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OSCAR LOVE FOR GAGA, STAR, RHAPSODY
The Oscars and Grammys will have lots in common this year. (1/23a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
New music on the 2019 schedule. (1/23a)
GREIN ON GRAMMYS: SONGWRITING BY COMMITTEE
Tunesmithing becomes a team sport. (1/22a)
A FUTURISTIC TOP 20
WIZRD is a true star. (1/23a)
ARIANA GETS INTO ALBUM MODE
Grande sets a date: 2/8. (1/23a)
THE NEW PUB WORLD
Serious musical chairs.
CURATING GRAMMY PERFORMANCES
The calculus of awards, ratings and moments.
THE FIRST BIG RELEASE OF 2019
...is not what you'd expect.
THE NEW SUPERSTARS
The old pop rules just don't apply.
Blighty Beat
BRITISH INVASION
1/23/19

New releases from Mark Ronson, The Chemical Brothers, Foals, Ellie Goulding and The 1975 are in the works, and there’s speculation about the return this year of several other major British acts.

In Q1, Universal has albums confirmed from James Blake with Assume Form (released on Friday), The Specials’  Encore on 2/1, Giggs’  Big Bad on 2/22, Sigrid’s debut Sucker Punch on 3/1 and The Chemical Brothers' No Geography in the spring.

Sony’s returning acts include Bring Me the Horizon with Amo on 1/25, a fifth Mark Ronson album and new music from Labrinth as part of LSD.

Lips are sealed at Warner, although we do know that Foals are set to release part I of their fifth studio album, Everything Not Saved Will be Lost, on 3/8 with part II to follow in autumn.

...Read more

U.K. CHARTS: "DANCING" INTO TOP 5
1/18/19

Sam Smith and Normani have ended the week at #4 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart with “Dancing With a Stranger” (Capitol), while The 1975, Anne-Marie and Billie Eilish make gains on albums.

Ava Max continues to hold the #1 singles spot with “Sweet But Psycho” (Atlantic) on 8m streams and 12k downloads this week. The track is 30k combined sales ahead of Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus’s  “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” (Columbia) at #2.

On the Official Albums Chart, The Greatest Showman (Atlantic) has now spent 27 weeks at #1.

…Read more

SONY U.K. ON THE MOVE?
1/18/19

Sony Music could be the second major to relocate to London’s central Kings Cross area, following in the footsteps of Universal Music which moved in last year. A report in Property Magazine says the major is eyeing up 124k square feet of office space.

Currently based in High Street Kensington, Sony is eyeing a building just up the road from UMG on 4 Handyside St where Google would be its neighbour. It's owned by developer Argent and pension fund AustralianSuper; architects Mossessian & Partners designed it.

The space is 27% bigger than its current 97k square foot base on Derry Street.

...Read more

BRIT AWARDS:  ALL THE NOMINEES
1/14/19

 

The 2019 BRIT Award nominations are in, with Anne-MarieGeorge Ezra and Jorja Smith counting three apiece. There are also multiple nods for Florence + the MachineLittle MixThe 1975Dua Lipa and Clean Bandit.

This year’s event takes place in London on 2/20, when the winners will be announced. Last year’s ceremony was a home run for Warner, with the label taking six of the 11 trophies. The year prior, Sony rolled out of the O2 Arena with seven. Who will be crowned king this year?

In the main categories for British Album, Group, Male and Female Solo Artist and Breakthrough Act, there are nine independent entries, followed by Universal with seven and Sony and Warner with five apiece.

...Read more

YOUTUBE ACCELERATES MANAGERS
1/14/19

YouTube plied the up and coming British music management community last week with drinks and snacks and cold hard cash to celebrate the launch of its Accelerator Programme, which has awarded 24 managers grants of up to £15k to help develop their business as well as training and mentoring over 12 months. The happy beneficiaries are pictured here alongside Paul Craig of Nostromo Management & Music Managers' Forum Chair, Kwame Kwaten, Ferocious Management & MMF Vice Chair, and MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick.

Drawn from across England and Scotland, the successful applicants include managers for Mammút, Poppy Ajudha, Voyager, TENDER, Puma Blue,Declan Walsh and the Decadent West, Moses Boyd, Brookes Brothers, Polar, LYRA, Shakka, SPINN, Murkage Dave, MATHS TIME JOY and IDER.

OCTAVIAN TAKES SOUND OF '19 TITLE
1/11/19

British rapper Octavian has been crowned winner of BBC Music’s Sound of 2019, with King Princess, Grace Carter, slow thai and Rosalia completing the Top 5. The artist is signed to Sony label Black Butter and managed by Palm Artists.

Octavian released his first full-length mixtape, Spaceman, last year, and has been championed by Drake as well as BBC radio DJs Annie Mac, Phil Taggart and DJ Target.

...Read more

U.K. MARKETSHARE IN 2018
1/7/19

How did the U.K. major labels fare in marketshare in 2018? Here’s the lowdown: Universal was up 1.2% on 2017, Sony was down 2.8%, Warner was down 0.5% and the independent sector rose 2.1%. 

The stats for 2018 come courtesy of the Official Charts Company and were first printed in U.K. trade title Music Week. They are as of chart week 50 (week ending 12/14) and, as always, we’re using the AES all albums figure. 

…Read more

U.K.'S BIGGEST SELLERS OF 2018
1/3/19

The Top 10 of the U.K.’s best-selling albums in 2018 shows the extent to which compilations and soundtracks ruled last year, alongside the ongoing popularity of U.S. hip-hop acts, leaving little space for homegrown artist albums.

The Greatest Showman was the best-selling album in the U.K. last year with 1.6m sales, according to data from the Entertainment Retailers' Association. George Ezra,  the only British artist with an album released last year to make the Top 10, is #2 with Staying at Tamara’s (Columbia), followed by Ed Sheeran with his 2017 release Divide (Atlantic) at #3.

Half of the Top 10 singles list were releases from British artists, with “One Kiss” (Columbia/Warner Bros.) by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa crowned the year’s best-selling single with 1.57m sales.

…Read more