The Knack Music News

Ariana Grande's Donut Licking Stunt Knocks Shop's Health Rating Down

Facebook Says It Has 'No Plans' to Launch a Music Streaming Service

Taylor Swift’s ’1989′ Is the Fastest Selling Album in a Decade

Here's The Surprising Truth About How Pop Music Has Evolved In Recent Years

Ariana GrandeAriana Grande's Donut Licking Stunt Knocks Shop's Health Rating Down

It's quickly becoming the donut-lick seen round the country. Not long after video surfaced of Ariana Grande licking unpurchased donuts at Wolfee Donuts in Lake Elsinore, California, the donut shop is facing the consequences.

Wednesday night (July 8), the donut shop confirmed to the local NBC affiliate that they were docked one letter grade by the health department, meaning they now have a 'B' grade. (A call to the donut shop by Billboard Thursday morning went unanswered.)

Grande apologized for the incident, saying she was sorry "for not using more discretion in my choice of words," referencing her "I hate America" remarks. Her apology didn't make any mention of the donut licking.

Police in Lake Elsinore, Calif., are investigating a leaked video that shows Ariana Grande apparently licking donuts, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. Riverside County public health officials are now reviewing the surveillance footage, which appears to show the 22-year-old "Problem" singer and her backup dancer, Ricky Alvarez, as they "maliciously lick" donuts on top of a counter. The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. After Grande and Alvarez left, the Wolfee Donuts shop owner took the video to detectives and filed a report, saying the donuts had been deliberately tampered with.

Grande will not be investigated, as Sheriff's Deputy Michael Vasquez said police don't believe a crime was committed. Instead, public health officials are investigating the shop for alleged food tampering. Department spokeswoman Dottie Merki said health inspectors will be looking into whether the donut shop has a history of leaving food out on display and if they had existing policies to prevent access to it. California health laws require restaurants to protect all food from contact with the public, Merki added.

As Merki told E! News Thursday, Wolfee Donuts was written up for this violation and other violations observed by the inspector. There are not any fines associated with the violations. The doughnut shop was downgraded to a B rating. The facility was given seven days to correct the violations, at which time the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health will conduct another inspection. The second inspection could happen sooner if the owner has corrected the violations and requests an earlier date.

Wolfee Donuts shop manager Ricky Marin said the doughnuts sold out that night, so it is indeed possible that someone ate the doughnuts licked by Grande and Alvarez. The health department has not yet received complaints from people who ate the contaminated doughnuts, Merki told The Los Angeles Times.

An employee was swapping out older doughnuts with fresh ones when she placed them on the shelf. Grande asked one of the shop's employee to retrieve fresh doughnuts from the back of the bakery, so the employee left the tray of powered doughnuts on the display unattended, Marin explained. According to the owner, that allowed Grande and Alvarez to lick the tray during a game of Truth or Dare.

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Facebook Says It Has 'No Plans' to Launch a Music Streaming Service

A year-and-a-half ago, Facebook's director of strategic partnerships Ime Archbong told Billboard that the company was looking to fragment its Swiss Army Knife-like social platform, creating separate apps for each of the many powerful features it has. Evidence of this came soon after out talk with Archibong, when the company split off its messaging service into a separate app and required mobile users to use it if they wanted to chat on the go. Could the next thing it splits off be the app of a freshly acquired audio company like SoundCloud, Rdio, or even Spotify? Let's take a look at some very recent history.

Last week, Billboard broke the news that Facebook is looking to move into the music video business, securing deals with the majors for select videos to appear on its nascent, ad-supported video play. The expansion was said to be a trial run through the end of this year, after which Facebook and its label partners would evaluate how things went and go on from there. Despite that beta-phase timetable, it was reported by Music Ally yesterday that Facebook is looking to enter the on-demand streaming business for itself, to compete with Apple, Google, Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Microsoft, Pandora and SoundCloud. (And everyone else we're definitely forgetting.)

Well, Facebook says differently. In a statement to Billboard, Facebook says it has "no plans to go into music streaming." As well, a source at one major label said they've had no discussions with Facebook about an on-demand streaming service and were surprised by reports of its streaming interest. Another source says Facebook has expressed interest in some type of music integration into its platform, but that it wouldn't be near the typical $9.99 per month services offered by Spotify, Rdio et al.

Indeed, the Music Ally report came as a surprise, considering the company's first toe-dip into music monetization came just a week prior. Of course, Facebook would like people to never have to leave its royal blue walls -- thus the partnership announced a few weeks ago with several major publishers to put their work on its platform.

