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Music News: Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries dies at 46

Dolores O'Riordan with the Cranberries in 2012. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

“Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer of the band The Cranberries, has died suddenly at age 46,” reports NPR. “O’Riordan defined the sound of the Cranberries — with hit songs like ‘Linger,’ ‘Salvation’ and ‘Zombie.’ She brought a particularly Irish inflection to pop charts around the world.”

O’Riordan’s passing was confirmed by a publicist, who said in a statement that the singer died suddenly in London. No information on the cause of the O’Riordan’s death is currently available. According to the statement, family members “devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

O’Riordan “wrote lyrics and often music for the Cranberries’ 1990s hits, including ‘Linger’ (which remained on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 24 weeks) and ‘Dreams,’ which proclaimed both vulnerability and steadfastness,” notes the New York Times. “She was the sole writer of the noisier, angrier ‘Zombie,’ a response to an Irish Republican Army terrorist bombing in 1993.”

Justin Timberlake makes Paisley plans

Justin Timberlake will preview his forthcoming album Man of the Woods with a listening session at Paisley Park on Feb. 1 — the night before the album is released, and three days before the former N*SYNC member headlines halftime at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. The sold-out listening party is sponsored by American Express, which surprised some cardholders with tickets.

As the Star Tribune notes, “not only is Timberlake well-known to be a Prince fanatic – he penned a terrific tribute upon his death – he also has hometown Memphis ties with Graceland Holdings. The overseers of Elvis’s estate also now run Paisley Park.”

BRIT Award nominations announced

Nominations for the 2018 BRIT Awards — commonly regarded as the Grammys of the U.K. — have been announced. GorillazLondon GrammarRoyal BloodWolf Alice, and the xx are the nominees for British Group, while International Group nominees are Arcade FireFoo FightersHaimthe Killers, and LCD Soundsystem. The awards will be presented on Feb. 21 at the O2 Arena in London. (Pitchfork)

Moby says he was tapped by the CIA to fight Russian meddling

About this time last year, Moby claimed to have inside information verifying rumors that Russians were blackmailing Donald Trump. In a radio interview last week, the producer spoke at greater length about the “active and former CIA agents” who are among his friends. Not only are they feeding information to him, said Moby, they’ve asked him to use his social media presence to help spread the word that Trump is “essentially being run as a Russian agent.”

Although there is an ongoing Justice Department probe into Russian election meddling, at present there is no known proof that the president is actually being blackmailed. Moby says that we should buckle up, though.

“It’s really disturbing and it’s going to get quite a lot darker,” he said in the interview. “Like the depths of the Trump family in business and their involvement with organized crime, sponsored terrorism, Russian oligarchs, it’s really dark. I guess we should all, like, fasten our seat belts and hold on.” (Billboard)

Documentary to chronicle Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison concert

Johnny Cash’s 1968 concert album recorded at Folsom Prison is among the most famous and bestselling live albums ever released. A new documentary, currently in the works, will tell the story of that legendary performance. Cash’s estate is supporting the project, which will be directed by Thom Zimney; he’s known for helming documentaries about Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen.

“According to a statement from the filmmakers,” reports Rolling Stone, “the project explores Cash’s music and biography through the iconic Folsom Prison concert, which took place 50 years ago this week and formed the basis of the multi-million-selling Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison LP.”

Nas performs Illmatic with National Symphony Orchestra

Back in 2014, Nas joined the National Symphony Orchestra for a performance of his 1994 LP Illmatic — regarded by many to be the greatest hip-hop album ever made. On Feb. 2, PBS will air a film of that performance; a newly-released trailer features excerpts. (Rolling Stone)