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Lightning storm curtails Lady Gaga concert

A lightning storm brought an early end to the closing show of Lady Gaga’s The Chromatica Ball world tour.

Gaga was nearing the end of her performance at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in Florida on 17 September when the adverse weather forced her to halt proceedings.

The BBC reports the star had about six songs left in her set when she announced the cancellation to the 65,000-strong crowd, saying: “I don’t want to put your life in danger.”

She later told fans on Instagram: “I’m sorry I couldn’t finish the show, it was too dangerous the lightning was being unpredictable and changing moment by moment.

“This was the greatest tour of my life and I will cherish this moment forever”

“Thank you for believing in me,” she added. “This was the greatest tour of my life and I will cherish this moment forever – it took a long time for me to heal, but I did.”

The Live Nation-promoted summer stadium tour kicked off earlier this summer with a sold-out show in Düsseldorf, Germany and went on to make stops in Stockholm, Paris, Arnhem, London, Toronto, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, Hershey, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Houston.

Last month’s tour date at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania smashed the record for the highest-grossing show in the venue’s history, previously set by the Rolling Stones in 2005. Her 19 August show at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts broke the venue’s record for the highest single show, with over 37,200 fans in attendance.

“The show is incredible and everyone was blown away”

More than 280,000 tickets were sold for the six-date European leg earlier this summer, which wrapped up in late July with two sold-out shows at Tottenham Hotspur stadium (cap. 62,850) in London.

Solo’s John Giddings, who worked as the European tour coordinator for Live Nation, told IQ at the time: “The show is incredible and everyone was blown away. She’s proved herself to be a world-class superstar and this is her coming of age.

“Selling 280,000 tickets is fantastic. After the pandemic, you’re a) worried about selling tickets and b) worried that the people who have bought tickets either won’t come or will ask for a refund because they’ve got Covid. So it was a fantastic success to have all these people turn up.”

 


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Giddings on Lady Gaga’s seminal stadium run

John Giddings has told IQ how the European leg of Lady Gaga’s rescheduled worldwide stadium tour triumphed over prevailing issues.

More than 280,000 tickets sold for the six-date leg of The Chromatica Ball, which wrapped last weekend with two sold-out shows at Tottenham Hotspur stadium (cap. 62,850) in London.

The Live Nation-promoted tour, which also visited stadiums in Germany, Sweden, France and the Netherlands, marked the first-ever public live performances of Gaga’s #1 selling and Grammy-award-winning album Chromatica (2020).

“The show is incredible and everyone was blown away,” says Giddings, who worked as the European tour coordinator for Live Nation. “She’s proved herself to be a world-class superstar and this is her coming of age.

“Selling 280,000 tickets is fantastic,” he continues. “After the pandemic, you’re a) worried about selling tickets and b) worried that the people who have bought tickets either won’t come or will ask for a refund because they’ve got Covid. So it was a fantastic success to have all these people turn up.”

While Gaga’s packed venues bucked the no-show trend that some tours are still experiencing, the Solo boss says the European leg faced some of the same challenges, from staff shortages to illnesses to production costs.

“The problems of touring are two or three times worse than they were before the pandemic”

“First of all, you’ve got Brexit, so you have to import and export to each country,” he explains. “Then there’s the pandemic to go with it because – remember – countries like Germany are still a bit behind and you have to wear masks on planes and things like that.”

Countering the ongoing prevalence of Covid-19, the tour required crew to take a test and put on a mask before going backstage. “It was like the old days in the UK when you couldn’t walk down the road without taking a test first,” he says.

Add in the rising cost of fuel (which Giddings says costs at least a third more than it did pre-pandemic) and uncertainty around cancelled planes and trains, and The Chromatica Ball became a triumph over adversity.

The outcome, Giddings says, was an “incredibly successful tour” which garnered glowing reviews across the board. VICE said Gaga’s London show was “a once-in-a-lifetime artist playing a once-in-a-lifetime show” while NME hailed it “a thrilling, high-concept return from pop’s finest” and Evening Standard says it was “as perfect as a performance gets”.

The tour even broke some personal records for Gaga, who performed for her largest audience to date – 78,500 attendees – at Paris’ Stade de France.

But it was the shows at Tottenham Hotspur stadium that proved to be the standout dates for the Isle of Wight boss. “I have to give a gold star to Tottenham Hotspur stadium because it was fantastic and they really looked after us well,” says Giddings. “There was brilliant sound and the production looked incredible in there. The way it was built is perfect for a show.”

The Chromatica Ball tour continues across North America and Asia for 14 more shows with stadium stops in Canada, the US and Japan.

 


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Lady Gaga extends worldwide stadium tour

Lady Gaga has extended her previously announced summer 2022 stadium tour, spanning 14 cities worldwide.

