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Duke Deuce Is The Latest ‘Crunkstar’ Coming Out of Memphis



Duke Deuce is the modern-day king of crunk music. The Memphis-bred MC is best known for his ability to make people dance with his booming voice and high-energy records. The Quality Control/Motown Records signee wasn’t afraid to experiment with different sounds on his newest LP, Crunkstar.

His latest singles, “JUST SAY THAT” featuring “F.N.F.” rapper Glorilla and the Rico Nasty-assisted “Falling Off,” are both doing well on all streaming platforms. Duke looks to separate himself from the pack and continue to build upon the momentum he has created with his assertive yet fun-loving attitude ahead of his forthcoming “Crunkstar Tour” starting Aug. 10th.

“I didn’t want people to box me in continuously,” Deuce tells Billboard. “I got so much talent and wanted to express it. While expressing it, I am being true to myself because the sounds on this project come from the same musical influences I grew up on.”

Since his breakthrough hit “Crunk Ain’t Dead,” Duke Deuce has successfully reintroduced crunk music to the mainstream. After receiving co-signs from southern hip-hop legends like Lil Jon, Juicy J, and Project Pat, Duke hasn’t let his foot off the gas pedal. His newest album Crunkstar boasts features from Babyface Ray, Juicy J, Lil Yachty, and many more.

Below, we spoke with Duke Deuce to discuss what he has learned from his time with Quality Control, his quest to expand the reach of crunk music on Crunkstar, and his headlining Crunkstar Tour.

You have proclaimed yourself to be the “King of Crunk.” Who would you consider some of the pioneers of the sound that inspired you coming up?

Tommy Wright III, Lil Jon — of course Project Pat & Three 6 Mafia. Man, my pops, and many different artists out of the city. Then as I got older, artists like Lil Jon and Bankroll Fresh had to get their flowers. 

Your relationship with Quality Control & Motown is a strong match. Can you explain how the partnership started and how it has helped your career over the years?

It’s been a long time coming, man. One thing I can say about QC is that they do not hold hands. You have to be a hustler. P is big on that. Once they see you grinding, then they come to support you tenfold. 

Motown works so hard for me. We are always on the phone working on a plan, and as you can see, there has been a lot of progress. 

You are Memphis through and through. How important was it to incorporate artists from your hometown on your album?

It was very important. It is my way of giving back so we can keep the momentum as a city. As long as we show love to each other, we will always get bigger. Memphis deserves the spotlight, because we do not have the industry in our city, but we always had the talent. Now that we have the shine, we have to keep it going.

Your newest record, “JUST SAY THAT,” with Glorilla. How did that track come about?

Man! I reached out to her in February before “F.N.F.” blew up. I just want to show love to my city and help out however I can if I see someone going hard. The song got cleared at the very last minute! It wouldn’t have been on my album if it had gotten cleared any day after. You know some things we trip about, but the universe always has something else better for you.

You just recently announced your first headlining tour coming right before your set at Rolling Loud Miami 22’. What city are you most excited to hit on “The Crunkstar Tour” and why?

I would say all of them, but if I had to choose, I would say California and New York. Fans from those cities always comment on my posts asking when I am coming, so now that I am coming, I am curious to see what happens!

You have some amazing co-signs, including Juicy J, Offset, and even Drake. What does it mean to receive support from some of the industry’s biggest stars?

It means the world to me, because that is something they do not have to do. It feels good knowing someone believes in you the way you believe in yourself.

Crunkstar has a lot of rock elements to it. How did you and your team come up with such a unique sound?

It was kind of a natural thing, but Hitkidd kicked it off for me. Once he sent me the beat for “Falling Out Of Love” and had Dante Smith throw some guitars on it, I knew that is how I wanted my project to sound.

You have a feature from Juicy J on “Flip Da Switch.” What did he and Three 6 Mafia mean to you growing up?

I cannot explain it with words, to be honest. I used to see Juicy J on TV, so to be able to get features from them and hang out with them is surreal. 

Lastly, you are known for various viral moments on social media. Do you feel pressure to create more of those moments on top of making music?

It’s pretty much a natural thing. It’s never really any pressure to go viral. It seems like I don’t even try sometimes, and it happens. It is what it is to me!

Speaking of that, I want all my fans to get these “Crunkstar Tour” tickets and turn up with me. As I work on my next album, I plan to be consistent in the next couple of months.

