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KACEY, LUKE ARE ONE STEP CLOSER TO GRAMMY NOMS
The CMA Awards effect. (11/16a)
AS VIVENDI PREPS FOR UMG SALE, LIBERTY’S ALL EARS
Look for a Valentine's Day sale. (11/16a)
REVENUE CHART: ARIANA, METRO,
“GALILEO, GALILEO”
Classic rock pulling in the bucks—it's been a while. (11/16a)
A CMA GALLERY
Nashville gets dressed up (11/15a)
RAINMAKERS: MYSTERY GUEST, PLEASE SIGN IN
What do we get if we guess right? (11/9a)
GRAMMY NOMINEES
Collect 'em all!
MMA FOR DUMMIES
Not Mixed Martial Arts; the Music Modernization Act, dummy.
IS IT COLD IN HERE?
...or are our bosses from outer space?
THE KIDS
They're leaning on the button.
Blighty Beat
A&R HEROES HONORED IN LONDON
11/7/18

The British A&R community was out in force for MBW's annual A&R Awards in London Tuesday, where Rob Stringer paid tribute to A&R Icon Simon Cowell and a number of rising and established stars were honored.

Atlantic Records won Major Label and Matt Healy from The 1975 presented his “noble” manager and label boss, Dirty Hit founder Jamie Oborne with the Sir George Martin gong. Other A&R winners included Joe Kentish of Warner Bros for pop/R&B; hip-hop/grime went to Benny Scarrs, Jack Foster and artist Dave from NBR Hood; electronic dance to Mike Pickering & Julian Palmer from Columbia; alt/rock went to Charlie Christie and Theo Lalic from September Management; and the adult contemporary trophy was handed to Dominic Fyfe from Decca Classics. Rising star at Virgin EMI Lunick Bourgess was given the Trailblazer gong by boss Ted Cockle.

Publisher winners were Good Soldier and BMG; the management award went to UROK and indie label to Domino. Producer of the year was Steve Mac and songwriter was Camille Purcell.

...Read more

BANKS HAILED AT MITS
11/6/18

CAA U.K. co-Head Emma Banks received the MITs gong in London Monday at a ceremony attended by the creme de la creme of the British music business. All were treated to some very special performances from Florence Welch, Beth Ditto and Texas.

“I stand up here I hope as a representative of the many women in the industry who may not have had the opportunity or the inclination to make their voice heard as I have,” Banks said.

Mike Greek and I have worked together for the last 28 years, we’ve been together through some incredible highs and quite frankly some horrendous lows, but we’ve always been there for each other. He’s honest, trustworthy, reliable and kind. He is brilliant at his job and without him I really wouldn’t be here now.”

Peter Mensch and Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith presented the gong to Banks who, as the first female exec to win, paid tribute to the network of women who supported her at the beginning of her career. She also nodded to her first employer, Wasted Talent’s Ian Flooks, Pretenders manager and “trailblazer” Gail Coulson, agent heroes the late Barbara Skydel and Marsha Vlasic, and all the other female talent in the room.

…Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: PRODIGY SPARKS
11/5/18

The Prodigy are heading toward their seventh #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with No Tourists (BMG), while Barbra Steisand starts at #5 with Walls (Sony Music CG). Over on singles, it’s looking like another week at the top for Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper.

No Tourists is currently 6.5k combined sales ahead of its closest competitor, the A Star is Born soundtrack (Polydor). The third highest new entry is Bob Dylan at #6 with The Bootleg Series Vol. 14: More Blood, More Tracks (Columbia).

Following her BBC TV Special, Ariana Grande is back up five places to #10 with Sweetener (Island). Sheridan Smith’s second album, A Northern Soul (Warner Music), begins at #13, ahead of Michael Buble’s Christmas (Reprise) which is heading back to the albums chart for the eighth year running, rising 43 places to #20.

...Read more

TAP EXPANDS IN THE U.S.
11/1/18

U.K.-born TaP Management has launched an umbrella company, Tap Music, under which sits its records, publishing and management arms. The company has bolstered its team in the U.S. with the hiring of Wendy Ong (pictured) as Head of Marketing and Chris Woo as Senior A&R.

Ong joins from Roc Nation where, as Head of Marketing, she spearheaded campaigns for RihannaJay-Z and Mariah Carey. Prior to that, Ong was VP, Marketing at Interscope as well as Capitol, where she was a key member of the team that broke Sam Smith.

Woo will work across TaP Records and TaP Publishing, as well as overseeing its writer/producer roster with L.A.-based René Symonds. Previously, Woo spent 11 years at AAM, where he was instrumental in building its U.K. roster.

In addition, Aloe Blacc has joined the company’s management roster ahead of the release of his Christmas Funk album this month.

