TODAY'S TOP STORY: Chance The Rapper has been sued by his long-term manager, until earlier this year, Pat Corcoran. In a lawsuit filed with the courts in Illinois earlier this week, Corcoran accuses his former client of ignoring his professional advice, then blaming him for the mixed response from fans to 2019 album 'The Big Day' and subsequent lacklustre ticket sales, firing him in April this year, and then refusing to pay commissions that are owed... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Chance The Rapper sued for $3 million in commission by former manager
LEGAL Judge declines to make Fyre Festival ticket-holder case a class action
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Universal Music launches Mercury Studios
LIVE BUSINESS Foals' Edwin Congreave argues that many musicians should "just stop touring" to save the environment
RELEASES Saweetie single withdrawn after she complains her label put out the wrong version too early
AWARDS Ellie Goulding weighs in on music awards
ONE LINERS The Weeknd, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, more
AND FINALLY... Drake launches scented candle that "actually smells" like him
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Ninja Tune is seeking an enthusiastic and driven Marketing Assistant, to support its UK based team on a full- time basis. This is a perfect opportunity for someone looking for an entry level role into the music industry, eager to learn and does not mind rolling up their sleeves, to get things done in a team environment. Please note this role is admin based.

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Tuesday 8 Dec 2020 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The role of the artist manager has changed dramatically over the last two decades as artists themselves seek to take more control over their recorded music and fan relationships. What does management now involve, what skills and knowledge are required, and what should management deals look like?
Tuesday 12 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The music rights business makes money by exploiting the controls that come with the copyrights in songs and recordings. Get to grips with all the basic principles of copyright law and how music copyright makes money in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 19 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Sometimes the music industry licenses through direct deals, other times it employs the collective licensing approach. Fully understand how collective licensing works - in the UK and around the world - in this user-friendly easy-to-follow webinar.
Tuesday 26 Jan 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Getting songwriters and artists paid when their songs and recordings are played often comes down to whether or not the right data is in the system. But what data? This webinar runs through all the key data points and explains how to get information into the system.
Tuesday 2 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Streaming now accounts for more than half of recorded music revenues worldwide - and in many countries it's much bigger than that. Get fully up to speed on all the key trends and developments in the global streaming music market in this super timely webinar.
Tuesday 9 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The streaming business is complex in terms of how services are licensed, and how artists and songwriters get paid. Get to grips with it all via our concise user-friendly guide to digital licensing and streaming royalties - explained in full in just ten steps.
Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Streaming is a revenue share game, with digital dollars shared out each month between artists, songwriters, labels and publishers. We explain how the money is currently split up and talk through why some people in the industry believe a different approach is needed.
Tuesday 23 Feb 2021 | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
How do artists go about building a fanbase in 2020? In this webinar we'll talk through the fanbase building process, from when artists are working truly DIY, through the involvement of different music industry business partners like management, distributors, labels, promoters and specialist agencies.
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What are the tools, tactics, channels and platforms utilised by the music industry when promoting artists, releases and events in 2020? This webinar provides a speedy overview of the modern music marketing toolkit and the ten main tools inside.
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A ten step guide to the rights artists and songwriters enjoy over their music
Music Rights Data In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to music rights data, data standards and databases
Music Industry Basics In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to all the different strands of the modern music industry
Streaming Challenges In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the challenges facing the streaming business in 2020
Collective Licensing In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the collective licensing system
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Chance The Rapper sued for $3 million in commission by former manager
Chance The Rapper has been sued by his long-term manager, until earlier this year, Pat Corcoran. In a lawsuit filed with the courts in Illinois earlier this week, Corcoran accuses his former client of ignoring his professional advice, then blaming him for the mixed response from fans to 2019 album 'The Big Day' and subsequent lacklustre ticket sales, firing him in April this year, and then refusing to pay commissions that are owed.

Much of Corcoran's lawsuit tells the story of how Chance The Rapper, real name Chancelor Bennett, achieved huge success despite declining to work within the major label system, rising to fame as a truly independent artist in control of all his rights and brand.

That was the result of the rapper's partnership with Corcoran, the lawsuit says, outlining the manager's role in building the Chance The Rapper brand and business, and negotiating innovative partnerships, such as that with Apple Music around the release of 2016 mixtape 'Coloring Book'.

