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Live Updates

By Kev Geoghegan & Paul Glynn

All times stated are UK

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  1. The end of the beginning...

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    That's Monday done, only three more days until our weekly 5 Things We've Learned this Week.

    What will they be we wonder?

    Will it be something from Eurosonic? Perhaps a discussion on gender balance or green festivals?

    What about Ed Sheeran announcing his engagement? Or new music from Spanish indie kids Hinds? Or even Stormzy's summer headline slot.

    We can hardly wait and if you're the same, then scroll back down to remind yourself of all those things and more.

    See you for more on Tuesday.

  2. Tributes paid to Kinks and Zombies bassist Jim Rodford

    Jim Rodford

    The Kinks bassist Jim Rodford has died at the age of 76.

    The British musician, who spent 18 years with the band from 1979, also played with Argent and The Zombies.

    His cousin and fellow bandmate, Rod Argent, paid tribute on Facebook to the "magnificent bass player", who died following a fall.

    He also highlighted his commitment to the music scene in St Albans where he had lived all his life, playing with family members in The Rodford Files.

    "He gave us absolutely unflagging commitment, loyalty and unbelievable energy... Our gratitude is beyond measure," Argent said.

    "To the end, Jim's life was dedicated to music," Argent continued, in a lengthy tribute posted on Saturday. "He will be unbelievably missed."

    Another former bandmate Dave Davies of The Kinks said he was "devestated" in his tribute below.

    Read more.

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  3. Eurosonic: Pip Blom don't give an Amster-Dam

    Paul Glynn

    Music News LIVE reporter

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    While Sam Fender, Jade Bird and the likes were helping to fly the flag for UK music at ESNS and the focus was firmly on Off Bloom and Denmark, Amsterdam indie rockers Pip Blom had the hopes of their small nation on their shoulders too.

    Not that you'd know it.

    “I try to not feel any pressure," said frontwoman Pip.

    “I try to enjoy it and have fun. Then at least we had fun and then we’ll see what happens."

    “I don’t think it really connects for me – it’s just another show,” added Blur-loving guitarist and Pip's brother Tender.

    Turns out Tender was so relaxed about the whole thing that he nearly didn't make it. We don't just mean at Eurosonic either, but into the band at all.

    He left his sis to go it alone at first...until the big gig offers started rolling in.

    Pip takes up the tale.

    "I like being in a band a lot but at first I couldn’t find anyone because my brother didn’t want to join! I didn’t know anyone.

    "I kept asking him and eventually he joined.

    “At first we tried it with a backing track, just the two of us and a machine but it didn’t really work [so the band was born].

    Quote Message: The first four songs I released there was no band. Then things kicked off really fast. The fourth show we were already at a big festival and we’d never played together before.

    Tender holds his hands up: “I accept my mistakes... but I'm here now!”

    All is forgiven anyway and their Britpop/grungey riffs and lo-fi charm drew whoops of delight from one onlooker at their gig at Huis de Beurs on Friday night

    "The 90s are back," cried one onlooker, beer raised in hand.

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    While talk of the weather is usually the last refuge of the incredibly dull, it seemed pertinent to ask the Amsterdam band about the goings-on in their home city the day before their gig, as the city's Schipol airport had been closed for several hours and all trains were subsequently cancelled.

    Furthermore, several news channels had been broadcasting videos of people being blown over in the wind in record-breaking gale force winds.

    “I have never seen it like this…I saw a picture of a school with the entire roof off, so it looked very sad” said Pip.

    Tender added: “You can bike pretty much anywhere in Amsterdam but if you want to go outside it’s a little harder because everything was shut down.”

    Luckily, they left in good time to make the epic (by Dutch standards) two-hour trip north thanks to some expert work by driver and bass player Kasper.

    They made it in time for their lunchtime showcase to perform, like Sam and Jade before them, in front of the assorted delegates and all agree that those shows are like a high pressured soundcheck.

    “They're definitely weird, it’s such a short show," said Pip.

    "You’ve got 15 minutes to play and you have to be on stage and off stage immediately as there’s another band waiting.

