TIME Music

Morgan Spurlock ‘Shed a Little Tear’ When Zayn Malik Left One Direction

(L to R) Zayn Malik, Morgan Spurlock, Liam Payne and Harry Styles attend the World Premiere of 'One Direction: This Is Us 3D' in London, England on Aug. 20, 2013.
Dave M. Benett—Getty Images (L to R) Zayn Malik, Morgan Spurlock, Liam Payne and Harry Styles attend the World Premiere of 'One Direction: This Is Us 3D' in London on Aug. 20, 2013.

He directed the 2013 documentary 'One Direction: This is Us'

Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock spent a lot of time with One Direction for his 2013 documentary One Direction: This is Us—six months to be exact. So it’s no surprise that he, like many a teenage girl, was disappointed to hear Zayn Malik left the group last week. “Like everyone else, a little piece of my heart broke the day Zayn left,” he told EW. “I shed a little tear.”

On a more serious note, Spurlock said that “being on the road like they’re on the road is a really hard thing.”

“I was with them for six months and it’s an exhausting lifestyle,” he said. “And I think that it just gets hard after awhile, for someone, probably like Zayn, who is a homebody already, but is also incredibly talented, the allure of being able to potentially leave and become a solo artist in the midst of all your success is probably better than waiting till the end.”

Malik released a statement when he left saying he wanted “to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” but that relaxation period didn’t seem to last too long: A solo demo of his leaked Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Music

Cynthia Lennon, Former Wife of John Lennon, Dies at 75

Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Cynthia, sit in London Airport, England, before flying to the U.S. on Feb. 7, 1964.
AP Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Cynthia, sit in London Airport, England, before flying to the U.S. on Feb. 7, 1964.

She died of cancer in her home

Cynthia Lennon, the former wife of John Lennon and eyewitness to the early days of the Beatles, died in her home Wednesday at the age of 75.

Her death was confirmed by a publicist and on her son Julian Lennon’s Twitter page. She died in her home in Spain after a “short but brave battle with cancer,” according to a memorial page.

The Lennons met in art school before the Beatles got their start in Hamburg, and married in 1962 after Cynthia Lennon realized she was pregnant. Their marriage and subsequent birth of their son Julian was initially kept a secret, to avoid upsetting the growing Beatlemania, but Cynthia and Julian eventually got a front-row seat to the Beatles’ growing popularity in England and the U.S. The Lennons divorced in 1968, when John Lennon became involved with Yoko Ono.

Cynthia chronicled their marriage and her experience with the Beatles in two books, A Twist of Lennon (1978) and John (2010).

TIME Music

This Is Why Joni Mitchell Is Your Favorite Musician’s Favorite Musician

Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Martin Bandier - Arrivals
Steve Granitz—Getty Images/WireImage Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute To Industry Icons on Feb. 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

The singer-songwriter, who was hospitalized last night, gave voice to musical feminism in an era where women had to fight with tooth and claw for artistic legitimacy

Music fans around the world steeled themselves for tragedy on the evening of March 31 when Joni Mitchell was hospitalized after being found unconscious in her Los Angeles home. Recent updates indicate that Mitchell is doing well and recovering—a tweet from her official account sent early Wednesday morning placed her in intensive care, but “awake and in good spirits”— but still, it provides an opportunity to reflect on the sheer weight of Mitchell’s discography and the breadth of her influence, the tendrils of which snake through the last 40 years of popular music.

