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Music News: Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White dies at 74

Maurice White in 2005 (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Maurice White, the founder and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, has died at age 74. The genre-busting Earth, Wind & Fire won six Grammys and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Seattle Times)

Prince Down Under

Prince has shared news that he’ll take his Piano & a Microphone tour to Australia and New Zealand this month — though specific dates have not yet been announced.

Remembering Bowie

Amanda Palmer and Jherek Bischoff are releasing an EP of David Bowie covers on Friday, Feb. 5. Strung Out in Heaven will feature contributions from Bowie collaborator Anna Calvi and John Cameron Mitchell along with Palmer’s husband Neil Gaiman. The EP will be sold for just $1 on Bandcamp, with a portion of proceeds funding cancer research. (Pitchfork)

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One of Bowie’s most memorable film roles was that of Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese‘s The Last Temptation of Christ. The next music star to play the prefect of Judea will be Seal, who will take the role of Pilate in a live Fox presentation of The Passion, a musical about the death of Jesus Christ. Fox’s Passion will also star Trisha Yearwood as Mary, Chris Daughtry as Judas, and Prince Royce as the Apostle Peter — with Tyler Perry serving as host. (Billboard)

Remembering Bowie, while selling sedans

“Starman” is the soundtrack to a Super Bowl ad about a retired astronaut who gets his groove back when he hops a ride in an Audi. (Billboard)

Meanwhile, Janelle Monaé makes the Choice of a New Generation in a Super Bowl ad for Pepsi. In addition to Monaé, the ad features music by the Contours and Madonna. (Billboard)

Jack White and Alison Mosshart are selling only their own albums in a new video for the Kills‘ “Impossible Winner.” (Pitchfork) Below, watch a teaser.

Grammy plans

The lineup for the Feb. 15 Grammys continues to grow. Chris Stapleton will pay tribute to the late B.B. King with help from Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie RaittHollywood Vampires (Alice CooperJohnny Depp, and Joe Perry) will honor Lemmy Kilmister; and Justin Bieber will perform his hit “Where Are Ü Now” with collaborators Diplo and Skrillex. (Rolling Stone)

Today’s beef

At a Congressional hearing on drug prices, pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli refused to answer almost every question he was asked — including a question about his $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album. “I am stunned that a conversation about an album he purchased could possibly subject him to incrimination,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy when Shkreli took the Fifth in response to a question about Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. (Pitchfork)

Mary Lou Lord, a singer-songwriter who dated Kurt Cobain before he was famous, has accused Courtney Love of death threats and defamation. In since-deleted Facebook posts, Lord alleged abuse by Love in the early ’90s, saying that she’d remained silent until now out of respect for Love’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain. “She violated my integrity, she violated my life, she even left death threats to ME as well as my elderly parents on their answering machine causing a lot of stress and weird fear within our family,” wrote Lord about Love. “She had a field day back when the internet was new and all the lies she would spread about me. She told people I killed her cat.” (Billboard)

An odd odyssey

Billy Corgan is planning a cross-country road trip that he’s going to document on film. “I look towards ruinous America, and her open road,” writes Corgan. “Or something approximating the mightiest byway of the 1800’s, the grand Mississippi, and that closest urbane chimera, Route 66.” To facilitate his filmmaking, Corgan is looking for invites to “old-fashioned parlors and the like.” (Rolling Stone)