TODAY'S TOP STORY: The long-term business manager of R Kelly - who is also caught up in the criminal case against the musician - has requested that he goes on trial in April as originally planned. This follows a new legal filing by prosecutors in Chicago last week that added a new victim to the set of allegations against Kelly, which is likely to delay the criminal proceedings... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES R Kelly business manager says new allegations against the star shouldn't delay his trial
LABELS & PUBLISHERS BMG announces rejig at top of its UK business
Silva Screen hires new Head Of Strategy with focus on Indian market
LIVE BUSINESS StubHub to pay $1.3 million fine over drip-pricing in Canada
ARTIST NEWS Andrew Weatherall dies
GIGS & FESTIVALS Elton John postpones next show to recover from pneumonia
Ozzy Osbourne cancels US dates to receive treatment for Parkinson's disease
AND FINALLY... Lewis Capaldi would like to do the next Bond theme (obviously)
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Secretly Group is looking for a motivated, ambitious and enthusiastic full-time Project Manager. The position will be based in one of our three main US offices: Bloomington (IN), Brooklyn (NY), Los Angeles (CA). 2-4 years of music industry experience are essential.

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Union Chapel looking for an experienced Head of Events and Commercial Activities with a keen interest in events management, programming and income generation for the benefit of the arts, culture, social justice and heritage.

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Independent label 3tone Records is looking for an enthusiastic and adaptable Marketing Assistant to join their Bristol office. You'd be assisting the Marketing department in co-ordinating social media plans, researching, executing effective advertising, creating compelling assets and liaising with external teams to serve a growing roster of genre-spanning artists.

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Name PR is looking to hire an accomplished communications professional with demonstrable experience. You will help lead our growing consumer division, working on exciting projects like 51st State Festival, the AIM Independent Music Awards and Ninja Tune technology releases, and clients as diverse as Jean-Michel Jarre and VP/Greensleeves Records.

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The Edinburgh International Festival is looking for an experienced, passionate and dedicated Music Publicist to join the marketing and communications team. We want you to help us deliver this unparalleled celebration of the performing arts, which brings some of the most exciting and creative artists working today to audiences from around the world.

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Warp Records is seeking a legal and business affairs assistant to join its team in London. The role will also give the opportunity to work closely with other parts of the Warp Group, including Warp Publishing and its retail and technology businesses.

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Experienced digital marketing person required to work within long established independent record company Snapper Music in central London. The label covers a broad section of music from alternative rock to metal. Knowledge of this music genre is not essential but a passion for digital marketing is.

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Cherry Red Records is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated Sync Manager to join its existing team. Applicants must have a good level of experience and contacts in the world of synchronisation, and an interest in music's rich and varied past.

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Adelphoi Music is seeking a Producer/Music Supervisor to join its London team. You will manage production and music supervision ensuring high-quality output in order to increase conversion rate.

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R Kelly business manager says new allegations against the star shouldn't delay his trial
The long-term business manager of R Kelly - who is also caught up in the criminal case against the musician - has requested that he goes on trial in April as originally planned. This follows a new legal filing by prosecutors in Chicago last week that added a new victim to the set of allegations against Kelly, which is likely to delay the criminal proceedings.

Kelly, of course, faces criminal charges for sexual assault and abuse - including against minors - in multiple American states. Those charges have built up ever since the airing of the 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary last year, which put the spotlight on the abuse allegations that have surrounded the musician for years.

In last week's court filing, federal prosecutors added new allegations against Kelly relating to a new alleged victim. Although only a few details were provided about that person, the court filing said that she met Kelly in 1997 or 1998 when aged fourteen or fifteen.

Prosecutors allege that Kelly then "engaged in sexual contact and sexual acts" with her when she was under the age of eighteen. Similar claims are made in relation to four other girls, although Friday's filing amended the allegations in relation to a sixth victim, so that the claim she was abused when she was a minor was removed.

As to why that latter change had been made, a former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Cramer, told the Chicago Sun-Times that it could be a sign that "prosecutors felt uncomfortable presenting that person to a jury as a victim but still have corroborating evidence to put that person on the stand as a witness".

He added: "The presentation of the evidence seems to have been tweaked a little bit, but the overall construction of the case remains the same".

Though one of the lawyers working for Kelly - Mike Leonard - suggested that the changes demonstrated weaknesses in the case being constructed by the authorities. The prosecution, he said, "appears to continue to struggle with its underlying factual theory".

