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Live Updates

By Kev Geoghegan & Paul Glynn

All times stated are UK

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  1. You've been amazing

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    Thanks for joining us today.

    If you haven't already there's still time to tell the person next to you what you think about them - for National Compliment Day.

    Like blogger and author The Slum Flower is, above, about some of her pop faves.

    Scroll down for news of Jay-Z and Meek Mill trying to help some people out of prison, Cardi B landing her own Las Vegas residence and Boyzone bidding an emotional farewell to Belfast on the opening night of their farewell tour.

    Plus we talk to Vampire Weekend about their first new music in almost six years.

    See you tomorrow for New Music Friday.

    And remember MNL readers: You guys are the best.

  2. Dua Lipa sees a future where the whole world is garbage

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    The British singer has unveiled her apocalyptic video for the song Swan Song from the forthcoming animated movie Alita: Battle Angel.

    It sees the star and her crew dancing across a trash-filled landscape.

    It's very cinematic but is it wrong that we kept looming out for Wall-E?

  3. Zimbabwe Afro-jazz singer Oliver Mtukudzi dies aged 66

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    Oliver Mtukudzi, one of Zimbabwe's most renowned musicians, has died aged 66 after a four-decade career.

    He came to prominence in the 1970s as one of voices of the revolution fighting white-minority rule.

    His lyrics often carried social messages about HIV/Aids and coded political commentary.

    His 2001 song Wasakara, meaning "You Are Too Old", was banned as it was seen as a reference to leader Robert Mugabe, who was ousted 16 years later aged 93.

    The singer and guitarist mixed several different styles to create his own distinctive Afro-jazz sound, known to his fans as "Tuku Music".

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    Tributes have been pouring in for the "legend and music icon".

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  4. The Specials enlist viral star for new lyric video

    Saffiyah Kahn and an unnamed EDL protester

    The ska band - who recently announced a new album - have now shared a video for their new track, which features vocals from student-turned-photographer Saffiyah Khan.

    She became a viral hero two years ago when she faced down a baying EDL supporter armed with nothing more than a smile.

    10 Commandments features Saffiyah listing her grievances.

    "Thou can catcall me on the street but know I will catcall you back and say you're looking pretty sexy in your joggers or suit or newfound look of confusion."

    You can watch it and the band's YouTube channel but be warned some of the language may offend.

  5. #TBT: TLC show Weezer how it's done

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    We don't hate Weezer's new cover of the 90s US girlband's hit, No Scrubs.

    Scroll down this page to see if you don't either.

    We just thought for our #ThrowbackThursday today we'd take you back to 1999, so you can compare their version with the original from Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins, Rozonda 'Chilli' Thom and the late Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes.

    In 2017 TLC played their first UK gig in 25 years.

  6. Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst are...

    BBC 6 Music

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    Better Oblivion Community Center.

    The US country folk rockers have joined forces on a surprise joint album under the brilliant new name above.

    Watch above as they explain the meaning behind BOCC to 6 Music.

    The new duo stepped out in public under their new guise for the first time to perform their track Dylan Thomas on The Late Show.

    Check that out below too.

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  7. Vampire Weekend: 'I'm a neurotic over-thinker'

    Paul Glynn

    Music News LIVE reporter

    Ezra Koening

    Vampire Weekend have just dropped their first new music in almost six years.

    After teasing their much-anticipated fourth album, FOTB, by uploading a guitar riff on a two hour loop, this afternoon they've unleashed two brand new tracks; Harmony Hall and 2021.

    Frontman Ezra Koenig called MNL for a quick chat ahead of the release.

    "I think some of our most direct songs ever people aren't going to hear until the album comes out," he said.

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    "There's some really special songs that I wanted people to hear in the context of the album.

    "For me as a neurotic over-thinker, picking singles is very difficult and thankfully we have a lot of other people to help with that. But there are certain songs that I think are a new songwriting vibe for Vampire Weekend."

    Read more and check out the two new tracks above and below.

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  8. British rock band cover Billie Eilish track for Annie Mac

    BBC Radio 1

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    Check out Bring Me The Horizon's cover of the US teen star's song, When the Party's Over. on Annie's Future Sounds show.

    The band also performed their latest track Medicine.

    BMTH release their sixth album, Amo, on Friday.

  9. Ed Sheeran wants to teach the world to sing...

    Ed Sheeran

    Sort of.

    The musician is teaming up with a guitar firm in Northern Ireland to make a range of affordable guitars in the hope of tempting more young people to play music.

    The partnership - with Lowden Guitars in County Down - was confirmed at the National Association of Music Merchants 2019 show in California on Thursday.

    Sheeran gave a surprise performance at a private event.

    Read more

  10. J. Cole declares himself to be the GOAT on new single

    J.Cole

    Middle Child is out now but be warned about the language.

    The new track follows the release of the German-born US rapper's KOD album last year and finds him on fine lyrical form.

    He tips the cap to the greats before declaring himself to be current top of the pile.

    To the OGs, I'm thankin' you now / Was watchin' you when you was pavin' the ground

    I copied your cadence, I mirrored your style / I studied the greats, I'm the greatest right now

    You have to admire that sort of confidence.

    Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz clearly thinks he's one of the original gangsters in question...

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    Seeing as it's Thursday, here's a throwback too courtesy of J and fellow musician Thundercat as wee slip of a lad.

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  11. The US singer who's wooing Chinese audiences in Mandarin

    Video content

    Video caption: Christine Welch: How this American's Chinese song went viral in China

    Here's a good one for anyone currently studying music and languages...

    US singer-songwriter Christine Welch has spent many years writing and singing in Mandarin Chinese but got her big break when her song A Million Possibilities went viral.

