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THE DUGAN SAGA:
THE LATEST
Did wanting changes in voting lead to her dismissal? (1/21a)
BEYONCÉ AND PLATT REUNITE AT SONY/ATV
She brings a lifetime of songs with her. (1/21a)
PARTY CENTRAL: YOUR GUIDE TO GRAMMY-WEEK GATHERINGS
Is that another open bar? (1/21a)
NEW RELEASES: EM, HALSEY, MAC
START STRONG
Better box your trifecta bet. (1/21a)
A LETTER FROM HARVEY
The Dugan Affair, per Mr. Mason. (1/21a)
OSCARS
More awards-season madness.
SUPERSTAR DROPS
Who's next?
THE GRAMMY SHOW
The lineup grows.
POLITCS
Oy vey.
Blighty Beat
U.K. MIDWEEKS: EMINEM DOUBLES UP
1/20/20

Eminem and Courteeners are competing for the U.K.’s Official Albums #1 this week with just 2k combined chart sales between them at the halfway point. Eminem is vying for the top at singles, too, this time with Stormzy.

The sixth album from Courteeners, More. Again. Forever. (Ignition), is leading the midweeks at #1, closely followed by Eminem’s surprise release, Music to be Murdered By (Polydor), at #2.

Bombay Bicycle Club are also new at #3 after a six-year absence with Everything Else Has Gone Wrong (Island).

Elsewhere in the Top 10, Halsey’s Manic (Virgin EMI) starts at #5, Louise's comeback album, Heavy Love (Lil Lou Records/Warner), is currently #7, and the posthumous Mac Miller album, Circles (Warner), is #9.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: SELENA'S FIRST TOP 10
1/17/20

Selena Gomez’s Rare (Polydor) almost scored the Official Albums #1 in the U.K. this week, finishing 637 combined chart sales shy of Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI). Over on singles, Future f/Drake’s “Life is Good” (RCA) is the highest new entry at #3.

Capaldi’s debut album , Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI), logs an eighth week at #1. Despite coming in at #2, Gomez has another win: It’s her first U.K. Top 10.

Last week’s #1, Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head (Atlantic/Merky), drops to #3. British band Easy Life, who had the highest new entry midweek, end at #7 with their third mixtape, Junk Food (Island), which is this week's biggest-seller on vinyl.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason has set a new Official Chart record today while entering at #8 with his second album, Elgar (Decca). He's the highest-charting cellist of all time in the U.K., and the first to break the Official Albums Chart Top 10.

...Read more

BRITS PERFORMERS REVEALED
1/16/20

Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel and Stormzy are set to take to the stage at the BRIT Awards 2020, joining BRITs Rising Star winner Celeste on the bill.

All performers are nominated: Billie Eilish is up for International Female and Styles is vying for Best Male and Album of the Year.

Capaldi has four noms (Best Male, Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Mastercard Album of the Year) and Stormzy is nominated in the Best Male, Song of the Year and Mastercard Album of the Year categories. Mabel has three nominations—Best Female, Best New Artist and Song of the Year.

The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard take place on 2/18 at the O2 Arena in London.

WARNER REBOOTS SONGKICK
1/14/20

Warner Music has appointed Aaron Randall and Bill Ashton as the new Managing Directors of Songkick, the global live music discovery service it acquired in 2017. Based in London, the duo report to WEA Europe EVP Emmy Lovell.

Ashton was most recently Senior Vice President, Artist Services at Warner Music, and Randall takes on the new title in addition to his existing role as Songkick’s Chief Technology Officer.

Mark McIntyre, Songkick’s outgoing CEO, will support the transition to the new leadership team, and will remain an adviser to Songkick, as well as working on other Warner Music projects from this summer.

 “Aaron and Bill will be building on an amazing legacy left by Mark McIntyre, who did an incredible job of building the business and then bringing it into the Warner family,” WEA President Tony Harlow said. “There’s a huge global market for the type of service Songkick offers and we’re in a great place to meet that demand."

