St. Vincent, Josh Homme, Elton John, more to host Beats 1 radio shows for Apple

Plus: Taylor Swift has decided to stream her album 1989 on Apple Music


Apple’s new streaming service Apple Music will launch later this month, and with it comes the debut of Beats 1, a 24/7 global radio station spearheaded by Zane Lowe. A new profile from The New York Times reveals some of the artists who have been tagged to host programs on the station, and the names are pretty exciting.

According to the Times, St. Vincent, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Elton John, DrakeDisclosure, Pharrell, and even Jaden Smith have all been hired to “host and plan” their own shows. Dr. Dre, one of the original Beats founders, will also get a show (dubbed “The Pharmacy”). Sir John’s program is reportedly called “Elton John’s Rocket Hour.”

Unlike Apple Music, which is subscription-based and starts at $9.99 a month, Beats 1 will be made available for free on all Apple devices (iPads, iPhones, and computers). Apparently, the whole thing was the brainchild of another Beats founder, Trent Reznor. Struck by how “everything gets so nichey” when limitless access to digital music allows extremely individualized playlists, Reznor saw something communal in the way Lowe hosted his old BBC Radio 1 show. “I wondered if in today’s world there is still a place for monoculture,” he told NYT. “Can that still exist?”

Lowe will try to recreate that feeling from Los Angeles as a weekday Beats 1 anchor alongside Hot 97’s Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London. To kick off the new streaming radio service, Lowe’s first interview will be with Eminem, as you can see in his Instagram image above.

Update: In more big news, Taylor Swift has announced she’s decided to stream her latest album 1989 on Apple Music. The pop mega star has resisted streaming the LP anywhere since its release, but after convincing Apple to change its royalty policy, “This is simply the first time it’s felt right in my gut to stream my album.”

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