…Read more 

U.K. MIDWEEKS: SI BREEZES
10/29/18

Andrea Bocelli is on course for his first ever U.K. #1 album this week with Si (Decca), which features Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Josh Groban, sitting at the top of the Official Albums midweek chart. But it’s a very tight race.

Tom Odell’s third album, Jubilee Road (Columbia), is a close second just 2.5k combined sales behind. And the A Star Is Born soundtrack (Polydor) is currently a mere 500 sales behind at #3.

Following the release of the film, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack (Virgin) has moved up a place to #4, ahead of The Greatest Showman soundtrack (Atlantic) at #5.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is on track for a Top 10 debut with the soundtrack for supernatural horror film Suspiria (XL) at #8, and Culture Club & Boy George are close behind with Life (BMG) at #9.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: STAR SHINES BRIGHT
10/26/18

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have scored a double, claiming the U.K.’s Official Singles and Albums #1s with “Shallow” (Polydor) and the A Star is Born soundtrack. It’s Gaga’s first chart-topping single in eight years and her fifth overall, and Cooper’s debut.

The soundtrack is spending a second week at #1 after being dethroned by Jess Glynne last week, who moves down to #3 today with Always in Between (Atlantic). The Greatest Showman ST (Atlantic) is back up to #2.

Richard Ashcroft has this week’s highest new entry with Natural Rebel (BMG), followed by another soundtrack, Bohemian Rhapsody (Virgin) by Queen at #5.

...Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: ASHCROFT LEADS
10/22/18

Here’s a blast from the past: Richard Ashcroft is on track to claim this week's U.K. Official Albums #1 with his fifth solo set. Over on singles, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are very close to the top spot, while Post Malone starts at #8.

Ashcroft’s Natural Rebel (BMG) is just over 2k combined chart sales ahead of the A Star is Born soundtrack (Polydor) at #2. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack (Virgin) is on the cusp of becoming their 24th U.K. Top 5 album, currently sitting at #4. 

Rock act Disturbed are also aiming for the Top 10 with Evolution (Reprise) at #6, while The Overtones’ self-titled album (Gambling Man) is just behind at #7. Rock group Greta Van Fleet start at #8 with Anthem of the Peaceful Army (Virgin EMI).

Dua Lipa has risen 45 places to #11 with her self-titled debut following the release of its Complete Edition, while Christine and the Queens rockets 22 positions to #20 with Chris (Because Music) following her performance on The Graham Norton Show.

Further down, Future & Juice WRLD’s collaborative mixtape Wrld On Drugs (RCA) begins at #21, while R.E.M.’s live album At The BBC (Craft Recordings) is at #23.

On the Official Singles midweeks, Calvin Harris and Sam Smith’s “Promises” (Columbia) is just 625 combined sales ahead of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper with “Shallow” (Polydor). Two more tracks from the film are on the rise: “I'll Never Love Again” jumps nine places to #25 and “Always Remember Us This Way” lifts five to #26.

Post Malone f/Swae Lee’s “Sunflower” (Island) from the new Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse film is currently at #8.

James Arthur's new single “Empty Space” (Syco) is set to open at #29, The 1975's latest track “It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)” (Dirty Hit) starts at #35, and Dua Lipa's collaboration with Blackpink, “Kiss And Make Up” (Warner Bros.) opens at #36.

ELLIS ELEVATED AT POSITIVA
10/18/18

Jason Ellis, a longtime stalwart of UMG U.K. dance imprint Positiva Records, has been elevated to Managing Director of the imprint. The promotion arrives after recent success with Martin Solveig, Jonas Blue and Marshmello & Bastille.

Ellis started his career in the EMI sales team in 1995 and was named A&R Manager for Positiva in 1999. The following two years were among the label’s most successful whilst under the leadership of Kevin Robinson, and the duo had hits with Fragma, Vengaboys, Alice Deejay and Spiller & Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

After taking the helm from Robinson in 2001, Ellis steered the label through the rocky file-sharing period, after which big singles from The Shapeshifters, Room 5, The Ones, Deep Dish and Axwell helped to reinstate Positiva’s position. After moving to Virgin in 2009,Ellis was at the forefront of the EDM explosion. He played a key role in breaking David Guetta in the UK, A&R'd deadmau5 and signed Swedish House Mafia.

Since joining Universal in 2012 after the EMI merger, Ellis signed Avicii to Positiva in the U.K., and had continued commercial successwith Armin van Buuren, David Zowie and Martin Garrix, alongside those mentioned above.

Ellis' promotion coincides with Positiva celebrating its third U.K. top 5 single of the summer courtesy of Marshmello & Bastille. He continues in his role as A&R Director for Virgin EMI Records, with a roster that includes Duke Dumont, Gorgon City, Sub Focus and Wilkinson.

“Even though the parent company has evolved through several guises, Jason has at all times remained focused on identifying the very best records, and alongside the teams that he nurtures so well, has helped deliver hits consistently across the years,” Virgin EMI President Ted Cockle said.