According to the lawsuit, Corcoran's working partnership with Bennett remained strong until early 2019. Then, in February that year, the rapper announced, without consulting or informing his manager, that he would release his first studio album proper in July that year.

"Given the significant amount of work, care and attention needed to produce an album", the lawsuit goes on, "Corcoran expressed serious concern with the projected release date Bennett had unilaterally announced for the album".

With the rapper also getting married the following month, the manager reckoned there wasn't enough time to create, record and prepare an album.

That unrealistic timeline, coupled with "unproductive and undisciplined studio sessions", resulted in a "freestyle-driven product of sub-part quality". 'The Big Day' was by no means a flop, and garnered some good reviews, but was not as popular as previous releases, especially among the rapper's fanbase. That less than enthusiastic fan response to the record, Corcoran claims, directly resulted in lacklustre ticket sales for the follow-on tour.

It was poor ticket sales, the lawsuit alleges, that resulted in the tour being postponed and then cancelled entirely. All of this, Corcoran argues, was the result of Bennett increasingly ignoring his advice, instead allowing his business affairs to be managed by his father and brother, Ken and Taylor Bennett.

The lawsuit states: "Instead of acknowledging the numerous distractions and artistic compromises that inevitably resulted from time wasted in the studio, all of which contributed to a lacklustre album evidenced by historically low ticket sales, Bennett ultimately blamed Corcoran for the judgement rendered by his fanbase rather than accept that his own lack of dedication had doomed the project".

Bennett continued to ignore Corcoran's advice - which by this point was to step back from the public eye and regroup - instead agreeing to various media appearances booked by his father and brother. "These appearances served only to further exacerbate the failure of 'The Big Day'", Corcoran reckons.

All of this led to the Bennett family announcing on 27 Apr this year that Corcoran's services were being terminated. That in turn kicked off the classic sacked manager contract dispute, with Corcoran seeking to enforce his oral agreement with the rapper, which pays the manager 15% of his client's net income.

According to Corcoran more than $3 million is now owing. He also wants to enforce an "industry standard" sunset clause, so that he continues to earn commissions for three more years. Bennett Senior has apparently offered a one-off lump sum payment of $350,000.

"Despite months of outreach and efforts at reconciliation, Bennett has refused to pay Corcoran the amounts Corcoran is fairly owed under the parties' long-standing agreement and well-settled course of conduct", the lawsuit concludes.

Corcoran and his company Pat The Manager are suing for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violation of the Illinois Sales Representative Act.


Judge declines to make Fyre Festival ticket-holder case a class action
A judge has declined to issue a default judgement in favour of one of the first ticket-holders to go legal over the 2017 Fyre Festival. He also declined to give that legal action class action status, so that any positive judgement could be relied upon by everyone who bought a ticket to the doomed event.

Daniel Jung sued Fyre Festival and its founder Billy McFarland pretty much as soon as the infamous festival collapsed at the end of April 2017.

We all know the story well, of course, McFarland promised a luxury festival experience in the Bahamas, failed to put in place the infrastructure for even a basic event, the whole thing was called off just as people were arriving, and McFarland himself ended up in jail for defrauding his investors. Then there were two documentaries and an incredibly boring podcast.

Jung was one of various ticket-holders who sued the Fyre Festival company and McFarland, seeking compensation for monies spent on tickets, travel and accommodation. Despite his prompt filing, Jung's litigation has been slowly working its way through the legal system ever since.

He wanted class action status for his lawsuit and a default judgement in his favour. But judge P Kevin Castle declined both in a ruling this week.

The judge raised various issues with the application for class action status. First, Jung actually lives in the Netherlands, and the judge wasn't convinced he could "adequately monitor and direct counsel" on behalf of the potential class, ie all Fyre ticket-holders.

Secondly, the case centres on the allegation that ticket-holders were misled by marketing and communications put out by McFarland's company. But it wasn't clear every class member was influenced by the same marketing and communication in the same way.

"Jung has not revealed which statements he heard or saw, when he heard or saw them or when he acted in detrimental reliance by purchasing tickets to the festival or expending money on travel", the judge wrote in his ruling.