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Robert Smith Says 7,000 Scalped Cure Tickets Have Been Canceled



The Cure‘s Robert Smith continues his long-drawn-out battle against the many monetary hurdles of the ticketing world — this time, he’s taking on secondary resale websites.

Just a few weeks ago, Smith was able to secure several refunds from Ticketmaster for fans looking to catch the British band on their forthcoming “Lost World” tour. Now, Smith says they’ve managed to cancel 7,000 scalped tickets and further announced a plan to resell scalped tickets and donate the original fees to the charity Amnesty International.

When the tour — the band’s first North American trek in seven years — was first announced on March 9, the Cure clearly stated they had opted out of Ticketmaster’s “platinum” and “dynamically priced” ticket options, both of which have infamously been the cause of a massive uptick in ticket prices (the latest case of this being Drake and 21 Savage’s “It’s All a Blur” summer tour.)

As a result, thousands of scalpers swept in, with Smith tweeting on Monday morning that “Approx 7k tickets across approx 2200 orders have been cancelled. These are tickets acquired with fake accounts / listed on secondary resale sites.”

The night prior, Smith said ticket buyers should not try to find a loophole with ticket transfer rules, and warned, “offering to sell/send account login details to get around [Ticketmaster] transfer limitations… any/all tickets obtained in this way will be canceled, and original fees paid on those tickets will not be refunded.”

This is just the latest update in a long list of efforts on Smith’s part to get ahead of the “‘Ticketmaster ‘Fees’ debacle,” he previously put it. “I am as sickened as you all are,” Smith wrote in a long string of all-caps Tweets earlier this month. “To be very clear: The artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know.”

The band will hit the road starting May 10 in New Orleans for 30 dates with a closing show on June 1 in Miami.

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Selena Gomez & Sister Dress Up as Taylor Swift Eras for Saturday Night’s Show in Texas



Selena Gomez and her sister Gracie were among the thousands of Swifties in attendance at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night (April 1). The two were spotted in the crowd for Swift’s second night at the venue on the Eras Tour, dressed to support Gomez’s longtime friend.

Gomez channeled Folklore with her hair pulled back and a white, flowing dress with cardigan, while her sister wore a purple gown reminiscent of Swift’s Speak Now era.

Fans at the concert captured Gomez having the time of her life singing and dancing along to Lover standout “Cruel Summer,” which Swift debuted live on this tour.

Swift’s Eras Tour has a three-night run at AT&T Stadium this weekend. On night one, she swapped in three new songs in her set list: “The 1,” “Sad Beautiful Tragic” and “Ours.” Read Billboard‘s full review of the March 31 concert here.

Get a glimpse at Selena and Gracie’s Swift-inspired outfits in the clips shared by concertgoers below, and check out a full list of celebs who’ve stopped by the Eras Tour so far.

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Illinois Theater Roof Collapse During Tornado Leaves One Concertgoer Dead, Dozens Injured



A roof collapse at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Ill. left a 50-year-old man dead and dozens more injured on Friday evening.

The Apollo Theater was hosting “The United States of Terror” tour, headlined by four heavy metal bands — Crypta, Revocation, Skeletal Remains and Morbid Angel. After Crypta’s opening set, the venue made an announcement that the show would need to take a brief pause before Morbid Angel took the stage, due to the ongoing extreme weather conditions. Minutes after the initial announcement, the full roof collapsed on top of the concertgoers, per the New York Times.

The venue was hosting roughly 260 patrons at the time of the collapse, with many ticketholders having not yet arrived for what was expected to be a lengthy show. More than 40 people were hospitalized, with five people suffering severe injuries. At least one person died in the incident. Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle reported that two of those impacted are suffering with life-threatening injuries.

Band members of Crypta and Morbid Angel have shared that members of both groups sustained no serious injuries.

According to the National Weather Service, the Apollo suffered “possible tornado damage.” A storm with 75 mph winds had been sweeping through the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin region. Authorities believe concertgoers weren’t aware of the storm and tornado sirens due to the volume of music at the venue.

A series of tornadoes have ripped through the Midwest and Southern United States in recent days, killing at least nine people in Indiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. At least 30 people were injured in Little Rock, Ark. ahead of the Belvidere emergency. 16 million people from Texas to Michigan were put under tornado watches on Friday.

Soon after the incident, Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker notified residents that his administration was “closely monitoring” the situation and would soon have resources for those impacted.

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