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Live Updates

By Kev Geoghegan, Frances Cronin and Paul Glynn

All times stated are UK

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  1. All the best folks

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    That is Music News LIVE done for 2017.

    Scroll down to see the 52 things we've learned this year, from month to month.

    Like a Christmas selection box there's something in there for everyone.

    There are also new music videos from the man with the official best album of the year Kendrick Lamar and SZA too. The Lorde herself is third on that list and she's wondering whether or not to play her upcoming gig in Israel.

    Have yourselves a merry little Christmas and enjoy all the various musical content on the BBC from Mel C on Radio 2 on Christmas Day to The First Time with Liam Gallagher on 6 Music on Christmas Eve.

    Camila Cabello provides an alternative to The Queen's Speech at 15:00 GMT on the 25th on Radio 1.

    Whatever you're tuned into have a great time and we'll see you back here to do it all over again from 2 January 2018.

    But it's not Christmas until you've heard Bing Crosby and David Bowie crooning around the tree.

    Take it away chaps.

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  2. 52 Things We Learned This Year: December

    Video content

    Video caption: Discover what Sound of 2018 is all about, and meet this year's 16 acts on the Longlist.

    50) The names to look out for in 2018

    The big secret is out early.

    After much deliberation, the BBC Sound of 2018 class collage has been made and what a lovely-looking bunch, we're sure you'll agree.

    Industry experts, including critics, broadcasters, DJs, and - for the first time - former nominees including Stormzy, Ellie Goulding and last year's winner Ray BLK, have put their heads together to come up with just 16 names from across the genres.

    Check out the acts above and read more.

    We'll find out who finishes top of the class in the New Year but at the end of the day, music will be the real winner.

    Ooh yeah.

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    51) The Killers had the offical Hottest record of the year

    It's indisputable.

    After comparing the relative temperatures of all the other suggested tracks released in 2017, the people have spoken

    Brandon Flowers is The Man. The Vegas band are The Men.

    The above track was taken from their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful and you can check it out above.

    They tweeted to thank the "best fans in the world"

    Oh you guys...

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    52) The Live Lounge loves a good early Christmas cover

    But then again who doesn't.

    Rag 'n' Bone set the tone in mid December by pulling this crimbo cracker (above) out the bag in the run-up to the big day.

    Then followed seasonal classics from the likes of London Grammar, Sam Smith, Rita Ora and last but not least Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie doing their best Shane and Kirsty.

    Gorge on them all below.

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    That was 2017.

    We hope you all learned something and perhaps - like us - even laughed and cried a little along the way too.

    What on earth will next year bring?

  3. The Christmas number one goes to....

    George Michael, Mariah Carey, Ed Sheeran

    Will Wham's Last Christmas make it to Christmas number one in honour of George Michael?... there are just hours now until we find out.

    His former musical partner Andrew Ridgeley was among those campaigning to get it to the top spot to pay tribute to George who died last year on Christmas day.

    But there's strong competition from Ed Sheeran who was at number one last week with Perfect and Mariah Carey who was at two with All I Want For Christmas Is You (what year are we in again?)

    Not to mention the new release of Eminem's River which also features Ed Sheeran.

    The wait is nearly over and we can barely handle the tension.

    You can find out on Radio 1 at around 17.40 GMT.

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  4. 52 Things We Learned This Year: November

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    47) Harry Styles loves a bit of Kiwi, just not on stage

    Real life imitated Harry's own art in November, to his fruity cost.

    The singer was pelted with actual kiwi fruit while performing his single Kiwi in London.

    Poor Harry very nearly took a tumble too at the Hammersmith Apollo after fans all threw the suitably-named fruit in one direction - at him.

    "As some of you may have seen I nearly slipped a little earlier on", said the concerned singer.

    "It appears there as an actual kiwi thrown on stage."

    He added: "Has anyone else brought any fruit? Shame on you!"

    Turns out it wasn't the first time Stylsey has been hit by objects, while on stage... and mostly in the crotch region.

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    48) Noel Gallagher's new band includes a scissor player and Liam is not having it

    Not one bit.

    Noel debuted tracks from his 'Cosmic Pop' new album Who Built The Moon? on Jools Holland and followed it up with a full gig at York Hall in London, with Music News LIVE attendance.

