TODAY'S TOP STORY: R Kelly's current girlfriends were involved in an altercation at his Chicago home on Wednesday that led to one of them being arrested and the other being taken to hospital. New allegations were also seemingly made against the musician himself during the argument, some of which was captured on Instagram Live... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES New allegations made against R Kelly as his girlfriends fight on camera
LEGAL Two US agents arrested over bogus Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars bookings
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Saban Music Group allies with Universal on marketing and distribution
Nigel Elderton reappointed as PRS Chair
LIVE BUSINESS See Tickets acquires Starticket
ARTIST NEWS The Neptunes reunite, working with Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Blink 182 and more
ONE LINERS Concord Music Group, Khalid, Celeste, more
AND FINALLY... Coldplay now see themselves as "a service"
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
The Columbo Group is seeking a Promotions Manager to work on its newest venue, The Blues Kitchen in Manchester. With responsibilities ranging from marketing and social media management, to artist booking and diary management.

For more information and to apply click here.
Managing a wide range of acts across Artist Services and Artist Development projects, this role is tasked with creating, delivering and co-ordinating marketing and promotional campaigns for domestic and international releases.

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Believe is looking for a passionate, ambitious Senior A&R (Urban) to join our growing Artist Services and Artist Development team. This role is tasked with identifying top sales targets and new talent within the urban genre and executing sales strategy and managing the signing and A&R process.

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CD Baby (part of AVL Digital, a Downtown Music Holdings company) is now searching for an Account Manager in the Creator Services department based in London, UK. This role help manage music release campaigns and add value to CD Baby's most important artists, managers and labels.

For more information and to apply click here.
UK Music is looking for a new Non-Executive Chair to work closely with the CEO to support member engagement and lobbying to ensure the voice of the industry is heard across policy making.

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Working as part of a team of three, you will prepare a high volume of artist statements bi-annually as well as assisting Beggars' Head Of Royalties as required. You will be responsible for entering / importing data into the royalties system (Korrect), producing and checking statements and dealing with queries both internally and from artists and managers.

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Mothership Group is looking for a dynamic Head Of Marketing who'll lead all its marketing activities across the marketing mix, including social media, digital campaigns, print advertising, designing content, and all marketing across public facing and private events, across the output of its four venues.

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Stones Throw is seeking a Label Assistant. The ideal candidate will have held a relevant entry level position in the music industry. This position is ideal for someone early in their career looking to develop their skills.

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With a release roster that includes albums by Omar, Courtney Pine, Brian Auger, Speedometer, Kylie Auldist, Ginger Johnson, Lack of Afro, and the Craig Charles Funk and Soul series, Freestyle Records is currently looking for a Project / Label Manager.

For more information and to apply click here.

New allegations made against R Kelly as his girlfriends fight on camera
R Kelly's current girlfriends were involved in an altercation at his Chicago home on Wednesday that led to one of them being arrested and the other being taken to hospital. New allegations were also seemingly made against the musician himself during the argument, some of which was captured on Instagram Live.

Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary have both repeatedly defended their pop star boyfriend since the 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary was aired a year ago, and during the criminal investigations and prosecutions that followed.

Kelly himself, of course, is currently in jail awaiting multiple trials on numerous allegations of sexual assault, including against under-aged girls.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Savage allegedly attacked Clary during an argument at Kelly's Chicago home on Wednesday afternoon. Clary was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment to injuries to her face. Police were called to break up the altercation, after which Savage fled the scene, but she later handed herself in to the authorities.

Savage was subsequently charged with misdemeanour domestic battery. At a short court hearing yesterday she pleaded not guilty to the charges before being released on a bond.

The Savage family have long claimed that she is another of Kelly's victims, and that she and Clary are both being controlled by the musician.

In November, a Patreon account was set up in Savage's name which then published articles seemingly confirming those claims. But she subsequently posted a video statement stating the Patreon account was fake and that "I just want everyone to know, we still support [Kelly], and we would never betray him. Me and Azriel will forever love him".

Some of this week's bust up between the two women was captured on Instagram Live. According to the Tribune, at one point in one video Clary is heard declaring "the skeletons is coming out, period", adding that Kelly "has been lying to all of y'all, and that's the sad part about it ... And he had people like me lying for him".