    View more on youtube
    Quote Message: We were supposed to 3 songs but we did 4 – rebels!

    “You do try to give them an impression of what a show normally is so I try to give lots of energy."

    The Nordeslag section of the festival on Saturday is reserved for Dutch bands only but P.Bom are already considered good enough to perform alongside the rest of Europe's best a day early.

    "Some day, if we’re on Glastonbury or something I can imagine we are very nervous but right now it just feels like its nice to play a few shows.”

    No Glasto this year of course which means they'll have another EP out by the time Emily and Michael call.

    Check out one of Pip Blom's 6 Music sessions with Marc Riley.

  4. Drake is unlucky in love

    Drake

    Said no-one ever until this weekend.

    The Toronto singer dropped two new tracks; God’s Plan and Diplomatic Immunity.

    The lyrics to the latter tune appear to suggest Drizzy has been pining over lost loves Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez.

    "Forecasting tornados / Brainsotrming retaliation at dinner tables / 2010 was when I lost my halo / 2017 I lost a J.Lo."

    Talk about hedging your bets.

    We don't fear for the lad in getting himself a new missus but his new lyrics did not go unnoticed online.

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  5. Boy Azooga shares his influences with 6 Music

    BBC 6 Music

    Video content

    Video caption: Davey Newington of Boy Azooga on his musical influences, from Black Sabbath to RUN DMC.

    Cardiff's Davey Newington - better known as the hotly-tipped Boy Azooga - has been sharing his musical upbringing.

    Dave and band - who don't a sound a million miles from fellow Welsh boys the Super Furries - are signed to Heavenly Recordings and count Mike D from The Beastie Boys as a fan.

    Davey spoke about his early love for Queen and learning to play the drums and you can check out their track Face Behind Her Cigarette below.

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  6. Eurosonic: Everything's going green on the festival circuit

    Paul Glynn

    Music News LIVE reporter

    Reveller wades through Glastonbury wasteland

    Aside from all the hotly-tipped new artists, and travel chaos brought on by high winds, the conferences were the talk of the town in Groningen this weekend.

    Everyone had their opinion on the proposed gender split at festivals (scroll down) but another hot topic - quite literally - was how to make such events more environmentally friendly.

    A Greener Festival (AGF) - who have 10 year's experience and over 400 festival assessments under their belt - gave out 34 awards to events across 12 countries, recognizing the efforts of those European festivals that do their fair share for the planet.

    Eurosonic itself is now an entirely cashless event, with festival-goers paying for drinks via electronic wrist bands.

    Teresa Moore, director of a Greener Festival - is delighted that many events are choosing to reduce their environmental impact. She believes that once other festivals understand what it’s all about and that it’s not necessarily going to cost them more money, that they'll be on board too.

    “What we are seeing in last two years is that it’s really picking up in momentum," she said.

    Quote Message: More and more festivals are contacting us realising they need to do something and want to do something, which is good.
    Festival cleanup

    Green Gathering and Wood Festival in the UK, as well as Oya Festival in Norway and We Love Green in France were all marked as 'outstanding'.

    Meanwhile, the likes of Cambridge Folk Festival, HebCelt and Greenbelt from the UK, Roskilde in Denmark and several other events were highly-commended.

    So what exactly does a good green festi' initiative look like then?

    "One of the big news items at the moment is plastics. How do we reduce our reliance on plastics?

    "Festivals always used to have single-use plastic cups but increasingly what we are trying to do - and Glastonbury Festival have worked on for a number of years now - is to introduce the idea of a cup

    "It’s not made of plastic, its made made of steel and the festival goer will use it for everything, their beer, water etc.

    "You can either buy that cup or return it and that can be washed and used again.

    Quote Message: We don’t have plastic at all where we don’t need it and we use materials that are sustainable and re-usable to really cut plastic out of the chain.

    What about a common bad example of festival practice then?

    "I’d like to dispel a festival myth, if you like?

    "A lot of people have seen the wasteland of tent trash at festivals, which is not getting any better, and we want to do something about it.

