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Today’s Music News: Kanye West and Paul McCartney collaborate on new single

via KanyeWest.com

On New Year’s Eve, Kanye West released a new single, “Only One.” Collaborating on the track is none other than Paul McCartney, who plays keyboard. The tender track, a tribute to both Kanye’s daughter and his late mother, is what a spokesperson calls the first “publicly available recording from what has become a prolific musical collaboration between these two legendary artists.” (Rolling Stone)

In a long statement on U2‘s website (“Little book of a big year: Bono’s A to Z of 2014”), Bono reveals that after the severe cycling accident he recently suffered, he now has a titanium elbow (below) and may never play guitar again. “The band have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this.” Bono also touches on an alphabet of other subjects ranging from bandmate Larry Mullen (“The cover of the [new] U2 album is, I think, our best”) to the Millennial generation (“I call them Generation Z… because they can take us into the zero-tolerance zone for a lot of the awfulness in the world.”)

Bono

Final numbers are in, and 2014 was yet another record-setting year for vinyl sales, which grew by a remarkable 52% (compared to 2013) to hit the highest sales number recorded in the SoundScan era—that is, since 1991. The top-selling vinyl release of the year was Jack White‘s Lazaretto. Still, vinyl accounted for only 3.6% of all albums sold, and other formats continued to sharply decline. (Billboard) In the UK, sales of digital downloads declined for the first year ever, with a decline of 15%—even faster than the decline of CD sales. (NME)

This year’s Kennedy Center Honors were broadcast on Tuesday night. A Sting tribute included performances by Bruce SpringsteenLady Gaga, and Bruno Mars; while Mavis StaplesSam Moore, and Usher paid homage to Al Green. (Rolling Stone)

Blues horn player Melvin Jackson has died at age 79. The saxophonist and trumpeter was known for his work with B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland. (Billboard)

Dolly Parton‘s theme park Dollywood has been sued by a woman who experienced a brain injury after falling headfirst from the Waltzing Swinger ride in December 2013. The ride, in which riders swing 25 feet above the ground, was “dangerously slick” due to sleet and rain, the lawsuit alleges. (Billboard)

2014 made history for women having chart success, including a record-breaking run of women occupying every slot on the top five of Billboard’s Hot 100. With Taylor Swift‘s “Blank Space” currently remaining at number one for a seventh week, a second record is within reach: women have now occupied the top slot for 19 weeks, tying a record set in 2005 with songs by Mariah CareyGwen Stefani, and Carrie Underwood. (Billboard)