As the argument becomes more heated, it isn't always easy to make out what is being said in the videos, but TMZ reports that other new allegations were made during the shouting match.

According to TMZ: "Azriel said she was looking out for herself, and then threatened to send Joycelyn to jail for the very thing Kelly's facing ... having sex with a minor. Azriel claimed she was a minor when she had sex with Joycelyn - perhaps in a threesome with Kelly - and said she'd report Joycelyn to cops".

TMZ also contacted Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg about the fight and the new allegations made during it. He told the gossip site: "I have a statement written by Azriel that she provided to me, voluntarily, after [R Kelly] was already in jail, that said she never had sex with him when she was underaged".

"As far as this little catfight", he added, "it is clear that it was staged to try and boost social media popularity".


Two US agents arrested over bogus Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars bookings
Two women associated with an Atlanta-based music and promotions company called Canvas Media Group were arrested in New York this week over allegations that they fraudulently claimed to have booked Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars to play a concert that would have raised funds for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation.

A court filing by an FBI investigator claims that Nancy Jean and Carissa Scott took and partly spent a $100,000 advance payment as part of their negotiations with organisers of a benefit concert that was due to take place in Texas last month.

The payment was supposedly a deposit to secure a booking with Justin Timberlake and then, later, Bruno Mars, but, it's alleged, neither Jean nor Scott had any contact with Timberlake or Mars or any of their respective representatives.

Having paid the $100,000 deposit, organisers got concerned as to why Timberlake hadn't posted about the concert on social media as had been promised. Jean and Scott then told them that Timberlake had decided that he needed to be paid $275,000 of his $500,000 fee to publicly announce the show.

In the subsequent back and forth, the defendants arranged for a man who claimed to be Timberlake's manager to call the organisers to reassure them a booking had been made; they then said that the pop star's fee had gone up to $800,000; before claiming that they could get Mars to play instead for a $600,000 fee, providing they received a $300,000 deposit payment up front.

At this point the benefit show's backers got suspicious and went to the FBI. The aforementioned FBI investigator then approached Jean and Scott claiming to be a new investor in the charity event who was also interested in possibly backing other concerts.

After asking for an update on the Timberlake and Mars bookings, he was told both artists were concerned that the proposed charity show was a joke and that they would therefore need their full deposits paid to publicly announce their involvement. Jean and Scott also added that they could alternatively book Drake, Flo Rida or Ed Sheeran for the show.

The FBI then checked in with Timberlake's management and the booking agency that reps both Timberlake and Mars.

They all confirmed that they had never been approached by Jean and Scott, with Timberlake's manager saying that his client wasn't even available on the proposed concert date. Mars's agent added that there was no way that his client - or Timberlake for that matter - could have been booked to play the proposed benefit show without him being aware of it.

The FBI's investigation also showed that Jean and Scott had withdrawn cash and made payments from the bank account that the $100,000 deposit had been paid into, which had few funds in it other than the Timberlake advance.

The two women were arrested at JFK Airport in New York on Wednesday and are now facing charges of conspiracy to defraud. Neither they nor Canvas Media Group have as yet commented.


Saban Music Group allies with Universal on marketing and distribution
The recently launched Saban Music Group yesterday announced a marketing and distribution alliance with Universal Music which, the two companies said, will be "structured to reflect today's everchanging global music landscape". Which sounds like fun.

SMG was launched last year by US-based media mogul Haim Saban, who is best known for his many TV ventures and most commonly linked to the Power Rangers franchise. When launching the business last July, Saban said he was pumping $500 million into the venture, which would both sign new artists and buy-up existing music companies and catalogues.

The first acquisition actually pre-dated that announcement, Saban having already bought Latin music focused Talento Uno whose boss, Gustavo Lopez, is now heading up SMG. He previously spent two decades working for Universal, so the fact his new company has allied with the mega-major on distribution isn't surprising.

The new global deal is mainly with Universal's label services division Caroline, although SMG will also have access to other parts of the major in some territories.

Confirming the deal, Universal Music big cheese boss man Lucian Grainge said: "Haim has a proven track record of creating world-class entertainment. We're looking forward to working with his team at Saban Music to bring groundbreaking new artists and music to fans around the globe".

