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Growing number of artists contract coronavirus

Updated 8/4/20: US folk and country singer John Prine has passed away due to complications from Covid-19, aged 73. Garnering praise from the likes of Johnny Cash and Roger Waters over the years, artists including Bruce Sprinsteen, Ron Sexsmith and Bonnie Raitt are among those to have paid tribute to the late singer.


As cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, continue to mount around the world, members of the live music community are among those falling ill.

Pink, whose Beautiful Trauma tour was the highest grossing of 2019, raking in $215.2 million, is among artists to have contracted coronavirus. The singer, who has now recovered, is donating $1m to support health care workers in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Other artists to have contracted the virus include English singer Marianne Faithfull, who is being treated in hospital, US singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, actor and DJ Idris Elba, producer Andrew Watt, rapper Slim Thug, rock artist Jackson Browne and Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo.

‘Love Song’ singer Sara Bareilles recently revealed she had been ill with the virus, but is now fully recovered.

Tragically, the live music world has lost a number of great talents to coronavirus in recent weeks. Artists to have passed away from Covid-19 include Fountains of Wayne bassist and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, who died on 1 April, aged 52. Schlesinger’s achievements include co-writing Fountains of Wayne hits including ‘Stacy’s Mom’ and his soundtrack work on Crazy Ex Girlfriend, A Colbert Christmas and That Thing You Do!.

Tragically, the live music world has lost a number of great talents to coronavirus in recent weeks

US country music singer Joe Diffie, passed away on 29 March, aged 61, known for hits including ‘Bigger Than the Beatles’ and ‘John Deere Green’. Tributes have been paid to the late Diffie by country stars including Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley and Travis Tritt.

Singer and songwriter Alan Merrill, best remembered for co-writing the original ‘I Love Rock’n’Roll’, died over the weekend from Covid-19, aged 69. Artists including Meat Loaf and Joan Jett have paid tribute to the singer on social media.

The world of jazz has also lost some greats to coronavirus in recent days. Trumpeter Wallace Roney passed away on 31 March, aged 59. The Grammy-winning trumpeter played with the likes of Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman.

Jazz pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis Jr lost his life on 1 April, aged 85, due to complications caused by coronavirus. Four of Marsalis’ six sons are also prominent musicians, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

African jazz great Manu Dibango died on 24 March, from coronavirus, aged 86. The Cameroon-born saxophonist gained international fame with his 1972 song ‘Soul Makossa’.


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Marty Diamond honoured in New York ceremony

Paradigm Talent Agency’s head of global music, Marty Diamond, is to be honoured in an upcoming awards ceremony for his “longstanding support” of the live music industry.

Diamond, who became Paradigm’s global music head in April, will receive the SummerStage Icon award at the City Parks Foundation’s (CPF) 2019 gala fundraiser on 26 September.

“I’m one of many who directly benefit from City Parks Foundation and their ongoing effort to enhance and preserve the city’s open spaces,” says Diamond, whose roster includes Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Sara Bareilles, Janelle Monáe, Liam Gallagher, Snowpatrol and Sigur Rós.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by an organisation committed to inspiring the next generation of creatives by bringing music and arts to their own backyard.”

“Few experiences match watching a great concert outdoors with friends”

Sara Bareilles, David Gray and Janell Monáe will all perform live at the gala, which also honours ING Americas chief executive Gerald Walker.

“This is a very special gala for us, and we look forward to celebrating our 30th birthday, while also honouring two outstanding partners for their long-standing support for our free programmes in neighborhood parks,” says Heather Lubov, executive director of CPF.

“Few experiences match watching a great concert outdoors with friends, so our gala, which features three incredible artists performing in our new Central Park venue, will be especially meaningful.”

CPF is the largest presenter of free arts and cultural programmes in New York city parks and runs the outdoor concert series SummerStage. Taylor Swift performed a free show at SummerStage yesterday (22 August).

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