Mitchell was born in Canada in 1943 and spent her childhood in rural Saskatchewan, a survivor of a late polio epidemic and passionate about the arts. She moved through Toronto and New York as a young woman and moderately successful songwriter before being discovered by the legendary musician David Crosby in a Florida club. She moved to Los Angeles shortly after and released her debut album, Song to a Seagull, at the age of 25. This marked the beginning of one of the most impressive decades a musician has ever had, one characterized by incredible productivity and spurts of sheer genius. From the stark, largely acoustic folk-pop of her first few records—an approach that climaxed with Blue, a wrenching post-breakup self-examination that stands as her most popular work—to the pioneering, ambitious jazz fusion of The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira, Mitchell forged a new kind of art-pop: lyrics that moved with the delicacy of poetry and challenged both the personal and political; arrangements and melodies that were complex and winding; a voice that cut through unworthy suitors and flimsy sexism like a knife through butter. Alongside contemporaries like Carole King and Carly Simon, she gave voice to musical feminism in an era where women had to fight with tooth and claw for artistic legitimacy. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Steely Dan: Mitchell hung with them all. In many cases, she beat them to the punch.

Though the light began to fade from her solo work after the ’70s closed—her most notable releases in the years since have been reinterpretations of songs written then, newly colored by age and experience—she was already impacting future generations’ leading lights. Joni Mitchell will live forever as your favorite musician’s favorite musician, a position she’s held since the dawn of the ’80s, impacting superstars and hidden gems alike. Prince called The Hissing of Summer Lawns “the last album [he] loved all the way through,” and quoted Court and Spark hit “Help Me” on “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”; Björk counts her 1977 double album Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter among her all-time favourites. There are entire musical sub-genres it’s tough to conceive of without Mitchell’s spirit hanging over them, like the spectral freak-folk that flowed out of California in the mid-’00s.

And then there’s Taylor Swift, pop’s reigning titan, a disciple of Mitchell in ways both obvious and subtle. There’s her writing, ripe with reflection but capable of sharp evisceration, and her complete ownership of the music she makes; there’s the album she named Red, her cap tipped to Mitchell’s Blue. There are songs like “Blank Space” where Swift sings about changing herself for a man and getting drunk on jealousy with a surprising, stately, clipped sort of grace.

It can take you back four decades to Mitchell’s “California,” where she asks a partner, “Will you take me as I am? / Strung out on another man?” even as she’s catching sun and drinking wine in Greece. Mitchell asked the question, but the answer didn’t really matter; listeners knew she’d end up fine either way. Swift is the same, walking the trail Mitchell blazed.

TIME celebrity

‘Tissue Attendant’ to Comfort Upset One Direction Fans at Madame Tussauds After Zayn’s Departure

Madame Tussauds Appoint A Tissue Attendant For One Direction Fans After Zayn Malik's Departure
Alex B. Huckle—Getty Images One Direction fans Laura Tokely and Lindsay Ringette wipe away tears following the news of the departure of Zayn Malik from One Direction on March 31, 2015 in London, England.

The tourist destination had 150 boxes of tissues delievered

Upset that Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction? Don’t worry, Madame Tussauds in London has your back. The tourist site has appointed a “tissue attendant” to help comfort saddened guests visiting the wax sculptures of members of the boy band.

“We will absolutely not be removing Zayn from our One Direction lineup,” said Madame Tussauds marketing manager Matt Clarkson in a statement. “We will continue to play their music non-stop in their dedicated setting, and the Tissue Attendant will be on hand when needed.”

The role of tissue attendant will be filled by 18-year-old Grace Cadden, Madame Tussauds said in a press release. The company had 150 boxes of tissues delivered over the weekend to ensure that Cadden can do her job effectively.

“‘Directioners’ that have visited since the news broke have enjoyed seeing all of the boys together and singing along with their songs,” said Cadden in a statement. She noted that many have been “teary eyed,” but added, “we’re prepared.”

This isn’t the first time Madame Tussauds has needed a tissue attendant. The company also has someone on hand when the One Direction figures were first installed, according to Buzzfeed.

Read next: One Direction Producer Shares Zayn Malik’s Solo Session Online

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TIME Music

Watch Jake Miller’s Trippy New Video Dazed and Confused Featuring Travie McCoy

His Dazed and Confused Tour kicks off July 8

Rapper and singer Jake Miller dropped a music video Tuesday for his latest single “Dazed and Confused.”

