Anastasia Tsioulcas

The Echo Awards — Germany's equivalent to the Grammys — is facing widespread censure after this year's prize for best hip-hop album was given to a duo whose lyrics include boasts about how their bodies are "more defined than Auschwitz prisoners" and that they will "make another Holocaust, show up with a Molotov."

At the award ceremony, which took place on April 12, rappers Kollegah (Felix Blume) and Farid Bang (Farid El Abdellaoui) took home the prize for their album Jung, brutal gutaussehend 3 (translated: Young, Brutal, Good-Looking 3).

The experiences of black men in America today are making their way onto the classical concert stage, thanks to internationally acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee. Brownlee enlisted the help of two other prominent African-American artists, composer Tyshawn Sorey and poet Terrance Hayes.

Late Monday afternoon, New York's hallowed Metropolitan Opera announced that it had fired conductor James Levine — an artist who had a close affiliation with the opera house for more than four decades — after a months-long investigation into claims of "sexually abusive and harassing conduct."

On Tuesday, the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammy Awards, named Tina Tchen as the chair of its new task force for inclusion and diversity. Her appointment follows a controversy over the place of women in the music business that erupted following this year's Grammy ceremony.

Russ Solomon, the founder of the enormously influential and widely beloved Tower Records chain, has died at age 92.

His son, Michael Solomon, told the Sacramento Bee on Monday that his father died of an apparent heart attack on Sunday evening while watching the Oscar awards ceremony and enjoying a glass of whiskey.

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