Breaking Beatles' Records

The #1, #2, and #3 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 are all by Ariana Grande. The last artist to do that? The Beatles.

Live Venue Boom

The historic New York City venue Webster Hall is set to reopen in May after a $10 million renovation. In Philadelphia, a 111-year-old opera house reopened as The Met Philadelphia following a $56 million renovation. These two projects are part of a massive wave of investment in live music venues across the US and around the world. It doesn’t take an economist to see why. Global ticket sales are up 38% over the past five years, tracking a seemingly insatiable demand for live event experiences. Opening night at The Met Philadelphia featured Bob Dylan playing to a sold-out crowd of 3,500. The reviews for both the venue and show: a triumph.

The Cost Of A Busted Sneaker

Wednesday night’s Duke-UNC game, featuring the #1 team, #1 player, and best rivalry in the sport, promised to show off the best college basketball had to offer. Instead, it revealed the worst. Less than 30 seconds after tip-off, Duke freshman Zion Williamson sprained his knee when his left sneaker fell apart quite literally at the seams. Zion, the aforementioned #1 player and likely top pick in the NBA draft and future max contract player, like all college players isn’t paid, nor is he allowed deals with sneaker brands. He was required to wear the sneaker in question because of a lucrative deal between Duke and Nike. It’s easy to imagine a scenario where a player like Zion suffers a career-ending injury in college, costing him hundreds of millions of dollars in future earnings. He’s expected to make a full recovery. He should sit until he’s paid what he’s worth. Who would expose themselves to that kind of risk?


Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers & Hammerstein fame, became the person to EGOT (win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) in 1962. Since then, only 14 others have achieved this herculean task, including luminaries like Mel Brooks, Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, and John Legend (that’s right). Remarkably, the term EGOT only first appeared in 1984, when Miami Vice actor Philip Michael Thomas used it in an interview with the AP. Even more remarkably, the term was all but nonexistent in the cultural record until 2009. In December, the NBC show 30 Rock was halfway through its fourth season when it aired Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001, with a subplot featuring Tracy Morgan’s character and a huge, gold EGOT chain. Use of the term exploded practically overnight, and tracking its rise provides an insightful (and hilarious) look at the mechanics of the pop culture lexicon.




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This WeekMatt Pennington