    On both occasions, he was joined by a new band member; the scissors-playing Charlotte.

    It did not go unnoticed...

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    Noel's cutting edge album went straight to number one regardless, meaning that both brothers had chart-topping records in 2017, after Liam's debut solo effort As You Were did the same in October.

    Noel told Radio 4 that he would never walk the stage again with Oasis due to the behaviour of his brother.

    But despite all the friendly (and often not so friendly) sibling rivalry we do love a story with a happy ending and were pleased to see the pair later called a Christmas truce.

    Miracles do happen after all.

    Anton Du Beke and Alex Turner
    Image caption: Stop making the eyes at me...

    49) Strictly Come Dancing may have delivered us the ultimate Arctic Monkeys cover version

    The Arctic Monkeys' floor-filling classic I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor was given the swing treatment in November by none other than Strictly Come Dancing regular Anton Du Beke.

    It's taken from his forthcoming debut album From The Top, out now, just in time for Christmas.

    Other albums are available.

    Anton handily posted a snippet of the song below.

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    "I hope they don’t mind what we’ve done with it.

    "They might not have had it down as a swing track but it definitely works,” said our Anton.

    Well it's a ten from us.

    The Arctics, it must be said, are no strangers to a genre-mixing cover of their own.

  5. Chris Cornell scholarship

    Chris Cornell

    A new scholarship in the name of the late Chris Cornell has been launched in his honour at the University of California.

    Led by the Soundgarden singer's wife an endowed fund of more than $1 million has been created to support student scholarships at UCLA School of Law.

    The university says it honours "Cornell’s commitment to justice, human rights and advocacy for those in need".

    Cornell took his own life in May of this year at the age of 52.

    Vicky Cornell thanked the university's dean and chancellor for helping to establish an educational legacy in his honour.

    Quote Message: My husband and I agreed that given the opportunity of education, people have the power to change the world. UCLA School of Law is an institution known for its academic excellence and we are proud to provide funding through the Chris Cornell Scholarship for future students and future leaders of the world.

    Read more.

  6. 52 Things We Learned This Year: October

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    43) BBC Music Introducing parties pretty hard...for a 10-year-old

    BBC Music Introducing celebrated a decade of showcasing the best unsigned, self-signed and emerging musical talent in the UK with a gig at London's Brixton Academy.

    Artists including Everything Everything, Slaves, George Ezra and very special surprise guest Jake Bugg were there to play short but bouncing sets.

    It also gave 17-year-old grime star Yizzy (above) his largest audience to date.

    He told us he's "just getting started."

    "The only way is up. I'm 17. I've not put my foot on the pedal, I've barely stepped foot in the car. I'm still in the dealership trying to buy it."

    Declan McKenna was later crowed BBC Music Introducing artist of the year.

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    44) Loyle Carner kicks sexists out of his gigs

    Be warned.

    Another London rapper showed no mercy for an audience member accused of shouting a sexist comment at support act Elisa & Srigala in Norwich in October.

    Watch above as the Mercury-nominated hip hop star and all round top man points to the accused inside the University of East Anglia venue and asks security to remove him.

    He said: "I’m sorry man, you gotta learn a lesson my young man...

    “You gotta go. For being sexist, you gotta go.”

    Elisa & Srigala tweeted their thanks to Loyle for his actions.

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    45) Ed Sheeran breaks everything...records, bones, the lot

    Poor old Ed broke a wrist, elbow and rib when he was knocked off his bicycle by a car in London in October.

    He still rocked up at the Q Awards a few days later to pick up his gong for best act in the world today.

    As well as bones he also broke the UK chart record earlier in the year by having 16 songs in UK Top 20.

    As a result of 'the Ed effect' created by his ubiquitous smash hit album Divide, the Official Charts company then changed their own rules, limiting the number of tracks per artist.

    We'd take that as a compliment Ed.

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    46) Robbie Williams was in intensive care

    The 43-year-old singer told fans in October that he cancelled three recent gigs in Russia as he was recovering from a "worrying" illness which had left him intensive care.

    “Unfortunately, that illness kicked in just at the end of my tour, a tour which was going so well," he said.

