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Music News: Details emerge about Scott Weiland’s troubled final months

Scott Weiland at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

A Billboard report sheds light on the circumstances surrounding the final months of rocker Scott Weiland, who died in December in Bloomington, Minn. while on tour with his band the Wildabouts. “He definitely shouldn’t have been touring,” says one drug counselor who saw Weiland last year. The former Stone Temple Pilots frontman was reeling from health issues related to his bipolar disorder, as well as continuing addiction struggles and his parents’ cancer diagnoses. However, reports Billboard, “many trips to rehab, child-support ­payments, the expenses of addiction and two divorces had left the entertainer in dire financial straits” and he needed the income that touring provided.

Britt Daniel of Spoon sings the Beatles‘ “I Me Mine” in video just shared from a 2014 George Harrison tribute concert that will be released as an album and video on Feb. 26. (Pitchfork)

The lineup for 2016’s MusicNOW festival has just been released. The annual Cincinnati festival was founded by The National‘s Bryce Dessner, who this year will present two orchestral works at the festival, which takes place March 18-20. To celebrate the lineup announcement, MusicNOW released a video shot at the festival in 2010 — featuring Justin Vernon, Bryce Dessner, and Aaron Dessner among other musicians covering Sharon Van Etten‘s “Love More.” Audio of the performance was released on a MusicNOW compilation last year. (Pitchfork)

Filmmaker Lee Daniels (PreciousThe ButlerEmpire) has announced his first-ever documentary: a history of the Apollo Theater. Daniels is requesting that members of the public share any archival material or memorabilia that may help tell the story of the legendary Harlem venue. (Rolling Stone)

Paul Oakenfold has founded the first-ever major awards ceremony honoring achievements in electronic music. The first Electronic Music Awards will take place in Los Angeles on April 14, and will air on Fox nine days later. (Billboard)

Questlove and Black Thought of the Roots are being sued by bassist Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, who played with the Roots from 1992 to 2007 and claims he’s owed money as a co-owner of the band. (Pitchfork)

Actor Dominic Monaghan, who played the hobbit Merry in Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings movies, says that when he auditioned for the role, he saw David Bowie go in to audition for Lord of the Rings as well. “I’m assuming he read for Gandalf,” muses Monaghan. (Billboard)

Controversy is broiling over the casting of white actor Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in a British TV comedy dramatizing a purported road trip Jackson took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in 2001. Those who criticize the casting decision point to a 1993 interview in which Jackson refuted a rumor he wanted a white child to play him in a commercial — telling Oprah Winfrey that “I’m a black American. I am proud to be a black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am.” (Billboard)

Sting has been announced as the halftime performer at this year’s NBA All-Star Game, which takes place on Feb. 14 in Toronto. (Billboard)

After buying Wu-Tang Clan‘s edition-of-one album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli is having public beef with Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah. After the rapper called Shkreli an uncomplimentary name and made fun of his appearance, Shkreli released a dis video in which he threatens to erase Ghostface Killah’s contributions from the album and derisively refers to the rapper by his real name: Dennis. (Pitchfork)

In this week’s other weird hip-hop beef, Neil deGrasse Tyson has literally dropped the mic on his feud with flat-earth truther B.o.B. (Billboard)