    "One thing festivals do with their audience is tell them that pop up tents left will be salvaged and donated to charities for refugees and third world countries.

    "It’s a good plan but slightly gone wrong. As what people do now is go ‘it’s alright to leave my tent now because it’s going to a good cause.'

    Festival campsite
    Image caption: Leave no trace
    Quote Message: What limited research there is shows that only about 6 per cent of tents left are actually re-usable for charity.

    "So instead of trying to solve a problem they’ve created a bigger problem because more people leave their tents than before, thinking it’s going to a good cause.

    "So some festivals have stopped doing that all together to stop the tent waste problem and it's the unintended consequence of a good idea."

    Teresa’s top tips then for when you're leaving a field in Hampshire (or wherever) this summer.

    1) Think about the environment

    2) Take less stuff

    3) And what you do take, take it home* with you... don’t think someone else will clear it away.

    *Dignity not included.

  7. Rush have split after 41 years says guitarist

    Rush

    Perhaps it was inevitable when drummer Neil Peart announced his retirement from the Canadian prog-rockers in 2015 but guitarist Alex Lifeson now says the band is "basically done".

    After 40 years with the band, Peart left Rush citing chronic tendonitis and other health ailments.

    Now Lifeson has told The Globe and Mail: "We have no plans to tour or record any more. We’re basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough."

    These boys will be devastated...

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  8. Why do some people see colours when they hear music?

    BBC 6 Music

    Video content

    Video caption: Artist and composer Mira Calix on the perceptual phenomenon of Synaesthesia.

    Synaesthesia affects around 1% of the population.

    Jimi Hendrix was said to have it and musicians like Kanye West and Grimes have been reported to have experienced the condition.

    Artist and composer Mira Calix has been on 6 Music to explain the perceptual phenomenon which lets musicians 'see' the colour of the music and has been described as a "union of the senses".

  9. Call the cops! Stormzy lands first major headline slot at Wireless

    Stormzy

    The grime star will make his first appearance at the top of the bill in Finsbury Park, north London this summer.

    He will headline on Saturday 7 July, with support form the likes of fellow mercury-nominee J Hus, Migos and French Montana.

    US rapper J Cole has the honours on Friday 6 July, alongside Post Malone, Wiley, Wretch 32 and Mabel,with the Sunday night slot going to DJ Khaled who will be assisted by Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert and Rick Ross.

    Tickets are on sale now.

    In more Merky news, Stormzy has just signed a massive deal with Atlantic Records.

    His debut album Gang Signs and Prayer was released on his own label but the new deal is being seen as a major sign the label want to introduce him to an international audience.

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  10. Eurosonic: Is the 50/50 gender split festival target a good idea?

    Paul Glynn

    Music News LIVE reporter

    Video content

    Video caption: Eurosonic: Is the 50/50 gender split festival target a good idea?

    In Friday’s Music News LIVE we told you about Keychange’s pledge to help make festivals a direct male/female split, across the board, by 2022.

    This was outlined at one of the 150 panel shows in Groningen over the weekend by PRS chief executive Vanessa Reed.

    We fought our way through the city's many cyclists on our way to the Grote Markt to speak to several of the bands on the bill to see what they made of the proposed plan.

    Here’s the views of the EBBA winning Danish artist Ellis May, Amsterdam indie rockers Pip Blom (more on them later), the multi-national Superorganism and UK country-folk artists Wildwood Kin and Jade Bird.

  11. Hinds on target with new music video

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    Madrid garage rockers Hinds and friends demonstrated some silky skills that Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of in the video for their new single New For You.

    The track is taken from their forthcoming second album I Don't Run, out in April, and the chicas have also announced five UK gig dates too, including Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol, London and Brighton.

    Check out the full dates below.

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  12. Eurosonic: Double Dutch delight for UK starlets Sam Fender and Jade Bird

    Paul Glynn

    Music News LIVE reporter

    Sam Fender

    The musical Brits abroad in the Netherlands this weekend were hard at it performing a series of short and full length sets for fans and music industry suits alike.