    “Then I got some test results. They were very worrying and I ended up in ICU, so I couldn’t go.”

    He added: "I haven’t pulled out of a tour for bad health since 1998 so you know if I can’t do it then there’s something going on that I just can’t do it."

    Check out the video above in which The Robster confirms that he's on the road to recovery and enjoying his new vegan lifestyle. Except for "a really big burger on a Sunday."

    Erm? *Quickly googles 'Vegan'.

  7. 52 Things We Learned This Year: September

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    Video caption: Sampha wins the Mercury Prize 2017.

    39) Sampha's Process was the best album

    According to the Mercury Prize judges at least.

    The South London piano star, who has worked with the likes of Beyonce and Drake, is now officially a superstar in his own right having fended off competition from the likes of Stormzy, Kate Tempest, The xx and Ed Sheeran to receive the award from actor Idris Elba.

    He now surely has the keys to the world.

    Re-live Sampha's Mercury Prize 2017 win as it happened.

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    40) Beyonce got stuck in with the Houston hurricane relief effort

    US pop queen Beyonce offered a helping hand to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in her home town of Houston, Texas.

    Thousands of people were left homeless and dozens died following flooding caused by the hurricane.

    The singer's mum Tina posted a video on Instagram which showed them helping serve up food to families affected. Beyonce's Destiny's Child bandmate Michelle Williams was also seen mucking in.

    In the post, Tina said: "That's Michelle Williams at the beginning of line, serving the chicken, Beyonce on Green beans and me on bread duty."

    The singer had pledged to help as many victims of the storms as she could.

    Later in the week, Beyonce joined the likes of Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder and U2 in helping raising funds for those affected by both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, in Florida, with a special Hand in Hand relief Telethon.

    On the show the 36-year-old singer said: "Today is a celebration of survival.

    "Y'all are my family. Houston is my home."

    Quote Message: Natural disasters don't discriminate. They don't see if you're an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor.

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    Video caption: The Big Moon, Marika Mackman & Okiem play Give a Home flat gig

    41) Gigs in people's flats are ace

    September saw thousands of musicians around the world, including top stars like Ed Sheeran,The National and Hot Chip rock up at strangers houses with their instruments for a special evening of charity gigs.

    Sofar Sounds and Amnesty International teamed up with music fans to "Give a Home for human rights" and raise funds for and awareness of "the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War".

    But that's not to say it wasn't great fun along the way.

    Watch above as The Big Moon, Marika Hackman and Okiem provide an "indescribable" experience for gig-goers in good old Graham's east London pad.

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    42) Cardi B landed a historic US #1 single

    Rapper and later to be Offset from Migos's fiance Cardi B turned heads across the Atlantic when she became the first female hip hop star to land a number one in the Billboard chart's Hot 100 in nearly 20 years.

    Her track Bodak Yellow follows Lauryn Hill's Doo Wop (That Thing) which hit the number one spot waaaaay back in 1998.

    Many female rappers, like Missy Elliott, have tried and failed in the meantime and they were queuing up this week to congratulate her.

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    Check her out above chatting to 1Xtra's Yasmin Evans back in April about hip hop, boys and showing off her English accent.

    Or is it Australian?

    It's funny whatever it is.

  8. Love is in the air... for Sam Smith

    It seems Sam Smith has gone public with his boyfriend, Thirteen Reasons Why star Brandon Flynn, with a post on Instagram.

    Flynn posted the picture of the couple captioned "rare sighting in London."

    It's not exactly got the glamour of Meghan and Harry but unicorn hats, elevator lighting and the look of a couple who've had a few sherries... what's not to like.

    Congrats guys.

    Look how happy Sam looks.

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  9. 52 Things We Learned This Year: August

    Calvin Harris

    34) Who the world's best paid DJ is...

    No prizes for guessing.

    Scottish lothario Calvin Harris topped Forbes magazine's list of top earning DJs for the FIFTH year running,

    The lad formerly known as plain old Adam Wiles from Dumfries apparently made $48.5 million - that's £37.4m in pound sterling, in the past 12 months.

    We'll be passing a cap around for poor old Zedd at the foot of this year's list (below) with a rather meagre $19m - or £14.61m in our money.

