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BRITISH DIGITAL ALBUM SALES TOP 100 MILLION
Needless to say, certain high profile albums have particularly helped with the 100 million sales stat - including long players from Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran and Adele - with each of the ten best selling digital albums so far selling over 250,000 units online, according to data published by record label trade body the BPI and the Official Charts Company today. Home-grown artists also perform particularly well in the digital albums sales stakes.
With compulsory Olympics reference very much in hand, BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU: "Sales of digital albums are surging ahead as British consumers embrace the convenience, value and choice offered by online services. As our athletes compete against the best in the world, British artists have taken the gold and silver positions in the best-selling digital artist albums of all time, and six places in the top ten. With big releases to come from Rita Ora, The Script, Elbow, and Stooshe, digital album sales should continue to grow strongly".
DEV SUES LABEL
Tailes claims that in 2008, aged eighteen, she was tricked into signing a deal with Indie-Pop Music by its owners Benjamin Willis and Carlo Fox and lawyer Joshua Andriano. The deal also positioned Willis and Fox as her managers and was, legal papers filed this week say, "one-sided", seeing Dev sign away 75% of her income from recordings, publishing, merch and touring. The suit adds that she later felt "pressured and manipulated" into signing amended agreements in 2011 and then again this year.
The lawsuit argues that the men used "flattery and praise [and] made lofty statements to her regarding her future career, and manipulated her into believing that she could trust them fully". However, it adds, she was never offered the opportunity of independent legal advice, and the contract extends beyond the seven year maximum allowed under Californian law.
The document states: "On or about 6 June 2008, defendants gave Tailes an onerous, one-sided agreement for her to sign (the 'purported 2008 agreement'), and represented to her that it would allow defendants to serve as her 'manager'. Defendants did not provide plaintiff with independent legal counsel to review the agreement, or give her legal advice regarding it. Defendants knew that plaintiff did not have any independent legal counsel of her own, and represented to her that defendant Andriano was a licensed attorney and would look out for her legal interests. Plaintiff - only eighteen years old and with only a high school education - did not understand the terms of the document put before her to sign".
It continues: "Moreover, since mid-2008, defendants have been deducting excessive expenses 'off the top' of Tailes' income, before Tailes is paid, and many of the expenses charged are unwarranted and not standard in the industry. As a result of defendants' actions, Tailes has received a very small percentage of her income, and defendants have paid themselves the lion's share".
In all, Dev is now seeking termination of the contract, full accounts of her earnings while working under it, and compensation on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, professional negligence, legal malpractice and unfair business practices.
The label has not commented on the lawsuit.
BOW WOW SUED BY FRENCH PORN STAR
Tran says that she appeared as a club dancer in a video for French band Electronic Conspiracy, but that Bow Wow then sampled that footage for the pop promo for his track 'Drank In My Cup' earlier this year, without her permission.
Of course it's possible the rapper and his label Universal got the all clear from whoever actually owns the Electronic Conspiracy video to sample snippets from the promo, which is probably why Tran isn't suing for copyright infringement. Rather she has sued for publicity rights violations, unfair business practices, false association and unjust enrichment, demanding over $75,000 in damages.
DRAKE MAKING "GREAT MOVES" TOWARD PRODUCING POSTHUMOUS AALIYAH LP
According to HipHopDX, a "reliable source with inside knowledge of the situation" has all but confirmed Drake's role in the LP project, despite Aaliyah's brother Rashad Haughton having denied all knowledge of such a venture.
Regardless of that, this is what Drake said to Westwood back in March: "I have some great Aaliyah news coming soon. Just some special things. Just gave you that, just a little. Because I said, I'm with Westwood, so I can't not... But great things, great things for music, period".
You heard the man, period. Word is that Drake will premiere his Aaliyah-featuring single on stage at the OVO Festival, which takes place in Toronto this Sunday.
