The Biggest Music News of 2017

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The past year has been a whirlwind of news, both good and bad. We’ve seen career-launching debuts, established artists moving in completely new directions, and artists stepping in and speaking out to make a difference. Unfortunately, we have also suffered the losses of truly influential artists who helped shape the music world that we know today. It’s hard to keep up with so much going on all the time, so Cliché is here to help you out. We’ve compiled a list of the biggest music news of 2017.

January 19: Planned Parenthood Benefit
Common and The National co-headline the Planned Parenthood Benefit called Show Up! It was intentionally planned to take place the night before the presidential inauguration. The stars choose to take a stand for reproductive rights and justice for women.

January 25: Big Sean Raises $100k for Flint
In an appearance on the The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Big Sean announces that his foundation raised over $100,000 for Flint, Michigan in an attempt to help the city during its water crisis. He also reveals that the Flint Chosen Choir will appear on his upcoming album, I Decided.

February 12: Grammy Awards
Adele breaks her Grammy award for Album of the Year, which she won with 25, and hands it over to Beyoncé, citing Lemonade as a dominant force of cultural change.

February 15: Musicians Come Together to Oppose Texas Bathroom Bill
Dozens of musicians, including Jack Antonoff, Wilco, and Lady Gaga come together to co-sign a letter addressed to state senators that opposes a bathroom bill in Texas, which would ban transgender people from using the restroom of their choice.

February 22: Jay-Z is Elected for Songwriters Hall of Fame
Among other inductees, Jay-Z stands out as the first rapper to be elected into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. This marks a transition for rap, as it becomes more accepted as part of the popular music scene.

February 28: Academy Awards
Justin Hurwitz takes home the award for best original score for La La Land, and the motion picture’s original song “City Of Stars” takes home best original song as well. Justin Timberlake kicked off the night with a performance of “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” which was also nominated for an award.

March 7: SXSW Changes Artist Contract
SXSW releases a public apology and promises not to escalate issues of safety at the festival past local authorities. The festival had been experiencing extreme backlash regarding an artist contract that stated the festival reserves the right to contact immigration authorities about foreign artists who may or may not be legally attending the showcases.

March 10: Either/Or Is Reissued
In honor of its 20th anniversary, the legendary lo-fi album Either/Or by the late songwriter Elliott Smith is reissued. This deluxe set includes rare tracks, live performances, and a never before heard song.

April 16: Allan Holdsworth Passes Away
The revered guitarist was found unexpectedly dead at age 70. Cited as being as influential as other legends like Chuck Berry, Holdsworth never stopped touring. Some of his musical projects include Soft Machine and U.K.

April 22: Record Store Day
An annual event celebrating the vinyl record, Record Store Day is a time where music-makers and music-lovers alike can come together within safe spaces to do what they love most: listen to amazing records.

May 10: PWR BTTM’s Ben Hopkins Accused of Assault
A victim’s stories about an alleged sexual assault by Ben Hopkins begins circulating on social media, causing a widespread attack on the once beloved Brooklyn power-pop duo. The band releases a statement claiming this is a misunderstanding, but they are dropped by their label and their albums are removed from streaming services.

May 22: Billboard Music Awards
Drake is the star of the hour, taking home multiple awards, including Top Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Rap Tour, and more. The event is hosted by Ludacris, who has hosted previously, and Vanessa Hudgens.

May 22: Manchester Bombing at Ariana Grande Concert
Tragedy struck as an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester was bombed, endangering thousands, injuring dozens, and killing 22, most of whom were children. Regarded as one of the biggest tragedies in the history of concerts, this event led to Grande penning a letter about staying strong and facing fear. She announces she will be returning to Manchester for a benefit concert.

June 4: Manchester Benefit Concert
In the wake of the Manchester Bombing, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, and more celebrities return to the city in order to perform at a benefit concert that will alleviate the burden of the victims. Attendees of the concert in May are offered free tickets.

June 7: Site of Woodstock Joins Registry of Historic Places
The home to one of the most famous music festivals of all time, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is added to the National Register of Historic Places. This venue hosted the Woodstock Music Festival of 1969.

June 8: Taylor Swift Returns to Spotify
After criticizing the streaming service and removing her entire music catalog, Taylor Swift decides to make amends with Spotify. She tweets that she will be returning her entire discography to the platform.

July 20: Chester Bennington Passes Away
The lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, is found dead at age 41 in a Los Angeles house. It is suspected to be a suicide. His death is a shock to the music community as a whole, and he is mourned widely and celebrated for his contributions to alternative rock.

August 8: Glen Campbell Passes Away
It is announced that the country music legend has passed away in a care facility after a long and public struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He is remembered for his songwriting, which blurred the lines between country and pop.

August 17: Spotify Removes Racist Music
In response to the violent white supremacy rallies in Charlottesville, VA, Spotify begins removing racist music from its databases. This includes any artists that are openly neo-fascist or racist, or those that incite violence against certain groups of people.

August 28: MTV’s VMA Awards
Katy Perry hosts MTV’s annual Video Music Awards show, which features performances by Miley Cyrus, Lorde, Kyle, and more. Taylor Swift premieres her video for “Look What You Made Me Do” at the show, and Kendrick Lamar receives the coveted Video of the Year award for “HUMBLE.”

September 7: Spotify and Hulu Announce Streaming Bundle
In an effort to face competitors in the streaming world, Spotify and Hulu teamed up to offer college students a new discounted bundle; they can receive both for only five dollars a month.

September 26: Chance the Rapper Performs New Song Live
After a busy few years of touring and raising awareness about problems in the Chicago Public School system, Chance came back with a new original and unrecorded song on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. It is one of his most personal songs to date.

October 2: Tom Petty Passes Away
Amid a few confusing news reports, it is announced that the rockstar and voice behind Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is officially dead at age 66. He fell into cardiac arrest in his Malibu home and was rushed to a nearby hospital, but he passes peacefully surrounded by friends and family.

October 10: BET Hip-Hop Awards
Eminem performs a cypher at the BET Awards, directly attacking President Trump and his work in the office. He receives high praise from fans, and even Colin Kaepernick tweets at him in solidarity.

November 8: THE CMAS
The 51st annual Country Music Awards take place in Nashville. They are hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.

November 19: THE AMAS
The American Music Awards take place in Los Angeles at the Microsoft theater, with Bruno Mars taking the highest number of nominations. Diana Ross receives a lifetime achievement award for her contributions to music.

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The Biggest Music News of 2017: Image courtesy of Walter Bieri/LA Times

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