valencia managed in their last years as a band, also paid tribute to their former manager.

“You were the best manager a girl could ask for”

“You were a light that kept me going when times were really hard,” writes former frontman Gerard Way. “You were there for every show, every early morning flight and lobby call. The world is dimmer today, but I will always have your light to get me through.”

The band’s former guitarist Frank Iero describes Valencia as “one of the kindest, most hardworking people”, crediting the manager as “the only reason anything got done” in the band’s last years.

Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes, who was managed by Valencia at Roc Nation, also pays her respects, saying “for the last seven years you were the best manager a girl could ask for.”


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Wizard World announces world’s first comic-con concert series

It was bound to happen sooner or later: Nerd culture, not content with conquering Hollywood (as the AV Club puts it, “even the most thick-skulled of high school jocks” can now “tell their Iron Mans from their Dr Dooms”), has turned its attention to another pillar of pop culture: live music.

Wizard World (WW), which produces comic and fan conventions across the US, has announced that future WW conventions will feature a music component.

The New Music Concert Series will launch at Wizard World Comic-Con Philadelphia on 3 June with a show by Grimes, supported by Hana, at the Electric Factory – the first time a concert has accompanied a comic convention.

“These live music events are a key component to the continued growth of our brand”

Melanie Martinez has also been confirmed as a performer for “this summer” – presumably for the following convention, in Sacramento, later in June – with more dates, performers and cities due to be announced soon.

“Wizard World Comic Con already presents the best in celebrity meet-and-greets, movies, television, science fiction and comics, and we believe that including music is the next logical progression to provide a great experience for our fans,” says Randy Malinoff, chief operating officer of Wizard World. “These live music events are a key component to the continued growth of our brand. We’re excited to present the concert series debut with Grimes, and to bring our fans the latest and best headliners and emerging musical talent nationwide.”

The Wizard World portfolio includes 20 conventions, including Chicago Comic-Con, one of the world’s largest.