"With ticket purchasers relying on different statements made over an extended period of time, by several different actors, Jung has not shown that his claims are typical of those that would be made by absent members of the would-be class".

Jung's various legal arguments against the Fyre company and McFarland also fail to justify a default judgement in his favour, Castle added, although the judge confirmed he would now "conduct an evidentiary hearing on the issues outlined herein".


Universal Music launches Mercury Studios
Universal Music has launched a new media division called Mercury Studios which will create music-centric film, TV and podcast content. The new division basically ramps up the major's existing music film unit Eagle Rock and will be headed up by the former BBC exec that has been running that unit since last year, Alice Webb.

Fans of official blurbs might be interested to know that Mercury Studios - which bases in London and LA - will be "a new multi-faceted content studio established to develop, produce, and invest in innovative, music-based storytelling" building on Eagle Rock's "award-winning library that includes nearly 2000 hours of programming and more than 800 titles of original documentaries".

Confirming all this, Universal UK boss David Joseph says: "Mercury Studios will bring together the very best in the business under the exceptional leadership of Alice, who has already proved herself as a dynamic creative innovator, not least during her time at the BBC".

"Mercury will be about bold ideas, exciting new talent but above all compelling visual storytelling", he adds, "all of which will be demonstrated with the exciting projects we will be announcing over the coming weeks. Music is a world full of the most extraordinary stories, with so many yet to be told".

Webb herself chips in: "Music is a passion – it touches every part of our lives, which is why Mercury Studios is such an exciting proposition. We are unique – bringing together expertise from across music, film and television in factual, scripted, premium audio, performance and so much more".

"We can offer creators a vibrant space to realise the projects they are truly passionate about, tapping into the wealth of expertise we have access to", she goes on. "We are also keen to welcome new blood: talented, ambitious people who want to make distinctive, relevant content with music at its heart".


Foals' Edwin Congreave argues that many musicians should "just stop touring" to save the environment
Foals keyboard player Edwin Congreave has said that he has considered quitting the band due to the environmental impact of going on tour.

Of course, in 2020 being in a band hasn't really involved going on tour much. But should musicians consider staying home more even once COVID is over? Appearing on BBC podcast 'What Planet Are We On?', Congreave says that "a lot of musicians and a lot of DJs and bands should just stop touring".

That said, he concedes, if he opted out of a tour on environmental grounds, someone else would go in his place, so the world wouldn't really be any better off. Plus, he adds, "I'm not quite ready to walk out of my job". But, he says, he doesn't think it is justified for artists to do "certain types of tours" - particularly those that involve lots of long-haul travel.

So maybe artists should review their touring plans and adjust them in an environmentally responsible way. "It wouldn't affect our business particularly, but it would mean that we are not freighting two tonnes of gear halfway across the world and back".

That said, if the COVID shutdown has proven anything, it's that a lot of artists rely on live activity to make a living. And then, of course, there are all the people who work behind the scenes who would be negatively impacted if touring was cut back long term.

Congreave also notes, for his Foals bandmate Yannis Philipakkis, playing music is "his whole reason of being" and so "to suggest to him that we cannot tour is kind of like an affront to his identity".

So, there are no simple solutions here. Yet, Congreave still nevertheless believes that "a lot of musicians and a lot of DJs and bands should just stop touring - basically, I think it's that serious. It's just a message that people don't want to hear".

Last year, of course, Coldplay announced that they would stop touring altogether until they could find a way of doing so that is environmentally "beneficial".

Listen to the interview with Congreave here.


CMU Insights webinar series in 2021
Don't forget, tickets are now on sale for three CMU webinar series taking place in the first few months of 2021, covering music copyright, the streaming business and fanbase building.

The sessions are as follows...

Music Copyright Webinar Series Making Money From Music Copyright | 12 Jan Collective Licensing Explained - Get Played, Get Paid | 19 Jan Music Rights Data Made Simple | 26 Jan

Streaming Explained Webinar Series Streaming Explained - The Digital Market In 2021 | 2 Feb Streaming Explained - How Digital Licensing Works | 9 Feb Streaming Explained - How Money Gets Shared | 16 Feb

Building A Fanbase Webinar Series Building A Fanbase For New Artists | 23 Feb Music Marketing - Toolkit & Tactics | 2 Mar Getting The Most From Fan Data | 9 Mar

Click here for full info on all our upcoming webinars.

