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HITS LIST:
HOME RUN DERBY
Going yard (7/11a)
SONG REVENUE:
SCHLEMIEL, SHABOOZEY
Th epitome of new country (7/11a)
GRAMMY PRE-CHEW:
THREE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIG 4
On your Marks, get set, go. (7/8a)
TOWARD A FRUITFUL GRAMMY SEASON
Our editurr in chief has something on his mined. (7/10a)
SABRINA TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS WITH TOUR MERCH?
Her table's stacked. (7/10a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
Who's already a lock?
COUNTRY'S NEWEST DISRUPTOR
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
Blighty Beat
NME x BOSE GO SWIMMING ON C24 MIXTAPE
7/12/24

NME and Bose have dropped their second installment of the C-Series mixtape, C24. The collaboration includes both established and breakout artists along with a limited edition magazine, vinyl and cassettes coming soon.

The first track from the mixtape, “Funeral,” comes courtesy of Teddy Swims, who wrote the song during a chaotic Grammys week.

“‘Funeral’ is fun, upbeat and it’ll make people want to dance, but there’s a layer of sadness underneath that,” Swims said of the song. “I love being able to make music that has joy but is heartbreaking at the same time. We're finally at the point where we're honing a certain sound. It's all about this old soul, Motown feel but modernizing that in a way that feels authentic. Songs like ‘Funeral’ just feel right.”

The full tracklist for C24 also boasts new songs from Artemas, Laufey, Royal Otis, Lola Young, Samara Cyn and newcomer Tehya. Listen to "Funeral" below and pre-order the mixtape here.

HANNAH NEAVES UPPED AT UMG U.K.
7/3/24

Hannah Neaves has been appointed President of UMG U.K.’s catalogue division, Universal Music Recordings. She previously served as co-President.

Neaves’ promotion comes after a busy year for UMR. Over the last 12 months, the division has found new, young audiences globally for the music of Amy Winehouse, Elton John, Florence & The Machine, The Rolling Stones, The Spice Girls, Sam Smith and Bob Marley. The team has also been working on The Beatles’ "Now and Then," aka “the last Beatles song,” a project used AI and was led by Neaves.

David Joseph, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music U.K., described Neaves as “a truly exceptional and inspiring executive” and “an artist person with an innate understanding of where creativity and discovery meet.”

Neaves added: “I am enormously proud of everything the brilliant and successful team at UMR has already achieved, and feel privileged to be continuing the great work with the best artists in the world.”

Neaves was named co-President of UMR in 2022 alongside Azi Eftekhari, who we understand has since left the business. Her career has spanned roles at Mercury, Polydor, Atlantic and TaP Music. During that time, she’s worked with Dua Lipa, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding and Jess Glynne, among many.

Ahh, promotions. We wonder what they're like.

UK MUSIC WELCOMES NEW CEO TOM KIEHL
6/25/24

The U.K. music industry's umbrella trade body, UK Music, has named Tom Kiehl as its new Chief Executive. He takes on the title after serving in an interim capacity since last September.

Kiehl will lead the organization at a critical time, as the industry prepares for the arrival of a new British government following polling day on 7/4.

With more than two decades of experience working in and around London’s political hub of Westminster, Kiehl will spearhead the music sector’s cross-party engagement with Ministers, MPs, policymakers and government officials. He joined UK Music in 2012 as Director of Public Affairs and was promoted to deputy CEO in 2018.

Welcoming the appointment, UK Music Chair Tom Watson said, “The UK Music Board is looking forward to working with Tom to help him progress his exciting ideas to ensure the U.K. music industry continues to grow and retain its unique place in the world. At this important time, I'm confident Tom is the right person for the job. He will be a tireless advocate for our members and our sector—using his wide range of talents to drive UK Music to even greater heights.”

In his new role, which starts this month, Kiehl will focus on providing everything from “strong copyright protections and more music teachers to key safeguards around AI and greater support for music freelancers.”

He continued, “I want young people across the U.K. to see our industry as the most inclusive and exciting place to work, and one which will reward their talents. We need to turn this moment of considerable political change into a moment to achieve change for UK Music.”

LOSTBOY FINDS SUCCESS AT ASCAP LONDON AWARDS
6/19/24

British songwriter and producer Peter Rycroft, aka Lostboy, was the king of last night’s ASCAP London Awards, taking four gongs.

Lostboy was crowned Songwriter of the Year for his work on a string of 2023 hits, including “10:35” by Tate McRae and Tiësto, the Grammy-winning “Padam Padam” by Kylie Minogue and “Miracle” by Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding, which spent eight weeks at #1 in the U.K. All three songs also earned him an ASCAP award in the Hot Dance/Electronic Song category.

Rising star Rema took two awards: Song of the Year and Top Streaming Song for his global hit, “Calm Down.” The song was co-written with fellow award-winners Michael “London” Hunter and Andre Vibez.

Producer and songwriter Steve Mac won Top Hot Dance/Electronic Song for his work on “Baby Don’t Hurt Me,” as performed by Anne-Marie, David Guetta and Coi Leray. Eddie Jenkins, Andy Sheldrake, Camden Cox and Hayla received a Hot Dance/Electronic Song prize for “Where You Are” by John Summit & Hayla.

