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Today’s Music News: Adele, James Bay, Years & Years dominate Brit Awards nominations

Adele in Germany (Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)

Nominations for this year’s Brit Awards — commonly regarded as the British equivalent of the Grammys — have been announced. Leading the nominees are AdeleJames Bay, and Years & Years — each of whom nabbed four nominations. The awards will be presented in London on Feb. 24. (Billboard)

We are remembering the life and music of David Bowie in a series of features. Find the complete list here, and share your own memory of Bowie.

An all-star concert in 2014 honored George Harrison; the concert will be released as a CD/DVD set on Feb. 26. In advance of the set’s release, Harrison’s estate has shared a clip of the Traveling Wilburys‘ “Handle With Care” being performed at the concert by Britt Daniel (Spoon), Wayne Coyne (the Flaming Lips), Brandon Flowers (the Killers), Jonathan Bates (Mellowdrone), “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison. (Rolling Stone)

Canadian singer and manager René Angélil has died of cancer at age 73. Angélil was married to Céline Dion since 1994. (Billboard)

Nicki Minaj seems to approve of Adele‘s take on Minaj’s verse from Kanye West‘s “Monster,” which Adele rapped during her Carpool Karaoke segment with James Corden. (Billboard)

Janet Jackson has rescheduled the Unbreakable World Tour dates that she postponed in December to undergo surgery. Jackson hasn’t disclosed what ailment the surgery was intended to treat, but she has said that rumors of cancer are unfounded. (Rolling Stone)

Metallica have apologized for a 41-page cease-and-desist letter sent on their behalf to Sandman, a Metallica tribute band from Canada, whose logo is understandably very similar to Metallica’s and apparently sparked the letter. “Our attorney can be found at SFO catching a flight to go permanently ice fishing in Alaska,” Metallica told Rolling Stone.

Music industry sales notes:

  • Box sets are booming, with sales increasing even as overall music sales decline. Box sets like Bob Dylan‘s recent Bootleg Series release seem to be attractive to the same knowledgable consumers who are fueling the rise of vinyl sales. (Billboard)
  • While country music consumers have overall been slower to adapt to streaming than consumers of other music genres, fans of artists like Luke Bryan and Little Big Town are finally starting to make the switch in big numbers. Last year, streaming of country music doubled — while sales of country music albums dropped by 12% from 2014 to 2015. (Billboard)

Loretta Lynn has released “Everything It Takes,” a new song featuring Elvis Costello on backup vocals. The song appears on Lynn’s new album Full Circle, which will be released on March 4. Hear the song at Rolling Stone.

Cheap Trick — members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2016 — will join their fellow inductees Heart and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on a “Rock Hall Three for All” summer tour that kicks off on July 14 in Michigan. A Chicago stop on July 19 will be the closest the tour comes to Minnesota, though. (Rolling Stone)

M. Ward has released a video for his new song “Girl From Conejo Valley.” The new album, More Rain, will be available everywhere on March 4 via Merge Records and Bella Union. Ward recently produced the new Mavis Staples record, Livin’ on a High Note.