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  • Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) wins 8 Billboard awards

    The Ethiopian Born pop star from Toronto dedicated one of his wins to Prince, who died last month, saying the late artist will still help him "push the envelope."

    "I love him so much. I didn't know him, but he was so close to me. He will always be an inspiration."

    The Weekend won Billboard awards for Top Songs Sales Artist award, Top Radio Song award for Can't Feel My Face, Top Hot 100 Artist award, Top Radio Songs Artist award, Top Streaming Song (Audio) award for The Hills, Top R&B Artist award, and Top R&B Song award for The Hills. (David Becker/Getty Images)

    The Weeknd, who's real name is Abel Tesfaye, won eight awards, more than any male artist in Billboard history.

    The sweep included Top R&B song for The Hills, Top Hot 100 Artist and Top R&B album for Beauty Behind the Madness.

    Source: CBCNEWS

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  • How to make it in Africa's music industry - CNN

    (CNN) Be it the Afrobeats of Nigeria's Wizkid or the melodic pop of Kenyan songstress Dela, Africa's diverse popular music scene is making noise across the continent and around the world like never before. 

    But what's the secret to making it big in this vibrant, expanding industry both on the stage and behind the scenes? Money? Loyal fans? Or key knowledge of individual national markets and the trends that shape them?

    Music business moguls Audu Maikori and Paul Okeugo -- founder and Chief Operating Officer of Nigerian record label Chocolatecity Music respectively -- as well as industry experts and members of our audience shared their thoughts during a Twitter chat with CNN Africa.

    Here is a selection of the advice offered up via the #AMM hashtag. 

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  • Mehari Brothers: Music, an Integral Part of Life

    Their deep understanding of music goes beyond melody, and dance. Though it encompasses both, their anchor is message – resounding Fortune’s line,”Content matters”. With this strict rule, it is no surprise that they encounter many a stumble, but are never blocked. The leap from one challenge to the other is one thread that keeps them bonded, and helps them stand out from the crowd. Henok, band leader and vocalist of the “Mehari Brothers”, boldly claims their unique blend of spirituality, music action and style has contributed a great deal to their Brand M-Mehari Brothers. Now without losing their roots, they are rebranding the work becoming, “Henok & Mehari Brothers”, a project brand. Robel, the guitarist, thinks it is only a matter of time before they will follow their leader. Lewam actually concedes and projects a much shorter cycle between the musical products to which adoring fans look forward. The relations have not been so smooth – the playing field not level, they have their plateaus and valleys. Their friends describe them as a kaleidoscopic blend so colourful, unpredictable, mesmerizing audiences with their music and dance, optimized by their well-kept dreadlocks. Today as they release their album, Fortune talks with them about the energy, drive, worries and the way ahead for their band, their brand and the mix that comes with inspiration. 

    They have music and the arts in their genes and their spiritual values as well as family bonds seem to have put them on a solid foundation. They know they are brand name material and in this exclusive interview, SAMRAWIT TASSEW, FORTUNE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF discovers the ingredients of their success. Click here to read the interview 

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  • Hailu Mergia next up on Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Hailu Mergia and Dahlak Band will release Wede Harer Guzo on June 17th via Awesome Tapes From Africa.

    Mergia is an Ethiopian keyboardist and accordion player currently living in Washington, D.C. Wede Harer Guzo, his second album for Awesome Tapes From Africa, is a tape he made in 1978 with the Dahlak band, who were residents at Addis Ababa's Ghion Hotel club at the time. It was a follow-up to his 1977 album with The Walias, Tche Belew which is considered a cornerstone of the Ethio jazz-and-funk golden age of the '70s.

    The original version of Wede Harer Guzo was released through the now-defunct Sheba Music Shop. Mergia's copy of the cassette is the only known source for the recording. The label tapped Jessica Thompson at Coast Mastering to clean up layers of hiss, flutter and distorted frequencies, which were exacerbated by years of storage.

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  • The refugee writer from Somalia who influenced Beyonce's new album

    “I tried to make a home out of you/But doors lead to trapped doors.” So begins the first interlude of Beyoncé’s new ‘visual album’. Released on 23 April with a special on HBO, Lemonade features 12 songs – interspersed with words written by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire.

    While the album has whipped up a social media frenzy over Beyoncé’s lyrics, brimming with rage and accusations of infidelity, the quiet moments in between offer a thoughtful counterpoint. The words are those of Shire, a 27-year-old born in Kenya to Somali parents, who published her first pamphlet Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth in 2011 and went on to win the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2013.

    Taking second billing in Lemonade’s production credits for ‘Film Adaptation and Poetry’, ahead of the directors, Shire offers contemplation among shots of a flood, a car-smashing monster truck and a laughing Beyoncé wielding a baseball bat as she strides down a street followed closely by a fireball.

    The songs feature lyrics like “Looking at my watch you should have been home/Tonight I regret the night I put that ring on” – and their immediacy is given added weight by Shire’s poems. “I tried to change/Closed my mouth more/Tried to be softer, prettier – less awake” – uttered as Beyoncé spins under water, her eyes open as if in a trance – is adapted from For Women Who Are Difficult To Love.


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