The Chromatica Ball, presented by Live Nation, kicks off on 17 July in Dusseldorf and closes on 10 September in California.

In addition to cities announced before the pandemic, the blockbuster tour adds eight new markets to the schedule.

The CAA-repped act is due in Stockholm, Düsseldorf, Paris, Arnhem, London, Toronto, Washington, New York, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In addition to cities announced before the pandemic, the blockbuster tour adds eight new markets to the schedule

The 15-date run includes two shows – the second newly added – at the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

The tour will mark her first-ever public live performances from the #1 selling and Grammy-winning 2020 album Chromatica.

The Chromatica Ball will follow Gaga’s recently announced Las Vegas residency this spring.

See all dates for The Chromatica Ball below.

7/17 Düsseldorf. DE Merkur Spiel- Arena
7/21 Stockholm. SW Friends Arena
7/24 Paris, FR Stade de France
7/26 Arnhem, NL GelreDome
7/29 London, UK Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
7/30 London, UK Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
8/06 Toronto, ON Rogers Centre
8/08 Washington, DC Nationals Park
8/11 East Rutherford, NJ Metlife Stadium
8/15 Chicago, IL Wrigley Field
8/19 Boston, MA Fenway Park
8/23 Dallas, TX Globe Life Field
8/26 Atlanta, GA Truist Park
9/8 San Francisco, CA Oracle Park
9/10 Los Angeles, CA Dodger Stadium

 


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Lady Gaga announces new Las Vegas residency

Grammy-award winning artist Lady Gaga will return to Dolby Live at Park MGM for a new Las Vegas residency this spring.

Presented by MGM Resorts International and Live Nation, Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano will comprise nine dates starting from 14 April at the 5,200-capacity venue.

The show will see Gaga perform stripped-down versions of her hits alongside music from the Great American Songbook.

The 2022 stint will be Gaga’s second at Dolby Live after her 2018/2019 residency debut which comprised two shows: Lady Gaga Enigma and Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano.

Taking place in between Gaga’s Thursday, Saturday and Sunday shows at Dolby Live will be An Evening with Silk Sonic.

Silk Sonic – which comprises Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak – will deliver their first-ever residency on various nights between 25 February and 29 May.

The show will see Gaga perform stripped-down versions of her hits alongside music from the Great American Songbook

Elsewhere in Vegas, country star Keith Urban is picking up five of Adele’s dates at the Colosseum (cap. 4,300), Caesar’s Palace, following the postponement of her residency.

The five new dates, between 25 March and 2 April, will be in addition to Urban’s previously announced Colosseum gigs between 27–29 May.

Adele last month announced that she would be postponing her entire residency because the show “isn’t ready”.

The announcement came just 24 hours before her Live Nation-promoted residency, Weekends With Adele, was due to kick off.

The star, who is represented by Lucy Dickins and Kirk Sommer at WME, was due to perform two shows every weekend at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum theatre (cap. 4,300) from 21 January until mid-April.

Also due to deliver residencies at the Colosseum this year are Van Morrison, Sting and Rod Stewart.

 


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Live music community rallies for Covid-19 relief

High-profile acts from around the world are taking part in a number of upcoming virtual events to raise money and awareness for Covid-19 relief funds, as the live music community continues to pull its weight in the fight against the disease.

Virtual benefit events have been a feature of lockdown from the very beginning, with the Lady Gaga-curated, Global Citizen-organised One World: Together at Home an early pioneer of the space. The mammoth livestreamed benefit event raised almost US$128 million for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 solidarity response fund, setting a new a record for the most money generated by a remote music festival.

Now Global Citizen is teaming up with the European Commission for Global Goal: Unite for our Future, a campaign seeking to raise funds for the development and distribution of Covid-19 testing, treatments and vaccines.

On 27 June, high-profile artists including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Coldplay and J Balvin will join philanthropists and world leaders in an international pledging summit to call on governments to commit to the funding needed to ensure fair access to Covid-19 treatment.

Music industry giants including Live Nation, Scooter Braun and SB Projects, Adam Leber (Maverick), Jay Brown (Roc Nation) and Michele Anthony (Universal Music Group) are involved in producing the event.

Exclusive experiences, including a virtual happy hour with Adam Lambert and virtual concerts from Chloe X Halle and Fher Olvera, lead singer of Mexican rock band Maná, also form part of the campaign.

Global Citizen is teaming up with the European Commission for Global Goal: Unite for our Future

Independent LA-based electronic music companies Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity yesterday (28 May) announced the second edition of their Digital Mirage festival, set to take place from 5 to 7 June.

The first outing of the event, which saw performances from Alsion Wonderland, Tokimonsta and Sofi Tukker, raised over $300,000 for the Sweet Musicians Relief Fund. Digital Mirage 2 will feature acts including A Trak, Baauer, Boys Noize and Hot Chip, with all proceeds going to Plus1’s fund for Covid-19 relief.

Fans can register for the event here.

Eschewing the virtual world for the real thing, French DJ David Guetta is set to make his second rooftop performance in New York on Saturday, following on from a similarly distanced performance in Miami last month. The Miami show raised $750,000 for Feeding South Florida, Feeding America, World Health Organisation and Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris.

The New York concert will raise money for the Mayor’s fund to advance New York city, as well as the international organisations that benefited from Guetta’s first show.

Elsewhere in the US, acts including Pearl Jam, Macklemore and Dave Matthews are participating in the virtual All in WA event on 10 June to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts across Washington state. The concert, which will air on the local NBC affiliates, can be streamed on Amazon’s Twitch channel, and will be available on Amazon Prime after it airs.

Photo: Photo © Raph_PH on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 


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More high-profile acts join Lady Gaga-curated benefit gig

A host of new artists have joined the line-up for One World: Together at Home, a livestreamed benefit concert co-curated by Lady Gaga in celebration of health workers and in support of the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund.

Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Christine and the Queens, the Killers, Sam Smith, Alicia Keys, Usher and Celine Dion join previously announced acts Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Lizzo, John Legend, Paul McCartney, J Balvin and many more for the mega charity concert, which is taking place on Saturday 18 April from 8 p.m. (EDT).

First announcing the event last week, Gaga revealed she had helped to raise $35 million for the WHO fund, which is dedicated to funding protective equipment for health workers and efforts to find a Covid-19 vaccine.

On Monday, the singer called on world leaders including Canada’s Justin Trudeau, France’s Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to contribute funds to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, organisations seeking to find a vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

As part as the One World: Together at Home initiative, Global Citizen, the social action platform that has partnered with the WHO to produce the event, is calling on individuals, philanthropists, investors and business to support global health efforts.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make One World: Together At Home a moment of global unity”

“We are grateful to the private sector who have listened to the public’s call for action and come together to support the global response to Covid-19,” says Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “This pandemic is too large for governments to tackle alone.

“We are also incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make One World: Together At Home a moment of global unity,” continues Evans. “Our hope for the special is that everyone will come away believing that we, as a shared humanity, can emerge from this moment forever grateful for the work of doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers, and all those who are the backbone of our communities.”

One World: Together at Home, which will be hosted by US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, will be broadcast live across US television networks ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as being streamed online.

Internationally, the UK’s BBC One will show an adapted version of the concert the following day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (BST), including exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with frontline health workers. Additional international broadcasters include AXS TV, beIN Media Group, IMDb, MultiChoice Group, and RTE.

There will also be a globally curated digital show beginning at 2 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. GMT. Streaming partners include Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo, and YouTube.

Photo: proacguy1/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Grammy performances yield 480% sales gain for artists

Songs performed at Saturday’s 61st Grammy Awards by Lady Gaga, Kacey Musgraves, Bradi Carlile, H.E.R. and others, collectively contributed to a 480% increase in digital download sales, according to Nielsen Music.

The songs performed at the awards ceremony, including H.E.R.’s ‘Hard Place’ (up 102,000%), Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Rainbow’ (up 9,430%), Brandi Carlile’s ‘The Joke’ (up 2,771%) and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s ‘Shallow’ (up 229%), collectively sold 71,000 downloads on the day of the show, 12,000 more than on the day before the awards.

‘Shallow’, winner of best pop duo/ group performance, was the biggest seller of all Grammy-performed songs, selling 14,000 downloads on the day of the awards. The song lost out to Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ in the record of the year category, a win predicted by artificial intelligence platform, DataRobot.

Musgraves’ Golden Hour, winner of album of the year and best country album at the Grammys, also saw a vast increase in sales, selling over 3,000 copies on Saturday, up from less than 1,000.

Songs performed at the awards ceremony collectively sold 71,000 downloads on the day of the show, 12,000 more than the day before

Songs featuring in a Dolly Parton tribute performed by Musgraves, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Parton herself, among others, also registered sales increases. The original Parton versions of the five songs performed in the medley sold 6,000 downloads collectively, up 718% in comparison to the previous day’s 1,000 downloads.

The sum includes Parton’s renditions of ‘Here You Come Again’, ‘Jolene’, ‘Red Shoes’ and ‘9 to 5’, along with her version of Neil Young’s ‘After the Gold Rush’.

This year’s Grammy Awards, held at Staples Center in Los Angeles, saw other notable performances from awards host Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, and St Vincent and Dua Lipa, winner of best new artist.

See the full list of winners at the Recording Academy website.

