American Idol, the reality show that helped define music television for the 21st century, will end its run in 2016, after its 15th season. The show’s ratings have been in decline for the past several years. Among the careers launched by American Idol are those of Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Carrie Underwood. (New York Times)
A Dolly Parton biopic called Coat of Many Colors is in production for NBC. The movie, inspired by Parton’s autobiographical 1971 song of the same name, is the first in a planned series of NBC movies based on Parton’s music and writing. (Rolling Stone)
The music world is mourning two notables: Johnny Gimble, a fiddler who played for country greats including Merle Haggard, George Strait, and Willie Nelson, has died at 88; and folksinger Guy Carawan, whose performances of “We Shall Overcome” helped to make the song a signature anthem of the Civil Rights Movement, has died at 87. (Billboard)
For some reason, Thom Yorke appears on the cover of an Iranian book about sex and relationships: Marital and Sexual Problems in Men. (Buzzfeed) Do we have enough Persian speakers in our audience to make this the next pick in The Current’s Rock and Roll Book Club?
— Sobhan Hassanvand (@Hassanvand) May 11, 2015
A good Samaritan of sorts took it upon himself to perform some late-night repairs on U2‘s fallen Joshua tree. (Consequence of Sound) Read more about the tree’s history and recent vandalism, on our Local Current blog.
Warner Music Group has become the first major label to announce that it’s had a financial quarter during which revenue from streaming eclipsed revenue from downloads. (Billboard)
Courtney Barnett has a new animated video for “Dead Fox.” The video’s directors said they thought it would be funny to have the animals in the video look “as cynical as possible.” (Pitchfork) See Barnett perform this summer at Rock the Garden.
The 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on HBO on May 30. (Rolling Stone) Watch a new trailer:
The success of Fox’s Empire has raised the visibility of two new hip-hop-oriented shows. VH1’s The Breaks is a TV movie that will debut this fall and may lead to a series about the history of hip-hop; BET’s The Label is a documentary series about urban labels like Def Jam and Bad Boy. (Billboard)
Beyoncé and Jay Z have purchased a 13,000-foot New Orleans house that was formerly a church. New Orleans is home to Beyoncé’s sister Solange and her family. (Entertainment Tonight)