If Facebook does get into the music streaming business, it won't be for a long while. Take Apple as an example -- that company bought a fully functional streaming service a year-and-a-half ago, and just launched it last week. Besides, nobody rushes Mark.

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Taylor Swift’s ’1989′ Is the Fastest Selling Album in a Decade

At this point, it’s probably safe to assume that Taylor Swift‘s 1989 has probably broken just as many records as it’s sold. According to Billboard, 1989 has surpassed 5 million sales in the US alone. In case you’re unaware of just how rare a feat that is, consider this: It’s officially the fastest selling album to hit that number in over 10 years.

1989 hit the 5 million mark during its 36th week of release, something that hasn’t happened since the 2004 release of Usher’s Confessions, which hit 5 million sales during its 19th week. Further, not since Adele’s massively successful album 21 has an album sold more than 5 million copies, though 21 didn’t move that many units until its 42nd week.

Adding even more accolades to her unimaginably long roster of success is the fact that 1989 is actually Taylor’s third album to sell over 5 million copies, following both her self-titled debut and her album Fearless. It comes as something of a surprise to know that Red – the album many consider to be her magnum opus mainly because it is perfect — has yet to hit 5 million sales, but it’ll probably get there someday.

We really have to hand it to Taylor Swift - she went from successful country artist to winning a fight against one of the largest and most powerful companies on the planet when she called Apple out for their refusal to pay artists during their three-month trial run of Apple Music. Talk about power.

All good things must one day come to an end, it’s true, but Taylor’s reign isn’t letting up any time soon.

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Here's The Surprising Truth About How Pop Music Has Evolved In Recent Years

Huffington Post

Fans of pop music know that it has undergone some pretty dramatic changes in recent decades, and one musical genre seems to be driving this musical evolution more than others.

An exhaustive new analysis of chart-topping songs from 1960 to 2010 shows that hip hop had a bigger effect on pop music than any other pop genre--and that includes the music of the so-called "British Invasion" by The Beatles and other groups in the mid-1960s.

That's right, "hip hop, the hippie, the hippie, to the hip, hip hop, and you don't stop," as Sugarhill Gang puts it.

"I was surprised quite how massive a change rap and hip hop introduced into the charts, and that it happened nearly 10 years after Grandmaster Flash’s 1982 hit single 'The Message,'" study co-author Dr. Matthias Mauch, a lecturer in the field of music informatics at Queen Mary University of London, told The Huffington Post in an email. "Hip hop tracks really have a different 'anatomy' -- we measure more speech-like sounds, and almost completely devoid of chords, the cornerstone of basically all other genres that previously entered the charts."

17,000 songs. For the study, evolutionary biologists and computer scientists analyzed more than 17,000 songs featured on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts -- which Mauch called the "fossil record" of popular music. They took a close look at trends in the songs' harmonic and timbral properties, among other musical properties.

The researchers then used these properties to build an audio-based classification system of the various musical styles. Using the system, they looked at the diversity of the songs during various eras and at how trends changed across the years.

What did the researchers find? Though music evolved continually, the researchers identified three stylistic "revolutions" during which the change from one year to the next was unusually large: Around 1964 (the era of British bands), 1983 (the rock era) and 1991 (the era of mainstream hip hop).

"The third revolution is the biggest," Mauch told BBC News. "This is so prominent in our analysis, because we looked at harmony -- and rap and hip hop don't use a lot of harmony. The emphasis is on speech sounds and rhythm... This was a real revolution: suddenly it was possible that you had a pop song without harmony."

When it came to diversity of songs in terms of style and other musical properties, 1986 was the least diverse -- but in the years following, diversity went back up.

A lot like biology. Oddly enough, these revolutions in pop music mirror a biological phenomenon known as punctuated equilibrium, in which long stretches of gradual change in species are "punctuated" by periods of rapid change, Science magazine reported.

"It’s interesting to compare this behavior of the charts to biology," Mauch said in the email. "Slow evolution patterns with few fast changes is what evolutionary biologists have also observed in the world of living organisms."

Now that the researchers have discovered how pop music has changed scientifically in recent years, they next want to analyze why music has changed.

"Culture is not anymore about music critics and art critics telling us the way it was, it's going to be about scientists telling us about what the actual patterns are," Dr. Armand Leroi, professor of evolutionary developmental biology at Imperial College in London and the study's senior author, told the AFP. "From here, we want to understand the forces that have actually shaped things."
The study was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science on May 6, 2015.

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