Saweetie single withdrawn after she complains her label put out the wrong version too early
Saweetie briefly released a new collaboration with Doja Cat this morning, which might seem like cause for celebration. But the track has seemingly been withdrawn after the singer accused her label, Warner Records, of putting it out earlier than planned, and not in its finished form.

'Best Friends' went live on streaming and download services, only for Saweetie to tweet: "I am extremely disappointed in my label ... for prematurely releasing a single I was so excited about. I feel disrespected. I'm hands on with ALL of my creative and had such a dope rollout for 'Best Friends'. The thirst for clout and $ is real and it overrides the artists' art".

"The wrong version at that", she then added, "Like WTF?"

She went on: "We put so much work into the visual and we shot for days for this super cinematic girl anthem. And for this to happen? Wow".

Whether the release happened in error or Saweetie's complaints were quickly taken on board is not clear, but the track has since been withdrawn from sale and the streaming platforms.

However, it was online for long enough to become available through illegitimate channels. And even with the record being speedily removed, it is unlikely that the planned rollout can go ahead as intended.

It's common for artists to complain that early leaks of their new music ruins carefully prepared marketing plans. However, it's not usually their labels doing the leaking. Warner has not yet commented.


Ellie Goulding weighs in on music awards
Ellie Goulding has shared her thoughts on music awards in the wake of various artists complaining that they were not nominated for this year's Grammys. Although she doesn't go so far as to name the American music industry's big awards bash itself, instead asking general questions about awards as a whole.

In a blog post, Goulding questions what criteria are used when selecting artists for award nominations, saying that there is a general lack of transparency on this. Her concern, she says, is that artists are being selected for their social media following or attractiveness, rather than the actual quality of their work.

"In most artistic fields, awards seem to come off the back of great critical acclaim, but in today's music industry such 'acclaim' can have varied sources", she writes. "People are being awarded - in the form of both nominations and category wins - for reasons that are hard to decipher".

"If both the most globally popular artists and most critically revered artists are not being recognised, how do we, as artists, go on?" she adds. "Would a runner start a race if they knew crossing the finish line first wouldn't necessarily win them a gold medal?"

Continuing, she poses her big question: "What constitutes the worthiness of an award? This is not rhetorical; I would love to know an answer. I would love to know if what I have done throughout my career, and what so many other artists have done throughout theirs, in receiving a certain level of critical reception, does not qualify for some sort of formal recognition, then what does?"

"Another big question here is not what, but who is it that decides this worthiness", she goes on. "There appears to be a greater lack of transparency in our industry's process of award nominations and voting - maybe those who are privy to the process, are able to take advantage of it?"

"Before I go on", she then says, "I just want to add one thing that is incredibly important for anyone reading this to understand: I am writing this on behalf of artists and I am directing it at those with a control of the system. I am not, for one second, pointing a finger at any artists who have been nominated or won awards. I, and so many others, just want some transparency".

Of course, many awards have become more transparent about their processes over the years - and most award programmes have pretty similar approaches.

Some ask a lot of people (either media and industry types or the pesky public) to vote and then build shortlists from that, others simply get a small number of experts in a room and ask them to battle it out. There can be differing levels of clarity on what happens before those points are reached, but basically: some people come up with a list.

Along the way, shortlists might be massaged in order to ensure that the right people are in the room on the night of the big show, or so as not to upset powerful people, or so that there's enough hype to interest media and satisfy sponsors.

Whether or not any of that massaging does indeed happen, as soon as any shortlists are made public, people will start saying that those lists are shit, predictable or rigged, or some combination of all three. Quite often - despite many awards saying that they are addressing this - everyone points out that there is a staggering lack of diversity in the nominations. Then a load of people gather in a room (or log onto a stream if its 2020) and some trophies get handed out. After that, everyone gets on with their lives.

Still, Goulding concludes with a message to the music industry: "It is time to have a bigger discussion about where we are going and how we acknowledge and reward those who are, frankly, the reason this industry exists in the first place".

Yeah, either that or it's time to stop having awards altogether, on account of their inherent stupidness. But presuming that's not going to happen - they are useful marketing platforms and money generators, I suppose - maybe there could be some more discussion about how the winners get picked.



