Ralph MacDonald Dies

Ralph MacDonald Dies
GRAMMY-winning percussionist/composer Ralph MacDonald died Dec. 18 in Stamford, Conn., following a battle with lung cancer. He was 67. Considered the "ghost behind the million-selling albums," MacDonald lent percussion to songs including David Bowie's "Young Americans" and Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville," and played on recordings by GRAMMY winners George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Amy Winehouse, and Stevie Wonder, among others. As a composer he co-penned such hit songs as the GRAMMY-winning "Where Is The Love" by Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack and "Just The Two Of Us" by Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers, the latter of which earned MacDonald a GRAMMY for Best Rhythm & Blues Song in 1981. MacDonald's first GRAMMY came in 1978 for Album Of The Year for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. (12/21)

Vevo Distributes $100 Million To Artists, Labels
Music video site Vevo has distributed more than $100 million in royalties to songwriters, artists and record labels since December 2009. The site attracted more than 63 million unique visitors in November, up from 27 million in December 2009, and viewer engagement has increased with each visitor playing approximately 15 videos, up from fewer than 10 videos in January. In related industry news, year-to-date single sales in the UK have reached 164 million, according to the Official Charts Company, up from last year's 161.8 million. The current top-selling UK single is Little Mix's cover of Damien Rice's "Cannonball," which sold 210,000 units in its first week. According to the report, the yearly sales total is expected to climb when this week's chart is released on Dec. 25. (12/21)

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