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Music News: Artists talk about fears of dangerous fans

Fans mourn at a vigil for Christina Grimmie (Brian Killian/Getty Images)

In the wake of Christina Grimmie’s death — which happened when the singer was shot this past weekend during a meet-and-greet — musicians are opening up about their fears of potentially dangerous fans.

As the New York Times notes, “Music history is dotted with stories of stalkers and dangerous fanatics, like those that killed John Lennon, the singer Selena and the Pantera guitarist Darrell Abbott. But as record sales have fallen, increasing musicians’ economic reliance on live shows, extra face time with fans at meet-and-greets, merchandise tables and autograph signings have become more routine.”

The Times cites artists including Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast) and Tegan and Sara who say they’ve had concerns about their safety when interacting with fans.

Risk of mistrial in “Stairway” case

An attorney for Led Zeppelin has objected to a video shown during opening statements in the trial over whether the band plagiarized their song “Stairway to Heaven.” Led Zeppelin’s representation say that a video contrasting “Stairway” and the Spirit song “Taurus” was not included in the approved list of exhibits, and the judge agreed that if in fact the video was not included in that list, its screening could be grounds for mistrial. (Billboard)

Polaris long list announced

The long list of contenders for this year’s Polaris Music Prize includes includes albums by GrimesDestroyerDrake, the WeekndJustin Bieber, and more. The Polaris Music Prize is awarded annually to the best album by a Canadian artist. A narrowed-down short list will be announced on July 14. Don’t assume that Drake or Biebs is a shoo-on, since the Polaris committee has a history of making adventurous picks: last year’s prize went to a new album by folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie. (Pitchfork)

Noted producer missing

Elliot Wolff has disappeared while camping in New Mexico; the 60-year-old producer and songwriter was last seen on June 7. Wolff has worked with the likes of Aretha Franklin, and is best-known for writing two of Paula Abdul’s number-one hits: “Straight Up” and “Cold Hearted.” (Billboard)

Former Brian Wilson keyboardist gets prison sentence

Keyboardist Scott Montgomery Bennett has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of raping a woman in Oklahoma after playing a show with Brian Wilson. Prior to his arrest, Bennett played in Wilson’s band for many years. (Billboard)

Reznor trades barbs with YouTube

Trent Reznor has criticized YouTube’s business model, saying the streaming-video service “is built on the backs of free, stolen content.” In response, YouTube issued a statement saying “any assertion” that its content “is largely unlicensed is false.” (Pitchfork)

Nick Blood tribute announced

First Avenue has announced a tribute concert honoring Nick Blood. The owner of local label Blood of the Young Records died recently of an unintentional overdose; the July 9 Mainroom concert in his memory will feature performances by artists including Marijuana Deathsquads and a reunited Sean Na Na.

Scott Ian becomes the White Walker

Scott Ian of Anthrax appears in a new episode of the series BloodworksBarrie Gower, the makeup designer for Game of Thrones, transforms Ian into the series’s White Walker. (Rolling Stone)

Smash Mouth can’t let it go

Gawker has noticed Smash Mouth undertaking a tireless Twitter campaign to correct people who think that Shrek made the band famous — individually responding to dozens of Twitter users who suggest otherwise.

Taylor Swift is dating Hank Williams

Well, sort of — she was spotted snogging Tom Hiddleston, the actor who played Hank Williams in the recent biopic I Saw the Light. (The Sun)