He is quoted by the Sun-Times as adding: "They have amended away a victim, changed the time period for counts, and changed the allegedly responsible entities in terms of forfeiture allegations. Moreover, to date, they have failed to even identify to us the [new] victim identified in [the] amended indictment - with a promise they will do so in the future".

Kelly's business manager Derrel McDavid also faces charges in relation to the criminal investigation. That includes obstruction of justice charges based on allegations McDavid played a key role in paying off victims and witnesses the last time Kelly was prosecuted over allegations of sexual abuse against a minor back in 2008.

Last week's new filing from the prosecution is likely to push back court proceedings, but yesterday lawyers representing McDavid demanded that their client's trial go ahead as originally planned, kicking off on 27 Apr.

Formally objecting to any delays, the lawyers wrote: "It is Mr McDavid's request to be tried on the April 27, 2020". The next hearing in relation to the case is currently set for 5 Mar.


BMG announces rejig at top of its UK business
BMG yesterday announced a well formed executive rejig that will see VP A&R Jamie Nelson and VP Marketing Gemma Reilly jointly steer the firm's frontline recordings business in the UK. They will report into BMG's UK President of Repertoire & Marketing, Alistair Norbury.

And now, because I know you lot are a bunch of untrusting cynical naysayers, here is that Norbury fella to prove that I'm telling the truth. "We are now the most successful UK record company outside of the three traditional majors", says he. "A&R and marketing are the foundations upon which we consistently deliver for artists and outperform industry trends by maintaining robust physical sales while hitting new heights in streaming".

See! Oh, hang on, he didn't mention Nelson or Reilly in that quote, did he? But them jointly steering the firm's frontline recordings business in the UK from this point onwards was definitely implied. Didn't notice it? Well you're a fool, it's so definitely implied in there I don't know what else he or I could have done to make that implication more obvious.

"Korda is a byword for good taste and achievement in A&R", Norbury continues. Oh, hang on, Korda? What's Korda got to do with anything? What the hell you talking about Norbury, this announcement is about Jamie and Gemma?! Oh, actually, that's my fault. I've got another bit of BMG news to share, but got distracted by you being so fucking suspicious.

Korda Marshall will still have an A&R role at BMG, him having previously led the recordings side of the UK division ever since it bought the most recent iteration of his Infectious Music business five years ago. He will continue to A&R a bunch of BMG-signed artists including Morrissey. Which is very good of him. You'd think after three years of A&Ring Morrissey, Marshall would be due a very long vacation on a beach somewhere.

"We are delighted that five years after the acquisition of Infectious that Korda has agreed to extend his successful collaboration with BMG", Norbury goes on. "We are privileged to have Gemma and Jamie at the helm whilst retaining the invaluable counsel of Korda Marshall". Ah, finally Norbury mentions Jamie and Gemma, meaning we can wrap this story up.


Silva Screen hires new Head Of Strategy with focus on Indian market
London-based Silva Screen Music has announced the hire of Amarpal Gaind to, and I quote, maximise the firm's "publishing and neighbouring rights revenue worldwide" and focus "on the company's Indian sub-continent business activities".

Gaind joins Silva Screen - which also owns the indie label So Recordings - from Indian record company Saregama, where he led that firm's publishing and neighbouring rights operations. As noted, he'll have a similar focus at his new employer, although he'll also help the Silva Screen group expand its interests in India, a priority market for the company.

Silva Screen boss Reynold D'Silva says: "I have known Amarpal for some fifteen years and we are delighted he has decided to join us. His appointment will accelerate our Indian business interests which started four years ago. He has a solid track record of exploiting and monitoring music from the Indian subcontinent internationally. To this end, Silva Screen will be announcing agreements with several Indian companies in the coming months''.

Amarpal himself adds: "I have always admired Reynold for his drive and vision and I am excited to be joining the Silva Screen team in this progressive and challenging role. By understanding the market and speaking the language we are confident in establishing ourselves as the number one source, globally, for music rights out of the Indian sub- continent".


StubHub to pay $1.3 million fine over drip-pricing in Canada
Viagogo completed its acquisition of StubHub last week (albeit subject to the ongoing merger investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority in the UK). To celebrate, StubHub's Canadian division agreed to pay the competition regulator there CAN$1.3 million as penance for all the dodgy drip-pricing it used to do. So party time all round everybody.