…Read more

UNIVERSAL'S SQUARE PEGS CREATIVITY
1/14/20

 

Making their office unreachable for HITS employees to come bother them at Universal’s U.K. HQ, are,m from left, Simon McMahon, Lewis Millar, Alexandra Dodd, Jack Fryer, Arslaan Ahmed, Helen Kennedy, Jon Fell and Charlotte Thomson.

Universal Music U.K. has launched an in-house agency, The Square, aimed at uniting big data, strategy and creativity. Senior Director of Strategic Planning Jack Fryer steps up to Managing Director to led the division.

The Square aims to be a “partner to creativity” across all Universal Music U.K.’s teams as well as to artists and managers.

 “Jack is an exceptional executive, a truly creative thinker who’s also immersed in the science, who richly deserves this promotion,” Universal Music U.K. chairman David Joseph said.

“His vision is for The Square to be a place that our labels, our managers and our artists come to gain an edge—whether that’s simply about learning something new, shaping a strategy or forging a new idea.”

...Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: EASY DOES IT
1/13/20

British band Easy Life have the highest new entry on today’s Official Albums midweeks in the U.K. with their third mixtape, Junk Food (Island), starting at #3. Over on singles, Future f/Drake’s “Life is Good” (RCA) enters at #5.

Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI)has climbed back up to #1 on albums, followed by Stormzy at#2 with Heavy Is The Head (Atlantic/Merky). Selena Gomez’s Rare (Polydor) is the second highest new entry at #4 and could become her first U.K. Top 10. The title track is currently #26 onn the singles chart.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason starts at #6 with Elgar (Decca), and London band The Big Moon could claim their first U.K. Top 40 with Walking Like We Do (Fiction) at #10.

…Read more

DOWNTOWN MAKES A SWEET HIRE
1/13/20

Downtown Music Publishing has hired respected publishing exec Kate Sweetsur in London as Head of Creative, U.K. She brings more than 20 years of experience to the role, working with artists and songwriters including Steve MacFraser T SmithJoy Crookes, and Wayne Hector

In her new role, Sweetsur will be responsible for bolstering creative support and developing opportunities for Downtown’s global roster and copyrights as well as overseeing the scouting and signing of new artists, songwriters, and producers in the region. She is based in London, and reports to Downtown’s Global Head of Creative Andrew Gould.

 “Kate is a passionate tastemaker, seasoned leader, and a highly respected creative executive,” Gould said. “Having had the pleasure of working closely together in the past, I can say with confidence that she is an extraordinary music publisher.”

Most recently, Sweetsur was the Senior Vice President of A&R/Creative at Big Deal Music, where she was hired to establish the publisher’s presence in the U.K. She previously held executive A&R positions at BMG Rights ManagementChrysalis Music, Edel, and Notting Hill Music.

Sweetsur has a track record of building strong creative teams and writer development programs. Over the course of her career, she has worked with Labrinth, Steve RobsonSam DixonJimmy HogarthDan WilsonPhil Cook and others.

 

U.K. CHARTS: STORMZY DOUBLES
1/10/20

Stormzy has scored a double on the U.K.'s Official Charts, sitting at #1 on both albums and singles with Heavy is the Head (Atlantic/Merky) and “Own It.”

Stormzy has climbed to the top with his second album in its fourth week of release, matching the peak his debut achieved in 2017. It was a close battle with Lewis Capaldi, who moves down to #2 with Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI).

Elsewhere on this week’s albums chart, two former chart-toppers rebound into the Top 10: Tom Walker’s What A Time To Be Alive (Relentless) to #8, and Hollywood’s Bleeding (Island) by Post Malone, which hops five to #9.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, Stormzy remains at #1 for a second week with “Own It” alongside Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy.

Justin Bieber’s “Yummy” (Virgin EMI) scores the week’s highest new entry at #5.

…Read more