Levon Helm Dies

Levon Helm Dies
The Band drummer/singer Levon Helm died April 19 following a long battle with cancer. He was 71. The Arkansas native joined the Hawks, a backing band for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins, at 17 years old. The group also helped Bob Dylan famously go electric as his backing band in the mid-'60s. The group eventually formed its own identity as the Band, starting with their classic 1968 album Music From Big Pink. The Band broke up in the mid-'70s, and were honored with a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Helm launched a solo career in 1977, and would go on to win three GRAMMY Awards, including Best Americana Album for Ramble At The Ryman, which was presented at this year's awards ceremony. (4/19)

EMI Acquisition Approved
The European Union has approved Sony/ATV Music Publishing's $2.2 billion acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will approve the transaction soon, according to a Billboard.biz report. As part of the approval, Sony must divest its publishing rights to its three Virgin Music Publishing catalogues in the UK, Europe and United States, as well as the catalogues of 12 of its artists, including Lenny Kravitz, Ozzy Osbourne and Robbie Williams. Additionally, in order to help finance its acquisition of EMI's publishing division, Sony is expected to cut more than 300 positions over the next two years, according to the report. (4/19) 

Men At Work's Greg Ham Dies
Greg Ham, the flautist/saxist and keyboard player for GRAMMY winners Men At Work, died April 19 in Melbourne, Australia. A cause of death was not disclosed.  He was 58. As part of Men At Work, Ham garnered two Top 5 albums on the Billboard 200 with 1982's Business As Usual and 1983's Cargo. The band also achieved four Top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under," "It's A Mistake" and "Overkill," the former two of which topped the chart. Men At Work were named Best New Artist at the 25th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1983. (4/19)

Horowitz Named Chairman/CEO Of Universal Music Publishing Group
Current Universal Music Group President and Chief Operating Officer Zach Horowitz has been appointed chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, according to a Billboard.biz report. In his role, Horowitz will be responsible for day-to-day operations, and will oversee the company's government relations and public policy activities. (4/19)

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