Booking agent Natasha Bent is leaving Paradigm after four years to launch a new management and agency business with her brother Mark Bent. Paradigm's Tom Schroeder confirmed Bent's departure adding "we wish her the best of luck in her new venture".



The Weeknd has released a new remix of his track 'Blinding Lights', featuring Rosalía.

Mariah Carey has released new festive song 'Oh Santa', featuring Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson, taken from her upcoming Apple+ Christmas special.

Britney Spears has put out a previously unreleased song 'Swimming In The Stars' to mark her birthday. It will be available on vinyl from Urban Outfitters.

Run The Jewels have teamed up with Royal Blood for a remix of 'The Ground Below'.

Lil Baby has released two new songs 'Errbody' and 'On Me'.

Rico Nasty has released the video for 'STFU' from her new album 'Nightmare Vacation', which is out today.

100 Gecs have released new Christmas single 'Sympathy 4 The Grinch'.

Deftones have released the Robert Smith remix of 'Teenager' from their upcoming 'White Pony' remix album, 'Black Stallion'.

Shaggy has released festive single 'Raggamuffin Christmas', featuring Junior Reid and Bounty Killer. "Both Junior Reid and Bounty Killer are reggae and dancehall legends in their own right", says Shaggy. "For me to write and produce a song that embodies their unique style and charisma is an honour within itself. This song is about the experience of an inner city Christmas - a story beautifully told by these two amazing artists".

Dan Le Sac has released new mini-album 'These People Are Idiots'.

Lowkey has released new track 'Baby Steps'.

Amy Shark has released new single 'All The Lies About Me'. Her new album, 'Cry Forever', is out on 30 Apr.

The Anchoress has released new single 'Unravel'.

Wesley Gonzalez has released Christmas single 'Red Man Is Back Again (With A Lonely Dose Of Pain)'. It has a video, of which Gonzalez says: "It seemed obvious to visually represent an actual Red Man but what kind? Santa Claus seemed obvious, the devil too, So we decided to go for a pissed up Freddy Kruger character. He's your bastard uncle. Danny the director and I discussed how we would approach the visuals and decided to try and go for an ambient yuletide, with little obvious references apart from referencing Christmas horror films and The Krampus, the central European goat demon who punishes children".

Departure Lounge have announced that they will release their third album, 'Transmeridian', next year, nineteen years after its predecessor. Here's their first single since their 2003 split, 'Mercury In Retrograde'. The album is out on 26 Mar.

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


Drake launches scented candle that "actually smells" like him
Back before that whole pandemic thing, 2020 was looking like being a year that would be remembered for celebrities making products that smell like their own vaginas.

Gwyneth Paltrow was making candles, Erykah Badu was selling incense. Now, in a last minute addition to the canon, Drake has come in with his own candle. Although not one that smells, as far as I can tell, like his genitals. Just one with a general aroma of Drake.

The Carby Musk candles are being shopped for $80 apiece and are guaranteed to make your home smell like Drake has been there for longer than was agreed when he turned up with several bags and a sheepish look on his face. There will be "notes of musk, ambers, cashmere, suede, and velvet".

That's what Drake smells like, is it? Well, insists the blurb for the candle, it "actually smells like Drake" because that combination of smells is "the personal fragrance he wears". So that's you told.

What's more, it explains, this "smooth musk fragrance is introspective as in an interpretation of your beautiful self, yet extrovertive as how you would want others to see your bold and brilliant self". Does that make sense? I'm not sure, but I suspect academics will be trying to decipher that statement for years to come. "This is what it smells like inside Drake's pants" would have been a much simpler sales pitch. And probably would have sold more too.

That said, either these Drake smell candles are actually super popular or they only made about six of them, because they're all sold out at the moment. But you can gaze longingly at a photo of one here. Maybe spray yourself with musk, rub some amber on your cheeks, wrap yourself in cashmere and velvet, and put on a Suede album, to mimic the full experience while you do that.

This is apparently one of five new scented candles Drake is launching with the Better World Fragrance House. Although it's the only one that will smell like him personally.


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 consultancy unit 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 Insights 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.
[email protected]
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