Drip pricing is where you tell someone a ticket will cost them £50. Then they fill out a load of forms and click a load of buttons. Then you say, "oh, by the way, there's a commission to pay on top of that £50". And then "oh, and that price didn't include tax".

And then "oh, and we have to apply the sucker premium on that, because you're a total sucker for buying overpriced tickets from this dodgy bastard, especially as there's a very high chance that ticket won't even get you into the venue". OK, I made that last one up.

Consumer rights campaigners reckon drip pricing is totally anti-consumer and shouldn't be allowed. Though what consumer rights law says about it all varies around the world. But in Canada, the Competition Bureau decided in 2017 that there were legal grounds for stopping the practice, and demanded that all ticketing sites - primary and secondary - start declaring the full cost of buying any one ticket upfront at the start of any transaction.

It then took Live Nation's Ticketmaster to court seeking an injunction to force an end to price dripping on its websites in Canada. Last year Ticketmaster committed to ensure it was upfront about its prices on its sites and in its advertising, and also to pay a CAN$4.5 million fine to the Competition Bureau for all its past confusing of consumers.

Last week StubHub made a similar commitment and agreed to pay that CAN$1.3 million fine. The Bureau confirmed that the secondary ticketing firm had agreed to "ensure that prices for tickets to events in Canada will now include all mandatory fees throughout the ticket purchasing process. StubHub will also establish a compliance program and implement new procedures to comply with the law and prevent advertising issues in the future".

The Bureau noted that StubHub in Canada did offer consumers an opt-in filter that meant the full cost of tickets - with all fees included - would appear at the start of the ticket-buying process. But, it said, offering the optional filter did "not prevent the initial prices from being misleading". Plus, it said, "in some cases, consumers who filtered results to see inclusive pricing were still asked to pay more than the prices shown as inclusive of fees".

Commenting on the settlement the Bureau had reached with StubHub, Canada's Commissioner Of Competition, Matthew Boswell, said: "Prices advertised online for event tickets should reflect the true cost of buying those tickets. The Bureau is committed to challenging false or misleading pricing claims in the digital economy, and reminds all vendors to review their marketing practices".


Approved: Nicole Mercedes
Nicole Mercedes returns with her second solo album 'Look Out Where You're Going' in April, seven years after her debut 'All The Windows' - the two records separated by the debut of her band Flocke.

The first single from the new album is 'Stoop', which shows off the dream-pop sound that she and producer Joe Rogers have created for the LP. That sound perfectly serves the song, adding to its carefree atmosphere. "[It's] about those summer nights in the city, when all you want is anyone to distract you", she says. "To sit out on your stoop with you, drink some wine, maybe make out, and then leave just as easily".

There's an underlying tension that sits low in the mix too though, as she explains: "This album chronicles the end of one of those long, meaningful relationships that mark a departure from the safety of being attached to someone to the chaos of being on your own".

'Look Out Where You're Going' is due out in April, with another single, 'Filters', set to precede it in March. Watch the video for 'Stoop' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.


Andrew Weatherall dies
The music community yesterday paid tribute to DJ, producer and musician Andrew Weatherall, who has died aged 56.

His management said in a statement: "We are deeply sorry to announce that Andrew Weatherall, the noted DJ and musician, passed away in the early hours of this morning, Monday 17th February 2020, at Whipps Cross Hospital, London. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism. He was being treated in hospital but unfortunately the blood clot reached his heart. His death was swift and peaceful".

The statement added: "His family and friends are profoundly saddened by his death and are taking time to gather their thoughts. Further announcements regarding funeral arrangements will be made in due course".

A prolific producer and remixer, Weatherall won acclaim throughout his career for both his own music and his collaborations with other musicians. Having begun as a freelance music journalist and fanzine maker, his DJ career led to remixing projects for the likes of the Happy Mondays and New Order.

From there came Weatherall's tie-up with Primal Scream. After being asked to remix the band's song 'I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have', he completely overhauled the track creating the seminal 'Loaded'. That 1990 record and the subsequent album 'Screamadelica' propelled Primal Scream into the limelight and ensured Weatherall's status as one of the most in demand remixers and record producers.

