Music News Digest: Week Of March 15, 2020

March 22, 2020 by Amy Gold

During the week of March 15, 2020, fans bade a final farewell to Kenny Rogers (August 21, 1938 - March 20, 2020) who passed away at home while under hospice care. His very long string of hits on multiple charts through the 2000s included his signature Grammy-winning smash, "The Gambler," which was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. Over his six-decades career, the celebrated country-pop superstar was the recipient of numerous awards and honors that included being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Also that week, two ZZ Top classics, "La Grange" and "Sharp Dressed Man," made a return to the Billboard charts after the recent Netflix premiere of the band's 2019 documentary, "ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas." Both songs made their debut at #14 on the latest Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart. "La Grange" first reached #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, and "Sharp Dressed Man" originally peaked at #8 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart and at #56 on the Hot 100 in 1983.

The Academy of Country Music announced the cancellation of its upcoming awards show originally scheduled for April 5, 2020 in Las Vegas. In its place, CBS will air a TV special featuring various country stars performing from their homes.

Billboard will also postpone the 2020 BMAs originally slated to take place April 29, 2020 in Las Vegas. NBC will announce a new date and venue for the awards ceremonies at some later date.

In response to coronavirus concerns, Neil Young and Brian May of Queen are now among the many bands and artists to offer in-home concerts that can be viewed via either YouTube or live streaming from their websites. In addition, Bruce Springsteen is helping to keep fans in good spirits by making a full performance that he gave at London's Hyde Park in 2009 available on YouTube and Apple Music.

Over the next few weeks, the Grammy Museum, which is now closed, will release videos online featuring exclusive interviews with a variety of entertainers that include Kool & The Gang. An interview with the legendary funk-soul band will be available starting April 6, 2020.

Newly-Announced Recordings:
(Band/Artist - Title - Format - Release Date)

Cancelled & Postponed Events:
(Band/Artist - Event(s) - Location - Original Dates - Rescheduled Dates)

(For more information about the above news items, please see below for a list of sources with links.)