For his part, Saban said that Grainge had "built the number one music company in the world with an unprecedented streak of artist development", and therefore "there is no better home for our artists and their music".

Meanwhile Lopez chipped in: "It's exciting to once again work with UMG, my home for more than 20 years. We're looking forward to working with Sir Lucian's record-breaking and industry-leading teams".


Nigel Elderton reappointed as PRS Chair
Peermusic's Nigel Elderton has been reappointed Chair of the UK's song rights collecting society PRS For Music, for his second three-year term.

"It's a true honour to be reappointed as PRS Chair and I look forward to continuing to serve the organisation on behalf of all PRS's songwriter, composer and publisher members", says he. "I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity to continue working closely with Andrea and my two Deputy Chairmen, Simon Darlow and Simon Platz, in leading the vital work PRS does in protecting and preserving the value of our members' music, both here in the UK and around the world".

The Andrea he mentions there is, of course, Andrea C Martin, chief exec of PRS For Music, who adds: "Nigel has done an exceptional job providing his expert knowledge and guidance as Chair over the past three years and I congratulate him on his reappointment. With over 45 years' experience in the music industry, Nigel's expertise will prove invaluable over the coming years and I look forward to working with him closely as we improve our offering to our members".

Elderton has been UK MD of independent music publisher Peermusic since 1992 and is also the company's European President.


See Tickets acquires Starticket
Vivendi-owned ticketing firm See Tickets has acquired Swiss company Starticket, further expanding its international reach.

"I am delighted to welcome Starticket and its experienced management team into our group", says See Tickets CEO Rob Wilmshurt. "We have long admired Starticket as a stand out independent ticketing company in Switzerland and I know that together we will be able to further develop the quality and range of services to our clients and customers in the country".

Samuel Hügli of Starticket's now former owner TX Group adds: "With this acquisition by See Tickets, Starticket will become part of a leading international ticketing service provider that uses cutting-edge technology and has a huge network with numerous partnerships. This will strengthen Starticket in international competition and allow See Tickets to benefit from Starticket's many years of experience in the Swiss market".

See Tickets now has operations in nine European countries, as well as the USA.


CMU Insights at Eurosonic 2020
The first music conference and showcase festival of the year kicks off in Groningen next week with Eurosonic 2020. And CMU will be there partnering with Buma/Stemra on a session all about getting songwriters paid.

Based on the 'Song Royalties Guide' that CMU Insights produced for the UK's Music Managers Forum, the session will explain the complexities in how streaming services negotiate licensing deals on the songs side of the music business and how they then calculate and pay royalties to songwriters each month. Those complexities can result in delays and deductions, and even mean songwriters miss out on payment entirely.

The session 'Where's My Damn Money? How songwriters get paid their digital dollars' will then discuss the challenges for songwriters and their business partners; look at how music publishers and collecting societies are seeking to make the process more efficient; and ask what songwriters and their managers can be doing - individually and collectively - to ensure they are getting all the streaming money they are due.

Joining CMU's Chris Cooke will be Michiel Laan from Buma/Stemra, Mandy Aubry from Songtrust, Niclas Molinder from Session and Steijn Koeijvoets from 3S Music Management and MMF Netherlands.

It all takes place at 1.30pm on Thursday 16 Jan in Front 1 at De Oosterpoort. Click here for full info on this year's Eurosonic.

The Neptunes reunite, working with Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Blink 182 and more
Having spent much of the last decade working apart, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo have confirmed that they are now once again working full-time on production projects as The Neptunes. And they've already got a huge amount of music in the works with some big names.

"I'm focussing on The Neptunes stuff, getting back on The Neptunes grind", Hugo tells Clash. "We're doing a couple of things. There's a videogame soundtrack that's in the works right now ... We just did some work with Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Blink 182, Lil Uzi Vert, Brandy, Ray-J, Snoh Alegra, G-Eazy".

He adds that the production duo have also done some tentative work with Dua Lipa, Kaytranda and Rex Orange County.

Williams and Hugo haven't been totally apart in recent years. The duo worked together on Justin Timberlake's 2018 album 'Man Of The Woods' and they released their most recent album as rock band NERD in 2017. Although Williams led on the latter project, with only one track a true co-production, and Hugo making small contributions to a handful of other tracks.

