iSing looks at what’s been making headlines in the music world this week, from Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl and Lady Gaga’s health woes to the latest from Apple Music.
“Flashy dad pop” – Justin Timberlake at Super Bowl 2018
The verdict on Justin Timberlake at this year’s Super Bowl has been lukewarm. Despite the pre-show hype, the performance of Timberlake in Minneapolis fell a little flat. Not even a tribute to hometown hero Prince managed to win over the audience. US broadcaster CNN described it as a “performance by numbers”. In the UK the Guardian called it a “flashy, forgettable medley of hits” and the HuffPost labelled the show “controversy-free dad pop”.
Timberlake’s return to the coveted Super Bowl slot comes 14 years after that performance with Janet Jackson. As part of the choreographed routine Timberlake tore a piece of Jackson’s clothing, accidently exposing a nipple, sparking a media storm and bringing the expression “wardrobe malfunction” into common parlance. The controversy did little to harm Timberlake or his career – it may have even boosted it. Jackson’s never really recovered.
Mind the gap – Apple Music closing in on Spotify
New figures show Apple Music is growing at a faster rate than its rival Spotify, with the gap between the two streaming giants narrowing. Apple Music has told the Wall Street Journal that its US subscriber base has hit 36 million – up six million since September – and is growing at a rate of five per cent a month.
In comparison, market leader Spotify has 70 million global subscribers, but is only growing at a rate of two per cent month. It’s expected to go public with a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange this year.
Lady Gaga cancels UK shows
It seems the rigours of performing have caught up with Lady Gaga. She has cancelled the last 10 shows of her Joanne World Tour, including gigs in London and Manchester, due to “severe pain”. While not detailing the exact cause of the problem, the cancellations have been widely attributed to Gaga’s long running battle with fibromyalgia. This a is a long-term, chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness over much of the body.
A statement said: “Unfortunately, Lady Gaga is suffering from severe pain that has materially impacted her ability to perform live.” It’s not the first time Gaga has been forced to cancel performance. Last September she had to pull out of a performance in Rio for similar reasons.