Too busy with Sunday’s big game to keep up with music news? We’ve got you covered with this week’s edition of While You Were Away. This week we’re talking about Sony Music buying half of Michael Jackson’s catalog, The Prince of Darkness calling out Kanye West, plus remembering Toby Keith, and more.
HEALTH share new SIGNALIS-inspired video for ‘Don’t Try’
Directed and animated by rose-engine, the video ties into the developer’s 2022 survival horror game SIGNALIS. The clip features cinematic scenes from the game along with new scenes made solely for the video.
Watch the video below.
HEALTH will embark on their North American tour next month. See all their dates here.
Toby Keith, Country Superstar, Has Died
Toby Keith, country music superstar, has died after a three-year battle with stomach cancer. He was 62 years old.
The singer, known by fans as “Big Dog Daddy,” revealed his battle with stomach cancer in 2022, six months after he had been diagnosed and undergone treatment. A statement reveals Keith “passed peacefully” on February 5th, 2024, “surrounded by his family.”
Keith was one of country music’s biggest superstars having sold over 40 million albums. He had 61 singles chart on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, including 20 number one hits and 22 top 10 hits. The singer released his self-titled debut album in 1993, but wouldn’t find mainstream success until his fifth album How Do You Like Me Now?! (1999).
He would go on to release a total of 19 albums, including 2002’s Unleashed, 2005’s Honky Tonk University, and his final album 2021’s Pocket Full of Pesos.
Our thoughts go out to Keith’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Ozzy Osbourne calls out ‘Antisemite’ Kanye West for sampling Black Sabbath song
Ozzy Osbourne has called out Kanye West for sampling a live version of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” without his permission.
Osbourne revealed he refused to let the rapper sample the song because he’s “an antisemite and has caused untold heartache to many.” Despite this, West still used the song as heard at his listening party for his joint album Vultures, Volume 1 with Ty Dolla $ign on Thursday (February 8th).
“Kanye West asked permission to sample a section of a 1983 live performance of ‘Iron Man’ from the  US Festival without vocals & was refused permission because he is an antisemite and has caused untold heartache to many,” Osbourne wrote on social media. “He went ahead and used the sample anyway at his album listening party last night. I want no association with this man!”
Rolling Stone reports West has since removed the sample.
Sony Music to purchase stake in Michael Jackson catalog rights
The exact amount is not known at this time, but sources say Sony will likely pay at least $600 million for its stake – though according to Billboard the valuation could be as high as $1.5 billion. The deal is expected to be the largest-ever valuation of a musician’s music assets.
Though the deal does not include royalties from Broadway’s MJ the Musical or other theatrical productions featuring Jackson’s music, the deal includes songs by other artists from his Mijac publishing catalog, including artists like Sly & the Family Tone, Curtis Mayfield, and Ray Charles.
Tours on sale this week
Justin Timberlake has added a second leg to his “The Forget Tomorrow World Tour.” The newly announced run starts October 23rd in Columbus, Ohio and wraps up December 16th in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tickets for the new dates go on sale Thursday, February 15th. See all the dates here.
††† (Crosses) recently announced their first-ever UK and European headline shows. The tour kicks off on June 5th in Hamburg and runs through June 30th in Clisson. Tickets go on sale Thursday, February 15th at 10 AM local time. Get all the details here.
In support of her newly released album, She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She, Chelsea Wolfe will embark on an eight-date UK and Ireland tour this fall. The tour starts in Dublin on October 25th and wraps up in Bristol on November 2nd. See the full itinerary here.
Inkcarceration returns to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield from July 19th – 21st featuring headliners Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, and Godsmack. Other performers include Bad Omens, Halestorm, Parkway Drive, I Prevail, The Offspring, Killswitch Engage, and more. See the full lineup and tickets here.