    BBC Sound of 2018 acts IAMDDB, Pale Waves, Yxng Bane, Nilunfer Yanya and Tom Walker all cemented their burgeoning reputations and hopefully even bagged themselves further festival slots.

    While Music News LIVE was sleeping on one of Groningen’s inner city canal side ‘boatels' (yes, that's actually a thing), Sam Fender went one better and even had a giggy, on a little shippy… as the old Geordie anthem almost goes.

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    The 21-year-old Newcastle idie rocker played one of several showcases as well as his main gig at Huis de Beurs.

    "It was a great show and I was really pleased with the turn out," said Sam.

    "We finished at 1:15am, the adrenaline kept me up all night, but it was well worth it.”

    After being named on the BBC Sound of 2018 list, Sam said he now intends to write more singles this year and work towards his album.

    Quote Message: It’s been a wonderful ride since being told. I was in session at Maida Vale for BBC Radio 1 when I found out. The publicity has already made an impact on our following and its only January. I’m sure it will continue to do so.
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    While many songwriters his age are busy writing soppy love songs - not that there's anything wrong with that in moderation - Sam's songs tackle government surveillance, fake news and sexual harassment.

    “They are relevant topics I think, I write about what I see, a lot of big things happened in the world over the last few years. It was simply a case that I was writing songs at that time.”

    Being from 'the Toon' of course, Sam would've felt right at home in a cold North Eastern city with lots of boats.

    Quote Message: I suppose. It’s freezing, and I spotted a couple of kebab shops, that’s pretty similar to home.
    Jade Bird

    Sam's fellow Sound Of Listee Jade Bird was a tad under the weather on arrival but soldiered on through several of her own gigs in Groningen.

    Luckily, the European crowd were merciful on the talented Welsh country singer.

    "I had a bit of a throat issue, so I was like ‘come on guys, you gotta stay with me on this' but everybody was lovely and really forgiving.

    "I’d like to say I was out drinking but it's probably from sitting down too much!"

    She added: “With my music, I like to keep that feisty bluesy element but I do have quiet moments and sad songs as well and people really go with that. The European crowds are very respectful.

    “I couldn’t sing certain bits so the crowd joined in.”

    Jade is off to Austin, Texas next month to perform at the similarly industry-focused SXSW.

    And while Eurosonic is “colder and you don’t get tacos in the morning," Jade said she doesn't mind performing a mix of smaller shows for the music execs and bigger shows for the fans.

    Quote Message: Not to get too hippy but we’re all humans. Be it a human in a suit... we all love good music and most people who work in it do it because they love it, so I'm not snooty.
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    Like Sam, Jade agrees that things have ramped up a notch since the list came out.

    "The diary has definitely changed!" she joked.

    "Everything has gone up a level, a lot more intense but there's some fantastic opportunities and support.

    "I got to do my video for Lottery (above) ... and more people are probably seeing things which is nice for me, because I've put a lot of work into it.

    Quote Message: It’s a gradual process and I'm doing something a little bit different, so it’s gonna be a slower process and gradual build. The pressure would come if you had a big bang - that can destroy careers as well.

    The 20-year-old revealed that she's picked up some tricks along the way too, such as Rag 'n' Bone Man's backing singer advising her to get her head in a steamer and Tom Odell giving her the confidence to stand up on her piano.

    Jade has also noticed modern pop music's strong lean towards Americana, from the likes of 'Man of the Woods' Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga.

    The singer hopes to release her debut album this year but says she "will not be taking anyone into the woods like Justin!.

    Fair enough. She's also not going away anytime soon either.

    “I work really hard and I write songs and as long as I write songs there’s no reason why people can’t facilitate that.”

    “I’m here for a while guys!"

    Read more: How Jade Bird went from 'brutal' open mic gigs to the Brit School and US success.

  13. Ed Sheeran engaged to long-time girlfriend Cherry Seaborn

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    Second only after Baby News on MNL, is wedding news.

    We all love a good wedding and after all our coverage of the man in 2017 (almost everyday he broke a new chart record) we'll be looking out for our invites to Ed Sheeran's one.