    1. Calvin Harris ($48,500,000)

    2. Tiesto ($39,000,000)

    3. The Chainsmokers ($38,000,000)

    4. Skrillex ($30,000,000)

    5. Steve Aoki ($29,500,000)

    6. Diplo ($28,500,000)

    7. David Guetta ($25,000,000)

    8. Marshmello ($21,000,000)

    9. Martin Garrix ($19,500,000)

    10. Zedd ($19,000,000)

    This photo of Taylor Swift (centre) and David Mueller (right) was a key piece of evidence in court

    35) Taylor Swift won her groping court case

    Calvin's ex Tay Tay won a sexual assault case in August, against an ex-radio DJ who she said had groped her at a 2013 concert.

    David Mueller assaulted her by grabbing her bottom beneath her skirt as a photo was taken, a jury in Denver, Colorado, found.

    She was awarded a symbolic $1 (77p) in damages that she had sought.

    In a statement following the verdict, Taylor said: "I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this."

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    In November Taylor returned to what she does best when her new album Reputation went straight to number one in the UK, becoming 2017's fastest-selling record by a female artist, despite having been withheld from major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music for the first few weeks.

    Perhaps most interestingly of all this year though was that she started to sound like Right Said Fred (above).

    Elvis Presley candlelit vigil in Graceland
    Image caption: The King is dead...long live The King

    36) Elvis Presley is still missed 40 years after his death

    Tens of thousands of fans of 'The King' gathered outside his old home in Graceland in August to mark the 40th anniversary of his death with a candlelit vigil.

    They were joined by his daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

    The singer died in 1977 aged 42.

    His ex-wife Priscilla (below), 72, and family greeted fans before the anniversary event in Memphis, Tennessee.

    There were some suspicious minds about the fact that for the first time in the five decades since his death, fans had to pay for entry.

    Priscilla Presley
    Missy Elliot

    37) The Shins backed the bid to replace a Confederate monument with a statue of Missy Elliott

    A hip hop fan started a campaign to get a statue of the Get Ur Freak On rapper to be erected in place of a Confederate monument.

    It followed violent clashes between white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia after the announcement of the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

    In a pun-tastic letter to the mayor, Virginia resident Nathan Coflin proposed that it should instead be replaced by one of the Virginia-born rapper.

    He said: “Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it."

    While at Green Man festival we asked Shins singer James Mercer what he thought about the petition, which already had over 3,000 names on it.

    "That's amazing!" he said. "We're terrible fans of hers, we love her."

    Bassist Yuuki Matthews added: "Whoever is doing that, make it happen! She should definitely have a statue."

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    Video caption: Solar eclipse 2017: Bonnie Tyler performs Total Eclipse

    38) Bonnie Tyler sang Total Ecplise of the Heart during an actual total eclipse...

    ...on a cruise, alongside DNCE's Joe Jonas.

    Now what's not to love about that sentence?

    Check it for yourselves above.

    On average the next total eclipse is expected to happen in around 38 years or so.

    By then Bonnie will be 104-years-old.

    Just saying.

  10. Stormzy: I don't want to be an artist on a pedestal

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    Video caption: Stormzy: I don't want to be an artist on a pedestal

    Stormzy has been talking about the making of his new music video for his latest singe Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2.

    The video sees Stormzy hanging out in a local community and getting his fans to join in with the singing.

    The big London grime star underlines the importance to him of keeping it real.

    Quote Message: I never want to be this artist who’s on this pedestal, where I’m so over there, and so famous, with ten security guards around me that you can’t get to me, I was like “nah man”, I would love to keep that same essence no matter what I’m doing.
  11. 52 Things We Learned This Year: July

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    29) The Maccabies are no more.

    They are an ex-indie band.

    The Londoners played an emotionally-charged gig to a sold-out Alexandra Palace bringing their farewell tour to a close.

    Guitarist Felix White told Radio 1's Annie Mac that he thought there would be tears on the night and we're guessing that it turned out to be the case.

    There were certainly cameos from Jamie T, Jack Penate and Mystery Jets.

    And confetti. Lots of confetti (see above).

    Ellie Goulding

    30) There still aren't enough female acts on at major festivals

    A cursory glance at most major festival line-ups this summer told us that but Ellie Goulding said what we were all thinking.

