Welcome to Speakers In The News - a periodic update on the adventures of past SXSW Music Conference speakers! Throughout the summer, we’ll be keeping you posted about what our former speakers are getting into. Lots of interesting news has popped up in recent weeks, so let’s get to it.
Neil Young officially closed the Kickstarter campaign to fund his high-quality portable music player, and online music store, Pono. The campaign was a rousing success, raising upwards of $6 million contributed by more than 18,000 supporters; now we will wait for the end result of this project later in the year.
You’ve probably heard by now that Sean “Diddy” Combs has changed his stage name back to Puff Daddy (although, he’s always been Puff Daddy to us.) The rapper and entrepreneur is also booked to deliver Howard University’s commencement speech next month, as well as receive an honorary doctorate. We’ll be calling him “Dr. Puff” soon enough.
SXSW Music 2014 Featured Speaker St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, joined members of Nirvana on-stage for a version of “Lithium” during the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We can’t imagine what it felt like for her to share the stage with some of her musical heroes - as Clark told Rolling Stone, “I know I wouldn’t be playing music if it wasn’t for Nirvana.” Congratulations is also due to former SXSW Music speakers Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl on the Hall of Fame induction!
Neil Young photo by Amanda Stronza