    Ed will tie the knot with his muse Cherry Seabord.

    Apparently he's in love with more than just the shape of her.

    The romantic devil posted the above pic alongside the message:

    Quote Message: Got myself a fiancé just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx"

    What will the couple's first dance be? Surely his wedding won't be the time or place for an impromptu gig...

    Read more.

  14. NBA star finally meets Rihanna's qualifications for a date

    Rihanna

    Be careful what you wish for folks.

    Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid tried to land a date with Bad Girl Ri Ri with a series of cheeky Tweets back in 2014.

    Apparently his efforts were rebuffed as she told him to "come back when [he's] an All-Star."

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    Well, four years later, his time has come after he was named as a starter for the East side.

    However, despite having made the grade in the singer's eyes, it seems the big man is moving on.

    He told US TV channel TNT: "She denied me back then so why go with her again?

    "So I have to pass and move on to the next one."

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  15. The Smiths (minus Moz and Marr) to reunite

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    Before you all star wiping away the tears of joy with your wilted gladioli, we should make clear from the outset that Johnny Marr and Morrissey are most definitely not on board for this Smiths reunion.

    Instead, bassist Andy Rourke, drummer Mike Joyce and "fifth Smith" guitarist Craig Gannon will perform as part of a new live production called Classically Smiths.

    It will see the three band members play Smiths classics with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra.

    Rourke said: "To have been there the first time round and seen it first hand, and to still be such a big fan of The Smiths today, I am both thrilled and excited to be involved in Classically Smiths."

    He added with the addition of an orchestra, "It will sound as totally unique as it will immense".

    Dates are set for June and July, with shows in Manchester, London and Edinburgh.

    Tickets are on sale on Friday, just in case Moz and Johnny are reading this...

  16. UK tour news: Lenny Kravitz and Shakira

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    Not together.

    Although that would be quite some show.

    Lenny will play three UK dates in June, taking in Manchester, Birmingham and London, as part of his Raise Vibration tour.

    The original 'big Shak' has added a June London date to her El Dorado world tour too.

    View more on twitter
  17. Eurosonic: Superorganism are 'the hype band'... but who broke their oven?

    Paul Glynn

    Music News LIVE reporter

    Superorganism

    The Dutch city of Groningen played host to 352 artists (that's the official count at least) across 52 venues over four days for the ESNS weekend.

    One of the most keenly-anticipated gigs of the lot came from multi-national ensemble and BBC Sound of 2018 listees Superorganism.

    “They’re the hype band of the weekend,” said one festival rep, who was proven right as the venue Machinefabrik operated a one in-one out policy, with a queue of punters and delegates braving the cold around the block.

    Abbie McCarthy made it inside and told fellow BBC DJ Tom Ravenscroft it was "so much fun".

    "If I was gonna be in a band I think I'd be in them," she added.

    We spoke to a glittered-up Harry and super-chilled frontwoman Orono from the band, minutes after the show, about their quickfire rise.

    Harry said: "That was our first show of the year, so was really exciting to get back up there. We just walked out on stage and it was heaving and it’s a bit of a trip really.

    Quote Message: Our lives keep changing so rapidly, it's hard to get a gauge on it. We’re just caught up in the stream, the interest is just building, you just get washed away in it. We don’t have time to stop and think about all the changes. Its only with hindsight it starts to become a little clear.

    “We've got four songs out so far and only started playing live in September but we're starting to get into the swing of things - Orono is really rocking those crowds."

    “Ok!” she shrugged, with sheer indifference, before adding, excitedly; "I saw this girl with her friend being like 'woooooooo' the entire time, so I was like 'I love you!'

    “I would do a show just for her.”

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    The band, who are only one-year-old, comprise of eight musicians from the UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and seven of them live together in their east London HQ-turned-recording studio, with the eight member living nearby.

    They talked us through their rather unusual living quarters and revealed one great scandal that is threatening to tear the fledgling act apart.

    “The best thing is hanging out with my good mates and travelling around and experiencing all these crazy things," said Harry.

