In Canada: AP Dhillon’s Early Exit From Coachella and Latin Music’s Rise

AP Dhillon is leaving the California desert behind. Coachella announced that the Punjabi-Canadian star will not appear at the festival’s second weekend as planned, citing scheduling conflicts. The festival announced it in a follow up tweet to one announcing that rapper Kid Cudi has been added.

During his debut Coachella performance, the Punjabi-Canadian star paid tribute to a fallen icon. As he performed his hit “Brown Munde,” a message took over the screen behind him in all capitals: “JUSTICE FOR SIDHU MOOSEWALA.”

Sidhu Moose Wala, the influential Punjabi artist, actor and politician, was shot to death in India in May 2022, and his murder remains unsolved. Based in Brampton, Moose Wala helped pave the way for Punjabi music in Canada, and continues to chart two years after his death. 


While Dhillon’s first-weekend performance was well-received by the Coachella crowd and many of his supporters, he’s also had some backlash due to how he closed his set, which has been widely covered by media in India.

The artist finished his performance by smashing his guitar on stage.

Some fans have invoked India’s cultural reverence for musical instruments, criticizing Dhillon’s rockstar move as a sign of disrespect and arrogance.

“The guitar that has provided you with life, love, peace, success and respect – you end up breaking it!” reads one popular comment on Dhillon’s post featuring footage of the smash.

In a subsequent post, Dhillon shared photos of his tribute to the late Sidhu Moose Wala, with the caption “the media is controlled and I’m out of control.” The last slide of the post features footage of Kurt Cobain smashing his guitar, linking Dhillon’s move to a longstanding rock and roll tradition. – Rosie Long Decter

As Latin Music Grows in Canada, Live Nation Aims to Take It Across The Country

This week, Live Nation announced that Shakira’s Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran Tour will be coming to Canada in December. It’ll only be the third time in the Colombian superstar’s illustrious 33-year career that two tour dates are scheduled in Canada, and her first time back since 2018.

In the six years since she last played for a Canadian crowd, the country’s Latin music scene has grown bigger than she might have expected. It’s an expanded market that Live Nation has been focusing on in recent years.

In 2022, Live Nation hired Ricky Taco as director of Latin Music in Canada, with a mandate to grow the genre at venues in the country and focus in on one of the fastest-expanding markets in North America.


In an interview with Billboard Canada, Taco gives some numbers. “The Latin genre as a whole, in Canada, is up 48% from last year [in online streams]. When it comes to airplay, Latin music across Canada has increased by 2,100% in the last year. You’re now playing to 37.5 million Canadians as opposed to 2.5 million last year…Over the last five years, it’s been insane. I mean, the growth has been [big].”

Even though they haven’t had the same chart impact in Canada as in the United States, the newest generation of Latin musicians is seeing success on tour. Bad Bunny sold out Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena this April, a far cry from his 2018 stint at the smaller REBEL nightclub. Peso Pluma, a 24-year-old Mexican artist making waves globally, made his first Canadian stops just a year ago at Place Bell in Laval, Québec and Toronto’s Budweiser Stage. In 2024, however, he’ll be playing “LADY GAGA” in front of sold-out crowds at Scotiabank Arena and Montreal’s Bell Centre.

Although Latin music has seen incredible progress in the past years, there’s still much work to be done, as Live Nation Canada plans to bring the genre to more ears, and build an even stronger fanbase. Compared to Punjabi music, which has seen a similar explosion in recent years and a similar focused strategy at Live Nation in Canada, Taco says Latin music has a steeper hill to climb.

“In Toronto, there’s only one Latin FM radio [station],” says Taco. “If we compare it to an English artist, or a Punjabi artist, their communities are bigger, they have more resources to play with. Although we’ve grown a lot in the last three to five years, we’re still very limited, we’re still growing.”

Beyond festivals and radio stations, Live Nation plans to bring Latin music outside the cities Canadian fans have grown accustomed to seeing regular tour announcements.

“At this point, the primary markets definitely are Montreal and Toronto, but our plan is to keep growing. [We want to] bring as many concerts as we can in places like Calgary, Vancouver and even potentially places like Ottawa,” Taco says. – Pablo Gonzalez Legendre


The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings Will Give Up His Royalties to Stop Alleged ‘Cover Band’

Canadian musician Burton Cummings is giving up his royalties to protect his legacy.

The “American Woman” singer and co-founder of classic Winnipeg band The Guess Who has cancelled his performance license agreements in an effort to prevent the current iteration of The Guess Who from performing.

The move is an escalation of a legal battle that’s been ongoing since last fall, when Cummings and fellow Guess Who songwriter Randy Bachman launched a lawsuit against what they’re calling a “cover band” and claiming they’re engaging in false advertising, attempting to juice concert sales by giving the impression that Cummings and Bachman are still part of the band. This iteration of the band owns the Guess Who trademark, and features original drummer Garry Peterson.

While that lawsuit is still ongoing, Cummings is taking a new approach to halting the alleged cover band’s activity. The vast majority of concert venues in the U.S. have licensing agreements with performing rights organizations (PROs) which allow them to host live performances of any music in the catalogue of those PROs. Cummings has spent the last several months cancelling his agreements with those PROs, so that his music is no longer licensed for performance in live venues — a move Cummings can only make because he owns his publishing rights.


The move is drastic and relatively unheard of, as it will cause Cummings to forfeit potential royalties. He’ll lose out on payments not just for live performances, but for radio spins, TV placements, shopping mall playlists, and more. The loss applies not just to recordings Cummings played on, but recordings of any songs he wrote, which includes Lenny Kravitz‘s popular cover of The Guess Who’s “American Woman.”

Cummings says it’s a sacrifice worth making. “I’m willing to do anything to stop the fake band,” he told Rolling Stone. “They’re not the people who made these records and they shouldn’t act like they did.”

Since Cummings terminated his licenses, The Guess Who have already cancelled five concert dates in Florida and Alabama.

“This is about way more than just money, I wouldn’t have pulled the catalog if it wasn’t,” Cummings explains. “This is about the legacy of the songs and the fact that the cover band is doing anything they can to erase me and Bachman from the history of the group. I see advertisements for their shows, and it’s me singing ‘American Woman.’” – Rosie Long Decter

Last Week In Canada: ‘Houdini’ Co-Writer Wins Major Award

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