    In a series of humble brag tweets (below) the singer said she doesn't see many females on festival bills and was proud to be a headliner.

    A BBC study of 14 events across 660 headline appearances suggested music festivals have been dominated by all-male acts for the past 10 years.

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    Reading and Leeds festival boss Melvin Benn later launched a scheme called ReBalance to get more female and female-led acts on festival line-ups.


    31) Stormzy is now a House (of Commons) hold name

    It was year to remember for grime superstar Stormzy.

    After bagging a number one with his debut album Gangs Signs and Prayer in March, the 24-year-old was then confused with new Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku by an Irish newspaper, honoured at Oxford University and then given three Mobo Awards and Artist of the Year at the BBC Music Awards.

    To top all that he also headlined The Other Stage at Glastonbury and even had his lyrics quoted directly in Parliament.

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    Thirsty work all of that.

    The big man's earned himself a drink.

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    32) Despacito is now the stream-iest song EVER

    Luis Fonsi's Despacito featuring Daddy Yankee became the most-streamed song of all time, just six months after it was released.

    After having been played 4.6 billion times across all streaming services, the reggaeton hit song overtook Justin Bieber's Sorry, which previously held the title.

    "What's happened with this song is just insane," said Fonsi, who hails from Puerto Rico and sings in Spanish.

    "For a song to bring people and cultures together, that's what makes me proud."

    The Biebs then got involved with a remix of the track which made it even more popular online, proving at last that you can cross the streams.

    Sadly JB didn't bother to learn the Spanish words in time for his UK summer festival slot. New Year's resolution maybe?

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    33) Beyonce looks nothing like Lindsay Lohan

    Enough said.

    Must try harder next year Madame Tussauds.

  12. Jonny Greenwood soundtrack preview


    Jonny Greenwood

    The first track from Jonny Greenwood's Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack to Phantom Thread has been released.

    You can take a listen to House of Woodcock below.

    The Radiohead guitarist's score will be released digitally on January 12 via Nonesuch.

    Pitchfork have the full tracklist which you can see here.

    The Paul Thomas Anderson film is out in the UK on 2 February.

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  13. 52 Things We Learned This Year: June

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    23) Music continues to unite people in the face of horror

    An incredible 13 days after the atrocity committed in the heart of Manchester, which claimed the lives of 22 people, singer Ariana Grande returned to the city with an all-star cast of musicians in defiance of terrorism.

    Miley Cyrus, the Black Eyed Peas, Pharrell, Coldplay, Take That and Justin Bieber were among the artists who performed at the One Love Manchester show at Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

    Here at MNL, we ran a live page on what was an emotional night for everyone involved, which demonstrated once again the sheer power music has to unite rather than divide.

    Manchester's own Liam Gallagher even flew back from Europe to make a surprise late appearance (below).

    Ariana and Chris Martin sang a cover of what became an anthem of unity across the country, from Liam's old band (above).

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    Ariana would later be made an honorary Mancunian herself.

    So many performances to choose from but one of Ariana's favourite singers, British star Imogen Heap, brought people to standstill with her haunting performance of Hide and Seek.

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    24) Katy Perry got personal while promoting her latest album

    The singer live streamed herself for 72 hour to mark the release of her Witness album.

    That meant fans could watch her sleep, eat, do yoga, sing, undergo therapy and chat with her MANY invited guests who included Sia, James Corden, Anna Kendrick and chef Gordon Ramsey.

    It helped her land a number one in the US though the album only made it to number six in the UK.

    Katy would later in the year go on to bemoan Instagram culture.


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    25) Bob Dylan submitted his Nobel speech...but something wasn't quite right

    The legendary singer finally delivered the Nobel lecture to earn himself the 8m krona ($900,000 or £727,000) that comes with winning the prize.

    As expected, he turned in an eloquent pre-recorded speech about his literary influences and memories.

    However, someone noticed his musings on books like Herman Melville's Moby Dick were strikingly similar to notes made on study guide SparkNotes.

    Slate Magazine uncovered similarities between the site's entry on the book and Dylan's speech, in which he discussed the three books that had the biggest impact on his career.

    Dylan quoted a Quaker priest who, in the aftermath of a storm at sea, tells another character: "Some men who receive injuries are led to God, others are led to bitterness."