    "Our house is the worst thing."

    “For sure," agreed Orono, in less than a heartbeat. "It’s so small."

    Harry went on: “The oven's been broken for six weeks now, in the middle of winter!

    “It's been passed around like a hot potato. Everyone is avoiding it."

    Aside from oven-gate, life seems and sounds good in SO towers.

    “Every room has got something going on at all times," said Harry.

    “Robert’s always making a new video of some sort of visual for our live set.

    Quote Message: It’s kind of a non-stop pop production house.
    Orono of Superorganism
    Image caption: I solemnly swear that I did not break the oven

    “We all work in our different rooms and congregate In the kitchen and play back our different things and give opinion and it sparks something else.”

    Sounds ideal, just someone fix the oven and keep the pop hits cooking.

    The band, whose debut album is due out in March, featured on Tom Ravenscroft’s Eurosonic special 6 Music show from Friday night.

    Listen back in full now.

    Warning: The show contains elements of Icelandic rap, Dutch dance hall, Portugese jazz and Danish post punk, as well as a UK band who make their own instruments and a rather unique noise.

  18. Cardi B defends fiance Offset over alleged homophobic lyrics

    Cardi B and Offset

    Cardi B has lept to the defence of her beau Offset, from US hip hop act Migos, after he came under criticism for apparently homophobic lyrics.

    The track Boss Life; Offset's collab with YFN Lucci contains the lyrics:

    “60K solitaire / I do not vibe with queers / I got the heart of a bear / I bust ‘em down by the pair”.

    His lyrics were picked on on social media with many people condemning them as unacceptable.

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    In a Periscope video, Cardi insisted her fella was a victim of a lack of education over what is considered an unacceptable term for gay people.

    “I’m not going to let somebody call him homophobic when I know that he’s not, and I’m saying this because I seen him…around gays, and he treats them with the same respect he treats everybody" said Cardi.

    “He never acts uncomfortable and he just don’t care.”

    She added: “Now, that’s a word that you guys say is a bad word for gays - I never even heard that word in the first place - why don’t y’all educate people about it?

    Quote Message: A lot of people are not aware about what’s wrong or right in the LGBT community. Why don’t we do things to educate instead of bashing and trying to label something that they not? Our schools never teach us that these are bad words.
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    Offset himself took to Instagram to educate us all on what the term 'queer' actually used to mean, in the way that your nan or grandad might.

    He posted the below dictionary definition, alongside an explanation that the line about gay people was not in fact about gay people.

    He writes: "My passion for fashion has led me to a lot of gay people who I have mad respect for".

    He finishes by saying: "I'm sorry, I apologise", adding, "I'm offended I offended anybody".

    View more on instagram
  19. Dolores O'Riordan: Hundreds queue in rain to pay respects

    Hundreds queued in Limerick despite the wet weather to pay respects

    Hundreds of people have gathered to pay their respects to the late Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan in her home city of Limerick.

    Large crowds queued outside St Joseph's Church on Sunday - ahead of her funeral on Tuesday - where the singer's open coffin was lying in public repose.

    O'Riordan died suddenly in London last week, aged 46.

    Inside, O'Riordan's own songs played quietly, and a floral tribute beside her coffin read: "The song has ended, but the memories linger on."

    In remarks carried by broadcaster RTE, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said the singer was a deeply loved and cherished daughter of the city, and a convinced advocate of living life in truth, love and peace.

    Read more.

  20. Morning!

    Ed Sheeran

    Hello everyone and welcome back to another week of Music News LIVE action.

    Today we'll kick things off with news of Ed Sheeran's nuptials, The Smiths re-unite (sort of) and the formerly independent artist Stormzy signs a record deal.

    Plus thousands of fans pay tribute to Dolores O’Riordan in Limerick, Cardi B defends her fiance - Migos’ Offset - over "homophobic" lyrics and there's new tracks from Drake and Hinds.

    We'll have plenty of action and reaction from backstage at this weekend's Eurosonic festival in the Netherlands too, where record winds failed to stop the show.