WRONGTOM MEETS DEEMAS J FOR NEW ALBUM
2010's 'Duppy Writer' saw Tom re-imagine select tracks from Roots Manuva's catalogue as reggae and dancehall classics. For his latest collaborative project, the producer wanted to create something completely from scratch, maintaining the vintage dancehall, dub and reggae influences and capturing the rich musical heritage of East London along the way.
Tom told CMU: "I first recorded a track with Deemas back in the 90s in my mate Sarah's living room, back when we both used to MC. Now I spend most of my time behind the mixing desk, it's an honour to have a whole album out with my friend from way back when. There was so much to capture from Deemas's years of experience as an MC to the current goings on in East London where we made the record, and I'm quietly confident that we pulled it off - with more than a little help from [legendary Greensleeves Records designer] Tony McDermott who's knocked us up yet another amazing cover".
BEYONCE TO DIRECT BEYONCE DOCUMENTARY
Having had words with "a person familiar with the package who was not authorised to talk about it publicly" the paper reports that the '4' diva is in talks to lease the film - "a mix of music and personal study, blending concert footage with confessional interview" - to movie distributors.
OLYMPICS CLOSING CEREMONY SUMMARY: ED SHEERAN TO DUET WITH PINK FLOYD DRUMMER, SPICE GIRLS REHEARSALS RUMOURED
Sheeran broke the semi-exclusive news that he'll be performing with a Pink Floyder live on-air via Australia's NovaFM, saying: "I'm playing the closing ceremony - which I think is kinda cool, right? A lot of people think that I'm doing a song with The Who but I'm not - I'm doing a song with Pink Floyd, doing 'Wish You Were Here'".
Asked if he'd be collaborating with the full Pink Floyd line-up, he said: "No, because they don't get on. Nick Mason's on the drums, and I think they're trying to get someone else. But I think they've got Stephane Grappelli to do some sort of violin stuff".
So to re-cap; that's Ed Sheeran, singing Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', accompanied on drums by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, and with violin virtuoso Stephane Grappelli doing "some sort of violin stuff" on the side. Oh, and "someone else" may or may not be there too. You heard it here second.
And with that, it's on to the far less official 'news' that the Spice Girls have been glimpsed in London rehearsing for the very same Olympics Closing Ceremony as will feature Ed, Nick, Stephane and "someone else".
The Sunday Mirror's celebrity gossip columnist Dean Piper (a reliable witness, if ever there was one), tweeted that he'd seen the reunion first hand, writing: "So the Spice Girls are all together rehearsing for the Olympics RIGHT NOW in London. #itsonbitches".
So, yeah. It's on (BBC 1, from 9pm on 12 Aug), bitches.
OPOSSOM TO TOUR
The band will play London's Shacklewell Arms twice over two successive nights (29 and 30 Oct), and also at Manchester's Night & Day Café on 1 Nov.
Tour notes dispensed with, it's now time to look at the new video for 'Electric Hawaii' single 'Getaway Tonight'.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
G-FEST, Avenham Park, Preston, 8 Sep: Maverick Sabre, Labrinth, Dappy, Stooshe, Clement Marfo & The Frontline, The Milk and Abandoman. www.prestonguild2012.com
HOSTESS CLUB WEEKENDER, Zepp Diver City, Tokyo, Japan, 3-4 Nov: Dinosaur Jr, Thurston Moore, Local Natives, The War On Drugs, Clock Opera and Deap Vally. www.ynos.tv/hostessclub
INSIGHTS AND MUSIC AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE
And don't forget, CMU will also be at Edinburgh's big festival this year, offering insights for aspiring music makers and managers. This Sunday CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will be joined by Matthew Young of Song, By Toad and Scott Maple of Armellodie, plus Soundcloud's Ben Fawkes, the BBC's James Bursey, Scottish music journalist Lisa-Marie Ferla and Dan Willson of Withered Hand at 1pm at Fringe Central for a CMU Insights session looking at how to get started as a DIY musician, and how to get noticed. Details here.