Featuring Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, and with a special appearance from Austin Mahone, Miller’s new video is all about showing off his “quirky sense of humor.”

Set in a supermarket, cashier Miller (a throwback to when he used to work in a store) sees a girl who leaves him dumbfounded. When he gets knocked out by slipping on some marbles, he enters a bizarro dream world where fruit sings and his head is trapped in a freezer. It’s so trippy you’d think you were watching the 1993 cult classic of the same name.

Miller’s upcoming Dazed and Confused Tour kicks off July 8, in Sayreville, New Jersey.

TIME Music

Joni Mitchell in Hospital but ‘Awake and in Good Spirits’

Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Martin Bandier - Arrivals
Steve Granitz—WireImage Joni Mitchell arrives at the Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Martin Bandier on February 7, 2015 in Los Angeles.

The 71-year-old singer-songwriter is being treated at an intensive care unit

Music icon Joni Mitchell was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday after being found unconscious in her Los Angeles home.

According to her website, the singer “regained consciousness on the ambulance ride to an L.A. area hospital.”

Her official Twitter account said she was in intensive care but in “good spirits.”

After enjoying decades of success as one of the leading voices of the Woodstock generation, the 71-year-old Alberta native has been largely absent from the limelight since the release of her last studio album, Shine, in 2007.

TIME Music

De La Soul Smashes Kickstarter Goal for New Album in 1 Day

De La Soul Album Kickstarter
Ross Gilmore–Redferns/Getty Images (left-right) Maseo, Trugoy and Posdnuos of De La Soul perform on stage at The Arches in Glasgow, United Kingdom, on May 3, 2014.

The group's last album was The Grind Date, released in 2004

Hip hop trio De La Soul has smashed its Kickstarter goal to fund the group’s first album in 11 years.

The untitled LP’s campaign for $110,000 was launched on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon nearly double that figure had been pledged, according to the group’s Kickstarter page. Instead of sampling from other artists’ work—and getting in trouble with the “sample police,” as De La Soul says—the trio has created over 200 hours of original sounds and vibes.

The group, whose last album The Grind Date was released in 2004, will also collaborate with 2 Chainz, Damon Albarn and David Byrne in their upcoming eighth studio album. It’s expected to ship this September.

TIME Music

Hear the Bright, Fuzzy Title Track from Chris Farren’s New EP: Premiere

Chris Farren
Max Schwartz Chris Farren

The Fake Problems frontman also started a new record label with his fiancée

You probably won’t know Chris Farren’s name if you’re not a punk fan, but he’s got one of the more enviable resumes in the genre. The Fake Problems frontman has toured with artists such as Against Me! and the Gaslight Anthem, put out a collaborative album with Bomb The Music Industry! frontman Jeff Rosenstock and even briefly achieved Internet virality with his spoof of The Smiths t-shirts.

Now, just a few months after assembling a Christmas compilation, Farren is preparing a new 7″ EP — and he’ll release it on a new record label that he founded with his fiancée.

Recording the Where U Are EP’s bright, fuzzy title track, which premieres on TIME today, was a literal journey: Farren initially rushed to finish the EP’s three songs before embarking on tour with the Gaslight Anthem in Australia, but he ran out of time and was forced to finish the tracks wherever he could — hotel rooms, bathrooms, before and after shows.

The upside to recording on the road, however, is that you can recruit your friends to help out, which is exactly what Farren did to complete the song “Permanent For Me.” “Brian [Fallon, of the Gaslight Anthem] and I have been friends for a while and always get into these intense conversations about songwriting,” Farren tells TIME. “I played him what I was working on and asked him if he’d want to sing on one of the songs, and he said ‘yes.'”