 


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Ex-Spotify exec Troy Carter signs with UTA

United Talent Agency (UTA) has announced the signing of music industry veteran Troy Carter. The leading global talent company will focus on supporting Carter in the development of projects in areas including film, television and theatre.

Carter joins UTA following a two year stint as global head of creator services at Spotify. He continues to work with the music streaming giant in an advisory capacity, after stepping down in September.

In 2007, Carter founded talent management company Atom Factory, having previously working for the record label, Bad Boy Entertainment, and talent agency, Erving Wonder. As a manager, Carter handled globally renowned acts including Lady Gaga, John Legend, Eve and Nelly.

Carter received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special,” for his work on HBO’s Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. He currently has projects in development at Netflix, Universal Pictures and Apple.

A successful entrepreneur, Carter has over 80 holdings in companies including Uber, Spotify, Dropbox, Lyft, Slack and Gimlet Media.

“Carter’s unique vision for the future will touch every area of UTA and we look forward to exploring new avenues of business with him”

“Troy Carter has achieved success in everything he’s done,” says UTA chief executive, Jeremy Zimmer. “He’s not only one of today’s most innovative, self-made leaders in music and tech, he’s broken ground as a creator, an executive and investor.”

“His unique vision for the future will touch every area of UTA and we look forward to exploring new avenues of business with him.”

Carter comments that UTA “is becoming a creative hub at the intersection of music and art culture.”

“Jeremy Zimmer and his team are passionate, hungry and have shown exemplary taste when presenting me with projects. I look forward to working with them on this next chapter and bringing inspiring stories to the world,” he says.

The announcement follows yesterday’s acquisition of influencer agency Digital Brand Architects, as UTA expands its range and diversity of talent.

 


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R. Kelly concert permit denied amid “security concerns”

Illinois State has rejected plans for a spring break concert that would have been headlined by R. Kelly. The organisers of Spring Break Jam planned to hold the concert at Illinois State Fairgrounds in April, but officials have denied the application, citing security issues.

Controversial R&B star R. Kelly was to host the proposed event on 6 April in Springfield, Illinois. The line-up also included Yella Beezy, Young Lloyd and Dre Madison. Tickets for the event cost between US$75 and $150, according to previously released promotional material. Such material, including the event page on Eventbrite, has since been taken down.

“Unfortunately, we cannot control when organisers start promoting an event – there was never a signed agreement to host the event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, only an application,” says Denise Albert, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), reports the Chicago Tribune.

R. Kelly has faced allegations of sexual abuse throughout his career. Criticism of the artist has spiked following the airing of the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly earlier this month. The documentary exposed detailed accounts of the singer’s alleged physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women, as well as claims that he ran an “abusive cult”.

“We cannot control when organisers start promoting an event – there was never a signed agreement to host the event”

The documentary has prompted many industry figures to denounce R. Kelly. Lady Gaga has since removed her duet with the artist from streaming services, apologising for having collaborated with the singer.

The IDOA claims that the cancellation is down to security concerns spurred by protests against the artist, and not in direct response to the documentary. The proposed event failed to meet the following criteria:

The IDOA have stated that they could reconsider and approve the concert, but only in the event that R. Kelly will not appear on the bill.

 


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Gaga’s Vegas residency is the Strip’s hottest ticket

It might not have started yet, but Lady Gaga’s upcoming Las Vegas residency, Enigma, is already the hottest ticket in Sin City.

Enigma, the star’s first-ever concert residency, kicks off on 28 December 2018 at the 5,200-capacity Park Theatre, at the Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. Announced in August, it is produced and promoted by Live Nation and comprises two distinct shows: Lady Gaga Enigma, showcasing Gaga’s pop hits, and Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano, featuring stripped-back versions of her songs and music from the Great American Songbook.

The show will run for a minimum of two years, with 28 dates announced so far.

Gaga is pulling in more sales for a single performance than all scheduled shows of Spears

According to Ticket Club data, the show is dominating its competition, with sale grosses outstripping Celine Dion’s eight-year residency, which closes in June 2019, and Britney Spears’s Domination show, with Gaga “pulling in more sales for a single performance than all scheduled shows of Spears”, according to the US resale site.

While Lady Gaga is currently riding high on the success of the film A Star is Born – for which she is tipped for an Oscar nomination alongside co-star Bradley Cooper – the show’s sales success is skewed by its high ticket price, with tickets for the 28–31 December shows selling for an average of US$535 on the secondary market, compared to around $330 for Spears, $277 for Dion.

Tickets for Gwen Stefani’s residency at Planet Hollywood, meanwhile, are selling for $248 apiece, with Mariah Carey’s the Butterfly Returns show pulling in $160 per ticket.

 


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