However, Weatherhall never wanted to pursue the superstar DJ career route taken by other acclaimed producers of that time. Although more mainstream remixing and production projects continued aplenty, and his DJ career continued to prosper, he never sought the celebrity side of being a music-maker, once telling The Independent "that sort of carry-on was never for me".

Meanwhile, his own musical creations - including via collaborative projects like The Sabres Of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen - played and experimented with genres and styles, resulting in an oeuvre as eclectic as it was impressive.

Among the many people and companies paying tribute to Weatherall last night was Warp Records, who released his Two Lone Swordsmen output. They wrote: "We are profoundly sad to learn of the passing of Andrew Weatherall. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. A true cultural icon and vital contributor to the label, his absence will be immensely felt. Thank you for all the music and memories".


Elton John postpones next show to recover from pneumonia
The next concert on Elton John's retirement tour will be postponed 24 hours, promoters have confirmed, to allow the musician to recover from a bout of walking pneumonia. It's hoped that he will then be able to complete the rest of his New Zealand and Australian dates, which include another Auckland show and seven concerts in Australia.

John went ahead with his Sunday night show in Auckland but was forced to end the concert early after losing his voice. He subsequently wrote on Instagram: "I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible. I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I'm disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had".

The promoter of the New Zealand and Australian shows, Chugg Entertainment, confirmed earlier today that John was now resting and doctors were confident he would recover. However, said doctors have advised he push back his Tuesday show to Wednesday night.

Anyone with a ticket for tonight's concert unable to make the rescheduled performance tomorrow can obtain a refund. Though, obviously, that won't apply to any other costs ticket-buyers incur, such as travel and accommodation, unless they are independently insured. Though local media say that Air New Zealand plans to offer concert-goers some flexibility if they need to reschedule flights because of the postponed show.

There was chatter in the New Zealand media yesterday over whether those who attended Sunday night's cut short show would also be due any kind of refund, even though John's audience seemed incredibly supportive as he tearfully abandoned his performance.

Promoters have indicated that there is currently no plan to issue any refunds, though one consumer rights expert told Stuff that - if any ticket-goers were to push it - there would be grounds for a partial refund under the country's Consumer Guarantees Act.


Ozzy Osbourne cancels US dates to receive treatment for Parkinson's disease
Ozzy Osbourne has cancelled his upcoming North American tour dates in order to receive treatment for Parkinson's disease.

The musician has had to postpone his planned farewell tour several times because of ill-health. The most recent plan was for him to play in the US in May, and then in the UK in October and November.

Last month Osbourne revealed that he had been diagnosed with a mild form of Parkinson's disease following "the most painful and miserable year" of his life. Wife Sharon added: "It's not a death sentence but it affects certain nerves in your body. You have a good day, a good day, then a really bad day".

The musician plans to receive treatment for the disease in Switzerland. It's the schedule of that treatment that means he has to call off the American shows.

He said in a statement: "I'm so thankful that everyone has been patient because I've had a shit year. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get to Switzerland for treatment until April and the treatment takes six to eight weeks".

"I don't want to start a tour and then cancel shows at the last minute, as it's just not fair to the fans", he went on. "I'd rather they get a refund now and when I do the North American tour down the road, everyone who bought a ticket for these shows will be the first ones in line to purchase tickets at that time".


Lewis Capaldi would like to do the next Bond theme (obviously)
Lewis Capaldi would quite like to pen the next James Bond theme, assuming he's not "completely irrelevant" by the time the next Bond movie comes around.

Capaldi was chit chatting to the Press Association about the new Bond theme written by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas. That's the one that is going to be performed at tonight's BRIT Awards. And it turns out that composer Hans Zimmer, who conducts the orchestra on the recorded version of Eilish's Bond track 'No Time To Die', will be part of that BRITs performance too. So that's kind of exciting.

But back to Capaldi. After noting "she's probably going to make a lot of money" from her Bond theme, and adding "I'd love to take a cut of that!", he confirmed: "I think her and her brother Finneas have done an excellent job".

Pondering on whether he'd ever get to write and perform a Bond theme, Capaldi mused "I'm not sure how good I'd be at the whole kind of brooding, mysterious... I don't know how good I would be at that, considering what I'm like as a person".

Nevertheless, "obviously it'd be incredible" to be asked to do the musical Bond thing, he said. "Maybe the next one. If I'm not completely irrelevant by then. Which might happen!"


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.
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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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