As previously announced, South Africa-born, British singer-songwriter and producer Kenya Grace was presented with the ASCAP Global Impact Award. She’s the first female artist since 1978 to write, produce and perform a #1 U.K. hit by herself.

Irish indie-pop singer-songwriter Cian Ducrot, who scored a viral TikTok hit with “All For You” in 2022 and co-wrote SZA’s massive “Saturn,” took home the ASCAP Vanguard Award.

GLASTONBURY POISED TO SIT OUT 2026
6/11/24

The U.K.'s long-running Glastonbury Festival is expected to take its regular year off in 2026, according to co-organizer Emily Eavis, who also told the BBC that her dream headliner would be Kate Bush (pictured).

The event traditionally designates every fifth year for a break to give the land at Worthy Farm an opportunity to recover. The last official pause was in 2018, although Glastonbury was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking ahead of this year's festival, which begins 6/26, Eavis said she hoped Bush, who hasn’t performed live since a 22-date London residency in 2014, would one day headline (the artist was also rumored to be in the mix for Coachella in recent years, but was never booked).

Noting that 2023 headliner Elton John was also once "a pipe dream," Eavis said she was hopeful for an appearance by the reclusive Bush, who was inducted last year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and enjoyed a huge resurgence in 2022 when her song "Running Up That Hill" was featured prominently in Netflix's Stranger Things.

Headliners for 2025 have not been announced, but Eavis said she has an idea of who they might be. This year’s event will be led by Dua Lipa (in her first U.K. festival headline slot), Coldplay and SZA, with Shania Twain, LCD Soundsystem, Little Simz and PJ Harvey rounding out the bill.

SPOTIFY ROLLS OUT MUSIC-ONLY TIER
6/6/24

Spotify has started offering a music-only subscription plan in the U.K. Called Basic Individual; it’s offered at £10.99 a month.

The tier costs £1 less than the streaming service's Individual premium plan, which also includes 15 hours of audiobook listening per month. Daniel Ek announced the music-only tier on Spotify’s earnings call in April but didn’t say when or where it would roll out.

Spotify has been getting heat from rightsholders over classifying its subscription packages as bundles after adding audiobooks to its premium offering last year.

This move resulted in the DSP paying a lower mechanical royalty rate to publishers and songwriters in the U.S. starting in March, a decision the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has challenged via a lawsuit.

In May, Sony Music Publishing Chairman/CEO Jon Platt weighed in, saying mechanical royalty payments have reduced by around 20%. “In effect, Spotify is taking the position that all U.S. subscribers are part of a bundle without choosing the bundle option,” he said.

While the Copyright Royalty Board’s rate structure allows for a “discounted bundle rate in certain circumstances,” added Platt, SMP does not believe the offering falls within the parameters that were agreed to in the last U.S. CRB proceeding in 2022.

JOANNA KALLI UPPED AT SONY MUSIC U.K.
6/3/24

Sony Music U.K.'s catalog division has promoted Joanna Kalli from Director of Marketing to Managing Director of Sony Music Commercial Group.

In her new role, Kalli will preside over the catalog division, rock and metal label Music for Nations and classical imprint Masterworks.

Kalli joined Sony Music as a Product Manager in 2008, having started her career at independent labels. In her 16 years with the company, she has spearheaded global campaigns for artists including George Michael, The Clash and Judas Priest.

Most recently, Kalli has overseen Natasha Bedingfield’s chart renaissance, which saw her 2004 hit “Unwritten” enter the U.K. Top 15 for the first time in 19 years.

She also led a 2023 Wham! campaign, landing the coveted U.K. Christmas #1 single for “Last Christmas,” 39 years after its release. The track has now amassed more than 1.6b streams worldwide.

AC/DC, BLUR WIN SILVER CLEFS
5/30/24

AC/DC, Blur and Chaka Khan are among the final winners announced for this year’s annual O2 Silver Clef Awards in London, held in aid of music-therapy charity Nordoff and Robbins.

At the 7/5 ceremony, Blur will be honored with the flagship O2 Silver Clef Award in celebration of the band’s contribution to music during its three-decade-long career. AC/DC will receive the Legend Award, acknowledging five decades of the band, while Khan will get the Global Impact Award in recognition of her 50 years of international influence.

Mark Knopfler is on the winners’ list for the Music Icon Award. British rapper Loyle Carner will take home Best Male and Jacob Collier will pick up the Innovation in Music Award. Scottish group Young Fathers will receive Best Live Act.

Previously announced winners include Jessie Ware, The 1975, Texas, Cat Burns and Ezra Collective.

The artists will receive their awards in person at a music industry lunch and ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane. The exclusive event—now in its 48th year —will raise funds for Nordoff and Robbins to support a wide range of children and adults living with autism, dementia, learning difficulties, brain injuries, life-limiting illnesses, mental health challenges, grief and trauma. In all, the awards have raised nearly £13m. Last year’s event raised more than £612k.