Then on Saturday 11 Aug, Chris will return with the first ever CMU Music Business Bootcamp as part of an exciting new two day conference exploring the art of live performance, StageTime, which takes place from 11-12 Aug and includes sessions from CMU Training, the Music Managers Forum and Musicians Union, plus a day of great panels. More at www.stagetimeconf.com
And while the Edinburgh Festival is best known for its theatre, comedy and similar cultural festivities, there's a great music programme too. This weekend alone, look out for CMU favourite Chilly Gonzales playing the Queens Hall tonight, the aforementioned Withered Hand at the same venue on Saturday night, plus Born To Be Wide presenting some great Scottish talent at Electric Circus on Sunday.
COOKING VINYL OPENS SYNC DEPARTMENT
The department has already announced two sync deals, placing a track by The Prodigy in the opening episode of MTV series 'Teen Wolf', and getting The Enemy onto the soundtrack of football videogame 'FIFA 13'.
Beckingham told CMU: "I'm pretty excited to be working with such a great independent label as Cooking Vinyl. The experience I gained at Huge has been really valuable in pitching creatively to clients, understanding the creative process and using this to benefit both them and our artists. I'm looking forward to building up the sync area here and adding to Cooking Vinyl's success story".
Bailey added: "I am so thrilled to be a part of the Cooking Vinyl family! I have long been a fan of the label's roster and am very much looking forward to working with such a hugely talented and diverse range of artists".
SONY'S FINANCIALS REMAIN DISAPPOINTING
Sony's music businesses were profitable, though less so than the same quarter the previous year, collectively generating 7.3 billion yen in profits from 98.8 billion yen in sales, just under 40% less than a year earlier. The "worldwide contraction of the physical music market" and a smaller number of key releases in the Japanese market were both blamed.
RAJAR ROUND UP
1. Chris Moyles may be going out on a five year low, so that's fun. The Radio 1 breakfast show saw its audience fall to 6.93 million in the last quarter, its lowest since 2006. Perhaps he's trying to reduce the pressure on incoming replacement Nick Grimshaw, who will take over on breakfast at the nation's favourite next month.
2. Chris Evans remains the most listened to breakfast DJ by some way over on Radio 2, even though his audience was down quarter on quarter (but it was up year on year).
3. Capital Radio is still the biggest commercial service in London in terms of number of listeners, as the Global-owned station continues to successfully fight off competition from Magic, sister station Heart and possibly-soon-to-be-a-sister-service Smooth.
4. Though in terms of market share, Heart is ahead of Capital. As are Magic and Kiss. Go figure.
5. All London stations saw their listening figures slip based on the previous quarter, Smooth in particular, its audience being 20.8% down year on year, 38.5% down quarter on quarter.
6. Elsewhere in the Capital network, the Scottish outpost of the station had its highest ever audience, while Capital services in Manchester and Birmingham also grew their listening base.
7. Some Planet Rock listeners may have responded badly to the introduction of a premium online club, but that didn't stop the main station increasing its audience by just over 10% over the last quarter.
8. Absolute Radio was also up, with its total UK audience now at 1.76 million, 9.4% higher than the previous quarter.
9. Orion Radio, which merged four of its local FMs under the one Free Radio banner earlier this year, saw the overall listening figures of the network grow. Free Radio now reaches over 700,000 listeners in the Midlands.
10. And overall UK radio listening was down very slightly - 89% of the population turned into a radio station on a weekly basis, down from 90% the previous quarter. Overall digital listening was up - digital services now accounting for 31.5% of listening, up from 29.2% the previous quarter and 26.9% a year earlier.
BJÖRK AND DAVID ATTENBOROUGH TO PRESENT 'BIOPHILIA' TV DOC
Taking the relationship between nature, music and technology - as also colours Björk's app-happy album 'Biophilia' - as its theme, 'The Nature Of Music' will illustrate (or so says that press release) "the remarkable story of how and why music has evolved, our unique relationship with it, and how technology might transform the way we engage with it in the future".