    This was not actually in the book. Oops.

    Slate discovered that SparkNotes used similar phrasing, describing the preacher as "someone whose trials have led him toward God rather than bitterness".

    Cue, some awkward foot shuffling.

    To date, Bob has yet to make any comment but it's funny to think that even the great man might sometimes cheat with his homework like the rest of us.

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    26) Artists came together for Grenfell

    The Grenfell Tower fire in west London on 14 June claimed the lives of 71 people.

    Stars including Adele were seen helping out on the ground as hundreds of displaced residents of the building were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

    Artists including Stormzy, Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith and Rita Ora took part in a charity recording to raise money for The London Community Foundation.

    The Grenfell Tower charity single - cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water - topped the UK singles charts with the biggest first day sales of the decade.

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    27) Kesha found out that Jerry Seinfeld 'doesn't do' hugs

    The singer found out to her cost that the comedy legend is not one for physical contact with fans, even celebrity ones.

    "I don't know who that was," said the bemused comic actor after snubbing the request for a snuggle.

    As awkward encounters go, this was one of our favourites of 2017.

    Foo Fighters

    28) Foo Fighters finally got to headline Glastonbury

    Dave Grohl and co were just the two years late to Worthy Farm.

    That's after he broke his leg falling off stage during a gig in Sweden just a few weeks before the Foos were meant to headline Glasto 15.

    Better late than never though and they joined Ed Sheeran (and his loop pedal) and Radiohead in topping the bill.

    Watch a bit of their spectacular set below - and turn it up to 11.

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  14. DJ Khaled got stuck up a tree in a jet ski

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    Holiday problems of the rich and famous now and DJ Khaled has been posting about how he got stuck in a tree when he traveled by jet ski (as you do) to his mate Diddy's house.

    He did finish his journey and had his leg treated before he showed it off to Diddy.

    We love how he turns everything into a life lesson.

    "The key is don't panic."

    Wise words.

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    Thankfully he wasn't put off and soon he and Diddy were back on the jet skis and larking about with Drake.

    Now that's a Christmas party!

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  15. 52 Things We Learned This Year: May

    Two fafns followjg the terro attack

    18) The world extended a hand of love and support to Manchester

    The month of May was dominated by a single story on 22 May, when an extremist blew himself up in the foyer of the Manchester Area following an Ariana Grande gig, killing 22 people are injuring scores more.

    People from all around came together in shock and disbelief, with messages of love and support sent to the victims, the city and its residents.

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    Music News LIVE ran a page dedicated to those messages.

    Gigs across the country were cancelled though some bands made the decision to play on.

    A statement from Simple Minds, who were due to play a show a mile away from the site of the bombing said "the shock and numbness of it all is still as strong"

    But they added: "The feeling in our group was entirely unanimous. More than ever, we all want to go out tonight and play our music."

    The Oasis song Don't Look back in Anger quickly became an anthem of defiance after crowds spontaneously burst into song at a vigil in the city centre.

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    Video caption: People at minute's silence in Manchester break into Oasis's Don't Look Back in Anger
    Chris Cornell

    19) We lost a unique voice with the death of Chris Cornell

    The Soundgarden singer died at the age of just 52, taking his own life just hours after playing a gig in Detroit.

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    As well as enjoying a hugely successful career as a solo artist, Chris fronted the rock supergroup Audioslave too, alongside Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk.false

    He also recorded the theme to Casino Royale; Daniel Craig's first outing as James Bond.

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    Video caption: Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell talks to Matt Everitt about the band's early shows.

    In an open letter to the singer following his death, Chris's wife said: "You were the best father, husband and son-in-law. Your patience, empathy and love always showed through.

    "I’m sorry, my sweet love, that I did not see what happened to you that night. I’m sorry you were alone, and I know that was not you, my sweet Christopher. Your children know that too, so you can rest in peace."

    Ed Sheeran and his portrait

    20) This is apparently Ed Sheeran's 'good side'

    Ed took some time out from being an all conquering chart machine to help unveil a new portrait of himself which now resides in the National Portrait Gallery.

    The work was painted by Belfast-based artist Colin Davidson.

    It's Ed's first ever painted portrait and measures four feet square - so just a little taller than Ed himself (sorry Ed, joke mate).