The first tangible indication of a proper reunion came late last year, when The Neptunes were credited as producers on Williams' song for Netflix documentary 'The Black Godfather', titled 'Letter To My Godfather'. That song is now tipped to be nominated for an Oscar.

Listen to 'Letter To My Godfather' here.



Concord Music Group has promoted Jim Selby from Chief Revenue Officer to Chief Operating Officer. "I am extremely proud to be a part of Concord and would like to thank Scott [Pacucci, CEO] and the rest of the executive team for this opportunity", he says.

Bauer Media has appointed Rebecca Frank as Content Director of its Kiss brand. "This is quite simply my dream job", she says. So much so, to take on the role she's travelling all the way back to the UK from New Zealand, where she has been Head Of Development at media company Mediaworks.



Khalid has released new single 'Eleven'. It features some additional warbling by Craig David.

Celeste is celebrating her BBC Sound Of 2020 win with the release of new single 'Stop This Flame'. "In essence, 'Stop This Flame' is a song about seeing it through to the end", she says. "Whether it's about not letting go of love, not letting go of a dream or stridently coming through some form of adversity. The song has always evoked those feelings within me".

Easy Life are celebrating their silver medal in the BBC Sound Of 2020 poll with the release of the video for 'Dead Celebrities'. Their new mixtape, 'Junk Food', is out today too. Thinking about it, it's possible the video release is more to do with that.

Hailee Steinfeld has released the video for new single 'Wrong Direction'.

Of Montreal have released new single 'You've Had Me Everywhere'. Their new album, 'UR Fun', is out next week on Polyvinyl.

Black Lips have released new single 'Rumbler'. "This is a song I wrote about a GI Joe doll, code-named Rumbler, that I am almost certain is based on my great uncle and war hero Bobby Earl Swilley", says the band's Jared Swilley, which I'm sure you'd all already guessed from the title. "The cadence of the song is kind of based on a bear hunting poem that my granddaddy, Bobby Earl's brother, used to recite to me. This is an ode to my elders". The band's new album, 'Sing In A World Falling Apart', is out on 24 Jan.

Scandal have released new single 'AMDKJ', from their upcoming album 'Kiss From The Darkness'.

J-pop artist Sumire Uesaka has announced that she will release her new album, 'Neo Propanganda', internationally through JPU Records on 7 Feb. From it, this is 'Neo Tokyo Singing'.

OOIOO have released new single 'Jibun' on Thrill Jockey.



Yves Tumor is going to play Electric Brixton in London on 20 May. More info-style content here.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Coldplay now see themselves as "a service"
Coldplay are unambitious and just churn out music for the braying masses. Not my words; the words of Chris Martin. Sort of. He's said that the band have achieved everything they want to achieve and now see themselves as "a service" for the fans. Which is basically what I said.

Speaking to Q, Martin explains that following the release of their 2015 album 'A Head Full Of Dreams', the band toured the world, headlined Glastonbury for the fourth time and played the Super Bowl half time show. At which point they realised that there wasn't much left for them to do.

"It was like, 'OK, we've got to that place, we've got to that job description, now what are we going to do with it?' And I hadn't felt that we'd got there until the end of that tour. Nothing is left in terms of career aspirations".

"Our job [now] is to translate the songs that we receive and get out there and be of use to people if they want it", he goes on. "We've got to be a service, like a TV station. Or a tap".

Of course, you can turn off a TV or a tap.

The fact that the band are now just going through the motions, and therefore have no real urge to get on stage, presumably made it easier for them to declare late last year that they will not now tour in any significant way until they can make it "actively beneficial" to the environment.

Without the usual two year touring schedule ahead of them, but with the band still a going concern, what is left? Well, they're just sitting around "receiving" those songs from the ether. Which means that they'll soon be heading straight back to the studio to work on the follow-up to the recently released 'Everyday Life' album.

"We knew this would probably be over by Christmas so we're keen to get on with the next thing", says drummer Will Champion of the promo for 'Everyday Life'. "We've got songs ready to go and recording sessions earmarked. We're really excited to move on".

Which means that everyday life from now on is basically a near constant stream of new Coldplay albums. The tap is broken, it just won't turn off.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights and CMU Pathways consultancy units and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY.
[email protected] or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
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