Attenborough's role will be to depict 'music in the natural world' via recordings of the blue whale songs and bird calls, while Björk will introduce her collection of bespoke 'Biophilia' instruments (not least the 'pendulum harp', 'sharpsichord' and 'gameleste'). Various scientists and scholars will also discuss the significance of music vs technology in a scientific, scholarly fashion.
Pulse Films' Executive Producer Lucas Ochoa says this: "We are incredibly excited to be working on this remarkable film with Björk and David Attenborough. Born from Björk's revolutionary music project, it is thrilling to be able to document this incredible journey with her. She is undeniably one of the most iconic figures in popular culture and truly pushes boundaries like no other artist".
NEW BREAKFAST SHOW HOST FOR AMAZING
Confirming the appointment, Amazing Radio's Programme Director Matt Jamison told CMU: "Ruth is the perfect fit for breakfast on Amazing Radio. She'll satisfy people's hunger for new music whilst providing a sunny start to the day. She'll also bring that specialist music knowledge to people's breakfast time without all the po-faced beard scratching that's often ascribed to music aficionados. I'm confident that Ruth will provide the best new music breakfast of any breakfast show anywhere in the world".
Barnes herself added: "Taking on the Amazing Breakfast Show is a fantastic opportunity to get my teeth into daytime, mainstream radio. Well, as mainstream as we get on Amazing. Our Breakfast Show would be a specialist new music show on any other network. That's what makes us unique, our fantastic new music playlist, live sessions and a sweep of what people are sharing on the web. It's going to be a seriously relaxed and informative way to start your day".
LILY ALLEN TO RELEASE NEW MATERIAL AS LILY ROSE COOPER
Allen, sorry, Cooper said: "It's great to work at my own pace, with no commitments other than to make music. I'm excited to be heading back into the studio".
What exactly does this mean for music fans? Well, Popjustice is conducting a scientific experiment over the next week to find out.
"RAP'S TAKEN A BACKSEAT TO SKATING", SAYS LIL WAYNE
Weezy, who has a new mixtape titled 'Dedication 4' out on 15 Aug, told US radio host DJ Drama: "I picked up the skateboard and I thought it'd be a hobby and what happened is it's a lifestyle. In order to be fully committed, you have... it's kind of putting rap on the back burner. Rap's taken a backseat to skating".
Of taking a potential hiatus from music, he said: "I kinda feel like I deserve that. I feel like the fans deserve a 'Lil No Wayne'. I've been everywhere. I've been out on everybody's song, I'm still on everybody's song, my artists are doing awesome. I believe the fans deserve some peace from me. I be on my skateboard in the meantime".
So here he is, being on his skateboard. It's not great, but then neither was 'Tha Carter IV'.
CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #121: LIAM GALLAGHER V MUSIC AND FASHION. AND NOEL. AND WAYNE ROONEY.
However, said Liam, while it's all been a good move financially, his time in the music business has taught him not to get too engaged with the fashion world. Or, as he put it: "No one's making money out of records so it has been a good move. But it wasn't a planned move, it just happened. I don't want to get caught up in [the fashion industry though]. I'm not hostile, but 90% of the music business is run by idiots and I'll guess it's the same for fashion, know what I mean?"
Not hostile? Surely it's the hostility that we all love best about Liam Gallagher. Is he softening in his old age? His ongoing war of words with brother Noel has certainly died down since the pair sued and countersued each other over claims Noel made about a cancelled Oasis V Festival performance.
On this, Liam said: "My mum told us we ought to chill out after that suing thing. I went: 'All right, cool'. I can't talk to him, but I've never hated him. He's doing his thing and I'll do mine. But I did enjoy our little spats - since we called a truce the world's just boring. It's been hell. We need to get the party started again! Maybe in Japan..."
I think that might have been another call for an Oasis reunion. Or just a challenge to a fight in Tokyo. But whatever, Liam saved his choicest words for footballer Wayne Rooney, and his slightly misjudged new haircut: "I'm not having it. He looks like a fucking balloon with a fucking Weetabix crushed on top. He's better off as a skinhead, isn't he?"