    The singer-songwriter sat for the artist at his home in Suffolk in 2015 for three hours, during which Davidson made twenty drawings from life and took reference photographs.

    "I deliberately didn’t want Ed to perform and that was odd for him," said Colin.

    He's probably written a wedding song about it mind...

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    21) TLC finally made it to the UK... 27 years after they formed.

    The US girl band's first ever gig on these shores took place at Koko in Camden, north London.

    Our music reporter Mark Savage was there and described it as "25 years of anticipation translated into one of the most joyous and affectionate shows in living memory".

    Not bad then, yeah?

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    Video caption: TLC on performing again and playing in the UK for the first time
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    22) There is some amazing new music out there

    We took a sojourn to the seaside for our very first Music News LIVE special from The Great Escape in Brighton.

    On top of the various things we learned there (like always pack an umbrella), we also chatted with the likes of up and coming artists like Slotface, King Nun, Ibibio Sound Machine, The Parrots and Jane Weaver.

    We learned that it is not particularly wise to put Slaves on at the end of a nearly 120-year-old pier too.

    Roll on 2018's event.

  16. Statues get it on in new Avicii video


    Avicii has released the video for his track with Billy Raffoul; You Be Love, and he says it's a "pretty special one."

    He explained the concept on Twitter.

    "The characters are completely frozen in time and you can only understand the mode they are in by expressions and poses."

    They are pretty creepy and scary at times - check it out below.

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  17. 52 Things We Learned This Year: April

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    14) outed himself as a Corrie fan in his new video

    Well either that or it was just easier to use the Rovers Return as a video location because Coronation Street is an ITV show, which is the home to The Voice, where he also works.

    Either way, it's still amusing watching him and his dancers get their groove on in Weatherfield.

    He claims he'll "spend a hundred-fifty grand in here," which would get you a fair few hot-pots and ales.

    His collaborator India Love is later seeing chilling out by the slot machine, before heads out on to the cobbles for the closing routine, as flames lick their feet.

    Someone wants to call the council about that, sounds dangerous.

    Tye Trujillo

    15) A new metal star was discovered in the shape of a 12-year-old-boy

    Korn raised a few (pierced) eyebrows when they announced that the replacement for sidelined bassist Fieldy Arvizu on their South American tour would be a boy not yet shaving.

    In fairness, Tye Trujillo probably had a few good one-to-one lessons with his old man, Robert Trujillo, bass player of a little known outfit called Metallica.

    The head-banging youngster acquitted himself pretty well it has to be said.

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    16) Did The Chemical Brothers pre-empt a Pepsi row?

    Model Kendall Jenner managed to get into some hot water over a soft cold drink commercial in which she defuses the tension at a rally by offering a can to a police officer

    The ad was pulled after the drinks company were accused of trivializing street protests across the US.

    Actress Rosario Dawson took a slightly different angle (above), pointing out the simiularities to a satirical Chemical Brothers video for the single Out of Control, released 15 years ago.

    Spooky or what?

    Banarama: L-R Keren Woodward, Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey

    17) The return of Bananarama was confirmed

    Yes, the actual Bananarama.

    The original line-up of Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward are back on speaking terms and announced they were getting back together for their first-ever tour.

    The girls were the biggest girl band of the 80s (despite having never toured) scoring hits including Venus, Shy Boy and Love In The First Degree before an acrimonious split in 1988.

    "This is the first time we've performed live together - with the exception of getting onstage with a cassette when we were 18!" Woodward told BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show.

    Fahey - who left the band nearly 30 years ago to start Shakespeare's Sister - said: "I was really touched because it wasn't for any other reason than we love each other and really loved what we did.

    "I never thought it would happen again."

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  18. Huw Edwards 'brought grime' to the UK

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    It's official.

    BBC News presenter Huw Edwards' bromance with Radio 1 and 1Xtra DJ Charlie Sloth has been blossoming in recent months.

    The pair have been seen cruising around the bad streets of London together and Huw even appeared on Charlie's show The Eighth, where he was made an official citizen of Slothland.

    Now Charlie has returned the favour by appearing on Huw's own show - aka the news - where he appears to agree with the Welshman's bold claim that he's been a big player in the UK rap game.

