Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Dies

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Dies
GRAMMY-winning blues musician Willie "Big Eyes" Smith died Sept. 16 after suffering a stroke, according to his website. He was 75. Born in Helena, Ark., Smith was a longtime musician on the Chicago blues scene who taught himself how to play harmonica and drums and played with a number of blues giants, including Pinetop Perkins and Muddy Waters. Smith earned the lone GRAMMY of his career in 2010 for Best Traditional Blues Album for Joined At The Hip with Perkins. "Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith was a great, versatile Chicago bluesman who had a dynamic career as a vocalist, harmonica player and drummer," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "The music he created made an indelible impact on the genre. Our sincerest condolences extend to his family, friends, fans, and all who will continue to appreciate his rhythm and riffs for generations to come." (9/16) 


Nashville Music Council Gets New Name
The Nashville Music Council has been renamed Music City Music Council and has been reorganized to include a 21-member governing body, with Honey Hopkins appointed the council's director. The Recording Academy's Vice President of Member Services & Regional Management Nancy Shapiro has been named chair of the education committee. Founded in 2009, the Music City Music Council is a partnership between the mayor's office, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau and aims to capitalize on Nashville's identity as Music City. (9/16)

More Layoffs At WMG
Following a report earlier last week, Warner Music Group has cut approximately 25 employees across its field sales staff for its distribution division, WEA Corp. According to a Billboard.biz report, the cuts were made after the company began experimenting with an online ordering system in January. (9/16)

Adele's 21 Is Fastest-Selling Album Since 2005
GRAMMY winner Adele's 21 has sold 3.4 million units since its debut in February, according to Nielsen SoundScan, marking the fastest-selling album since 50 Cent's The Massacre sold 4.5 million through the week ending Sept. 11, 2005. Adele's 21 is also the bestselling album of the year to date, followed by Lady Gaga's Born This Way (1.77 million units), Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV (1.18 million units), Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More (1.16 million units), and Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party (1.13 million units). (9/16)

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