    "I've never written a song in English," she told BBC News.

    Check out her story above.

  12. Puerto Rican star was a blackmail victim over 'intimate tape'

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    Puerto Rican star Ozuna has confirmed he was the victim of a blackmail scheme involving an explicit video filmed when he was 16-years-old.

    "Ozuna was extorted through an intimate video filmed when he was a minor," said a statement from the singer's label and management firm, Dimelo Vi.

    The reggaeton singer is believed to have paid $50,000 (£38,000) to his extorter before approaching the FBI.

    Reports published by Puerto Rican media claimed the person extorting Ozuna was gay rap artist Kevin Fret - who was shot dead in San Juan on 10 January.

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  13. Weezer treat new surprise covers album with TLC

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    We think they might be covering Miami Vice in the cover pic too.

    The Los Angeles indie band have tackled Toto, Black Sabbath, Annie Lennox, ELO and Michael Jackson on The Teal Album; a 10 track surprise precursor to their upcoming album of originals, The Black Album.

    But it's their cover of 90s US girlband TLC (above) that seems to have caught the imagination of fans.

    We're not if that's a good or a bad thing though.

    Check out the full tracklist and some fan reactions below.

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  14. Twenty One Pilots share Chlorine video

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    The duo from Ohio have shared the visuals for their album track, Chlorine and it features the boys on pool cleaning duties and using an awful lot of chemicals.

    There is also a small furry creature which is probably some kind of visual metaphor, we're just not sure for what.

    They are touring the UK in March, before then they've been nominated for best international group at the Brits and will also headline Reading + Leeds in August, alongside Foo Fighters, The 1975 and Post Malone.

  15. Dua Lipa to release Swan Song later today

    Dua Lipa

    Fear not pop fans, she's not quitting showbiz.

    Not as far as we know anyway. It's simply the name of her new song that's set to drop later today.

    You can hear it first on Radio 1 at 15:00 BST.

    Dua's first track of 2019 and first since 2018's Electricity with Silk City (Mark Ronson & Diplo) is taken from Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming cyberpunk action movie, Alita: Battle Angel.

    Sneak a peak at how they cut the track below.

    The UK-Kosovan singer is up for four Brit Awards next month.

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  16. Latitude Festival announces 2019 headliners

    Snow Patrol, Lana Del Rey and George Ezra

    George Ezra, Snow Patrol and Lana Del Rey will headline the 14th Latitude festival in Suffolk in July.

    BBC Sound of 2018 winner Sigrid also joins the line-up, along with UK electronic pioneers Underworld.

    Primal Scream, Freya Ridings and Sound of 2019 star Rosalia will also feature on the event's BBC Music stage.

    Read more

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  17. Sir Macca shares new Grandude! artwork

    Sir Paul McCartney

    We know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but this one looks pretty good.

    After having made the suit/trainers combo and double thumbs up pose "cool", the legendary Scouse musician is now doing the same for grandparents.

    The 76-year-old has written a children's book, called Grandude! and has now shared the cover illustrations.

    "I’m excited to share the cover of my new children’s book Hey Grandude! which will be out later this year," wrote Sir Macca.

    "I’ve worked on this with a great illustrator called Kathryn Dursy and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do."

    Check them out below.

    As you can see above too, being a cool 'grandude' must involve finally ditching the hair dye.

    He looks pretty fly for a white-haired guy.

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  18. Jay Z and Meek Mill join forces to call for US prison reform

    Jay Z and Meek Mill

    Jay and Meek have helped launch a criminal justice reform organisation aimed at reducing the number of people in American jails.

    Reform Alliance is putting $50m (£38m) toward "disabling the revolving door of probation and parole".

    Speaking at the launch, Jay said: "We want to be very clear - if someone commits a crime they should go to jail but these things are just disproportionate and the whole world knows it."

    According to civil rights group, the NAACP, black Americans are jailed at a rate of five to one in comparison with white American offenders.

    Mill - who real name is Robert Williams - was recently released from prison for parole violation stemming from drug and possession charges in 2008. His conviction sparked a national conversation, with many high profile celebs calling for his release.

    "I'm here to speak for all the people who don't have a voice," he said.

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    "Being from the environment I'm from, I don't even think it's possible for you to be an angel.

    "You grow up around murder on a daily basis, you grow up in drug-infested neighbourhoods on a daily basis.

    "I got caught up in the system."

    The Alliance's goal is to free one million people from the system in the next five years, focusing on on parole and probation.

    America still has the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world.

  19. Cardi B lands her own Las Vegas residency

    Rolling Stone magazine

    Cardi B

    The rapper is the latest artist to make money moves by lining up a residency at the Palms Casino Resort in Sin City.

    She is due to perform a string of dates in the spring at the casino’s day (and night) club, KAOS.

    Apparently, fellow rapper G-Eazy and producer Skrillex have also signed up for dates at the venue, which is due to re-open after a staggering $690m renovation.

    More than just a lick of paint then.

    Cardi is due to perform at next month's Grammy awards - where she has five nominations including album of the year.

    Read more

  20. Boyzone bid emotional farewell to Belfast

    Ronan Keating

    Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating thanked fans in Belfast as they kicked off their farewell tour with their final ever gig in the city.

    The band played to a packed SSE Arena and after a rapturous applause, their frontman told fans: "To have had the career that we have had, the amount of albums that we sold, the journeys that we were on as individuals and collectively, it's been one hell of a ride."

    He added: "And you have been there every step of the way."

    Oh Ronan...

    It's bound to be even more teary tonight in Dublin, where the band all met after answering an advert put in a newspaper by Louis Walsh, who was apparently looking for the "Irish Take That."

    The band released their seventh and final album, Thank You & Goodnight in November