Much like its continent-spanning recording process, releasing the EP on his own label also wasn’t part of Farren’s original plan, but it proved to be a welcome relief from the anxiety of having to pitch the project. “While we were recording this EP, I had in my mind a few labels I wanted to send it off to,” he says. “I was going through all of the gross, hyperbolic things I could say about myself in an attempt to convince someone to want to be involved. It got to a point where I was spending too much time worrying about how it would come out and not enough just working on and enjoying making the music.”

In response, Farren’s fiancée suggested they simply put the music out themselves, and so they named their endeavor Boyfriend Island for the unreachable state someone enters when they begin a new relationship. “We call it Boyfriend Island because the idea of the label is freedom in isolation, not really [being] bothered about what anyone outside of it might say or think. Just do it ’cause you like it.”

Where U Are is available April 7. Hear the title track below:

TIME Music

How Jay Z’s Tidal Press Conference Showed He’s Out of Touch

The launch event for the rapper's streaming service was a big mess

After its splashy launch press conference yesterday, the primary argument for Tidal—the two-tiered music service recently purchased by Jay Z that costs either $9.99 or $19.99 per month—is that artists deserve more money for their work. It’s not necessarily a wrongheaded argument, but the manner in which Jay Z and his contemporaries have pressed the point is embarrassingly out-of-touch.

There are real, systemic problems with current streaming services like Spotify, which stream music for free to listeners and distribute to artists a paltry fee drawn from advertising. That’s why Taylor Swift withdrew her hugely profitable catalog from the service last year. The argument Swift has been making is that music has inherent value; from her statements regarding Spotify to her op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, it’s a point she’s consistently made well. The argument Jay Z and his fellow stars at the Tidal launch (including Nicki Minaj, Madonna, and Beyoncé) are making is that they deserve to set the price point for their music. The supporting evidence for this claim? They want to set the price point for their music.

The rhetoric around Tidal was pretty funny, when it wasn’t embarrassing. A promotional video showed various celebrities gathering to discuss their master plan as Beyoncé, who would seem to know better, said “Every great movement started with a group of people being able to get together and really just make a stand.” From Seneca Falls, to Selma, to Stonewall, to Los Angeles, where a bunch of celebrities demanded that their fans give them more money—this country has such a rich history of protest movements.

Jokes aside, the celebrities at the Tidal launch press conference did a remarkably poor job of elucidating why the consumer accustomed to getting music for free should begin paying for it. In the age of Spotify, it is entirely legal to listen to music constantly and never spend money on it. Countering that fact with the moral claim that celebrities would prefer if you didn’t stream music for free only makes sense if you believe celebrities should get everything they want, one hundred percent of the time.

As for the rhetoric in the press conference that music is special and has a unique place in our culture: Music fans agree! That’s why they listen to music often, on services that provide that music for free. But rather than building a better system, Jay Z and friends have, so far, put their energy behind a product that’s more or less the same as Spotify, but more expensive. A product this pointless could, maybe, be sold as a charity case by artists who depend on every penny of fan support. But Jay Z, a rapper who wastes no opportunity to brag, on his records, about his business acumen, is not that figure. Based on the optics of the Tidal launch, his business acumen may have failed him this time.

Read next: This Is What Computers Look Like Now and That’s Just Awesome

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TIME Music

One Direction Producer Shares Zayn Malik’s Solo Session Online

"Let the music do the talking"

That was quick.

Hours after producer Naughty Boy got into a heated Twitter exchange with One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson over Zayn Malik, the music maestro posted an alleged demo featuring Malik without his former bandmates.

“Let the music do the talking guys,” Naughty Boy wrote. “Thank us later.”

The song is called “I Won’t Mind,” and the track on Sound Cloud has the caption: “There is nothing but love for what was left behind. That’s why we don’t mind. ;) #zaughty #zinabad”

It also features the following line: “When someone makes you the happiest person and the saddest person, at the same time, that’s when it’s real. That’s when it’s worth something.”

Malik quit One Direction on March 25 and was spotted heading into a recording studio a day after he announced that he was leaving the boy band.

ETA: The track has been removed from Sound Cloud.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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