And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #237: The Year In Beefs

By | Published on Friday 19 December 2014

Can it really be that another year is over? Another eleven and a half months of disputes, arguments and fallings out has come to an end? Yes. That is what has happened. And as a result, there is no specific Beef Of The Week this week. Because it’s Christmas and everyone’s in a good mood. No one is fighting anymore. Not until January.

Justin Bieber

And so, it is time for what I believe is now a traditional look at one beef from each month of the year that just was…

January: Justin Bieber v God
Just 23 days into the year, Justin Bieber turned from prankster kid with a penchant for pissing in buckets into the rogue popstar we all know and love today when he was caught drag racing a Lamborghini in Miami under the influence of drink and drugs. He was later fined and sent to anger management classes. The title of this particular beef, should you be wonder, came from Bieber’s mother’s request for us to pray for him the previous day. Maybe we should have prayed harder.

February: The Music Industry v YouTube
At this year’s MIDEM, things turned sour for Google’s Vice President of YouTube Content Tom Pickett after he told his audience that YouTube had paid out $1 billion to “the music industry” over “the last few years”. The heckling this got him echoed out throughout the year, never more so than when the indie labels called Google’s bluff over threats to remove their music from the video site if they didn’t sign up to non-negotiable terms on the recently launched YouTube Music Key service. Now it’s just the songwriters they need to worry about.

March: Holby City v Perrie Edwards
We’ve covered various fan backlashes in the Beef Of The Week column over the years. In March, when BBC One’s ‘Holby City’ let a character suggest that she might cut off the head of Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards “with a rusty chainsaw” so that she could be with Edwards’ boyfriend, One Direction’s Zayn Malik, all hell broke loose. Even Edwards’ mother tweeted that she was “really”.

April: The Internet v Avril Lavigne
So, as we’ve seen, fans of an artist can rush to the defence of a popstar when the mood takes them. But sometimes it works the other way around. Especially if you’re Avril Lavigne. And especially if you’re Avil Lavigne in a video co-opting Japanese ‘kawaii’ imagery. “It’s awful”, said some people. “It’s racist”, said others. “It’s a dubstep track co-written by Chad Kroeger from Nickleback”, wept everyone.

May: Gary Barlow v The Tax Man
Gary Barlow was not the only musician found to be using a tax avoidance scheme this year. He wasn’t even the only member of Take That. But he was the only one with an OBE, so it was his job to take the bulk of the criticism for it. Even his good buddy David Cameron said poor old Gaz should make amends by paying the money he owed the country. That he was doing just that was, I think, what Barlow said when he made a sort of apology later in the year.

June: Morrissey v Cliff Richard
Moz and the Cliff-man didn’t really have a beef in June, but that’s the sort of headline you don’t give up, even if it is tremendously tenuous. Morrissey had invited Cliff to support him at a show in the US. Then the former Smiths man cancelled the part of his tour where that show would have fallen. Cliff responded by putting on a free show in New York. Then, of course, Cliff’s UK home was raided following allegations of sexual abuse and Morrissey revealed that the cancellations had been due to him being diagnosed with cancer. Which sort of ruins the lighthearted mood of all of this.

July: Tulisa v The Fake Sheikh
Elsewhere in quite-serious-stories-making-it-into-an-otherwise-flippant-column news, Tulisa Contostavlos found herself in court on drugs charges this summer, following a sting by The Sun’s Mazher ‘Fake Sheikh’ Mahmood. Her co-defendant Michael Coombs having already admitted supplying drugs for her. But then the whole case fell apart when Judge Alistair McCreath said that he had “strong grounds” to believe that Mahmood had lied in court. Tulisa and Coombs walked free, and the fallout for Mahmood is still evolving.

August: Pablito Ruiz v Tame Impala
Barely a week goes past without someone you haven’t heard of claiming that someone you have heard of stole a song from them. Just this week Beyonce was sued by a Hungarian folk singer. Mostly we ignore these cases until they get properly legal, but this one was interesting because it stemmed from a joke. Chilean music website Rata made a joke about Tame Impala copying Argentine popstar Pablito Ruiz, when clearly they hadn’t. Some people laughed, some were confused, and some (one, Pablito Ruiz) threatened actual legal action.

September: Deadmau5 v Disney
Disney is a company that will fiercely defend its trademarks, as Deadmau5 found when it sued him for having a logo that looks like a mouse with big ears. It listed its reasons for doing so over 171 pages of a legal document. The usual legal posturing followed, but then things got more fun. It turned out that Disney had used some of Deadmau5’s music in an online video without permission. The producer’s lawyer wrote a pretty amazing letter to Disney pointing this out, and then Deadmau5 started issuing takedown notices.

October: Pan-fried beef fillet at The Mercury Prize
Actual beef has made it into the Beef Of The Column twice before, thanks to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. But never has it been described in such detail. Or any detail for that matter. But in October this year, CMU’s Chris Cooke gave a blow by blow account of his experience at this year’s Mercury Prize and the fear that the meal might once again be fish.

November: Taylor Swift v Spotify
You’re probably sick of hearing about this by now, but it was a pretty big deal when it happened, wasn’t it? I guess it still is. As you’ll no doubt remember, Taylor Swift, having already refused to give her new album ‘1989’ to streaming services, decided to pull her entire catalogue off Spotify and Deezer last month. It turned out this was a protest against how the companies operate at the freemium level. So there.

December: Tom Binns v Simon Bates
It’s the festive season, so what better way to finish than with a story about a man calling another man a bad word? Comedian Tom Binns recently told a story on his podcast about his wife, radio producer Liesl Soards, being badly treated by presenter Simon Bates shortly before she ceased to work on his radio show. In a more recent edition of his podcast, Binns explained some more about what happened after that original episode went out.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |