Music News 6.21.16

Led Zeppelin’s Lawyers Ask for Dismissal of “Stairway to Heaven” Trial

Last week, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin went to court for 5 days over what is now being called the “Stairway to Heaven” lawsuit. After the week-long trial, Zeppelin’s lawyers have asked for a dismissal of the trial, claiming that the Plaintiff’s lawyer had failed to prove that the opening to “Stairway to Heaven” was substantially similar to, and therefore a rip-off of, the song “Taurus” written for the band Spirit by Randy Wolfe. An expert who testified for the defense stated that the only similarity between the two songs was a single descending chord progression, which the expert said had been used as a building block of music for 300 years. Zeppelin attorney Peter Anderson also stated in the motion for dismissal that the plaintiff failed to prove that Randy Wolfe’s estate had indeed suffered damages due to the infringement.




J.J. Abrams to produce T.V. Series Based on Final Weeks of Michael Jackson’s Life

Star Trek director and Lost show creator J.J. Abrams is producing a T.V. series based on the sixteen weeks leading to the death of Michael Jackson. The series is based on Tavis Smiley’s book Before You Judge Me: the Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days, which came out yesterday. News of the adaptation was announced last October, but no further details or release date has been confirmed or teased.




M.I.A. Removed from Afropunk Fest After Unsavory Comments Towards Black Lives Matter

English Hip-hop artist M.I.A. has been removed from the headlining slot of the inaugural Afropunk festival in London happening in September of this year. M.I.A. was removed from the bill after she made suggested that there was too much focus in the U.S. on the Black Lives Matter movement, and not enough focus on the issue of the persecution of and violence towards Muslim people. In reaction, many who had purchased tickets to the British incarnation of Afropunk threatened to boycott the entire festival if they didn’t remove M.I.A. from the line-up. And, the people won.




– Taylor Wallace

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