    "I kind of feel that I brought grime into the UK" said Huw.

    Quote Message: When I said on the news at 10 'let's talk about grime', it kind of happened. You were riding on my wave.

    Charlie agrees that "the big boss man of news" has had a big effect on the scene.

    Check it out above.

  19. 52 Things We Learned This Year: March

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    9) Rihanna 'made it to Harvard'

    "Never thought I'd be able to say that in my life, but it feels good," said the singer as she accepted a humanitarian award from the Ivy League US university at the tail end of February.

    She was recognized for her charitable work in her native Barbados and other charities she has founded over the years.

    In an inspiring speech, she said: "I would say to myself, 'When I grow up and I get rich, I'm gonna save kids all over the world.'

    "I just didn't know I would be in a position to do that by the time I was a teenager."

    But she added: "All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian."

    "You don't have to be famous, you don't even have to be college educated. But it starts with your neighbour."

    Steve Aoki

    10) Steve Aoki only takes four days off year

    So stop moaning about how little time you get off at Christmas OK?

    We guess it helps if your 'job' is flying around the world being paid massive sums of money to spin a few tunes for a couple of hours.

    "I've got to take a break sometime," the superstar DJ told us.

    "So I'm spending the days snowboarding and enjoying myself with my friends, I do that once a year and this is my four days off. I try to enjoy doing my hobbies.

    Quote Message: You get into a cycle and it becomes awkward when I'm not in the studio or touring and playing shows, I get fidgety, I have to get back into the grind. I'm lucky because I love what I do."

    We hear you man, we'd happily work here 361 days a year.

    For the same wages as you though, of course.

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    11) The xx set a new record at Brixton Academy... with the help of some VIP guests

    The electro-indie trio completed a seven-night residency at the iconic London venue and closed the record-breaking run with the help of Glastonbury headliner and close personal friend Florence Welch (she of... and the Machine fame).

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    "South London is where we all come from" said guitarist and singer Romy.

    "So to leave with a record...This means the world to us."

    Read our review.

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    12) Rock 'n' Roll lost one of its first and most original voices

    Also in March, the music world lost Chuck Berry, one of the fathers of rock 'n' roll, at the age of 90.

    His seven-decade spanning career boasted a string of hits, including the classics Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode.

    He received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

    The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards called him "the Grandaddy of us all" and writing in Rolling Stone magazine confessed he was once been punched by his idol.

    "Chuck Berry once gave me a black eye, which I later called his greatest hit.

    "We saw him play in New York somewhere, and afterward I was backstage in his dressing room, where his guitar was lying in its case. I wanted to look, out of professional interest, and as I'm just plucking the strings, Chuck walked in and gave me this wallop to the frickin' left eye.

    Quote Message: But I realized I was in the wrong. If I walked in to my dressing room and saw somebody fiddling with my ax, it would be perfectly all right to sock 'em, you know? I just got caught.
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    13) Laura Mvula found out she was dropped from her record label by email

    Sadly the twice Mercury-nominated singer learned one of the month's harshest lessons - that the music industry can sometimes be cruel - when she found out she was dropped by her record label Sony via e-mail.

    She told the BBC that she only found out about it from a forwarded email, which was seven lines long.

    "I didn't see anyone, I didn't hear anybody's voice. I just read words. It felt so cold and cruel," she said.

    "Not even the fact that I was dropped, the way that the whole thing happened. To be treated like that doesn't feel quite just."

    Laura proved the doubters wrong emphatically by winning best album for The Dreaming Room at the Ivor Novello awards in May.

    Keep dreaming kids. Dreaming is free.

    Read more.

  20. Lorde debates Israel gig


    Lorde has said she is considering pulling out of a gig in Israel after a protest from fans.

    She is due to play a concert in Tel Aviv in June.

    Jewish New Zealander Justine Sachs and Palestinian New Zealander Nadia Abu-Shanab wrote an open letter to Lorde in The Spin Off urging her to reconsider.

    Lorde responded on Twitter to them saying she was considering all options and thanked them for educating her.

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    This year Radiohead and Nick Cave performed gigs in Israel.

    They were criticized by UK Artists for Palestine for not respecting their cultural boycott.