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2020 MIDYEAR MARKETSHARE SCORECARD
The competition is fierce. (7/6a)
POP SMOKE SET
FOR BIG DEBUT (UPDATE)
A "Moon" shot. (7/6a)
U.K. GOVT. OKS £1.57B ARTS RESCUE PACKAGE 
Fingers crossed for indie venues to return. (7/6a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH:
LADIES FIRST
Latifah, Lauryn, Missy, Lil Kim, more. (7/6a)
JUICE WRLD'S LEGENDS NEVER DIE DUE FRIDAY
Juiced with a big D2C initiative. (7/6a)
WHAT NEXT?
The biz ponders action after some reflection.
GRAMMY SPECULATION
100% guaranteed to be somewhat accurate, probably.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH
...continues.
TRUMP'S IN THE BUNKER
Just to inspect it, though.
Blighty Beat
U.K. MIDWEEKS: WELLER'S IN STYLE
7/6/20

Paul Weller is heading for his first U.K. Official Albums #1 in more than eight years. On Sunset (Polydor) is ahead of its closest competition by 11,000 sales at the halfway point.

On Sunset, which sold the most physical albums and downloads across the weekend, is all-but-certain to earn Weller a landmark 20th solo Top 10 album on Friday. It could be his first chart-topper since March 2012.

At #2 midweek is the most streamed album of the past three days, Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut, Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon (Republic). Katherine Jenkins could secure her highest-charting album in 12 years this week with Cinema Paradiso (Decca) currently sitting at #3.

Over on singles, AJ Tracey and Mabel’s “West Ten” (Sony) is currently the highest new entry at #7.

…Read more

 GOVT. FUNDS ARTS RESCUE PACKAGE
7/6/20

 

After much lobbying, the British live music industry has been handed somewhat of a life raft by the U.K. Government in the form of a £1.57b rescue package to help cultural and heritage organizations weather the challenges brought about by the coronavirus crisis.

The funding will offer emergency grants and loans to Britain’s music venues and theaters as well as museums, galleries, independent cinemas and heritage sites. Funding will also be provided to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic. There's no clarification yet on whether any cash will be allocated to the festival sector.

The money represents the biggest ever one-off investment in U.K. culture. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “From iconic theater and musicals, mesmerizing exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the U.K.’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.

“This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the U.K. can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.”

Welcoming the announcement, Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said, “We are delighted that the Government has recognized the special importance of the arts and creativity—including music—to our national life. We warmly welcome specific mention of our cherished music venues, and to support for the arts, which should also assist our classical music sector.

“The live music industry, and the artist community that it supports, has felt the full, devastating force of the Covid-19 emergency and grassroots venues urgently require support if the U.K. is to retain its exceptional local music scene and continue to produce world-beating artists. We look forward to further discussing how the funds will be allocated.”

...Read more

U.K. BEST-SELLERS H1 2020
7/6/20

New releases from Dua Lipa, Joel Corry, Eminem and J Hus are in the Top 10s of the best-selling singles and albums in the U.K. for the first half of 2020. Warner has the most entries on the singles chart while Universal wins with albums.

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” (Island) is the #1 selling single with 1.46m sales, while Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent (EMI) is top of albums on 304,000 sales so far this year.

Warner counts five entries on singles. British DJ/producer Corry has the biggest new release of the year so far with “Lonely” (Atlantic) at #10, which is the second single to have arrived in 2020 on the list alongside Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” (Warner Records). Universal has three entries in singles with The Weeknd and Lewis Capaldi while Sony counts two with SAINt JHN and Doja Cat.

Universal has five albums in the Top 10; Warner has three while Sony has two.

All in all, five U.K. releases make the singles best-sellers while six British artists feature in the albums list.

Official Singles Chart 2020 H1

  1. “Blinding Lights” The Weeknd (Island)
  2. “Dance Monkey” Tones & I (Parlophone)
  3. “Roses” SAINt JHN (HITCO/Ministry of Sound)
  4. “Don’t Start Now” Dua Lipa (Warner Records)
  5. “Before You Go” Lewis Capaldi (EMI)
  6. “The Box” Roddy Ricch (Atlantic)
  7. “Own It” Stormzy/Ed Sheeran/Burna Boy (Atlantic)
  8. “Someone You Loved” Lewis Capaldi (EMI)
  9. “Say So” Doja Cat (Ministry of Sound)
  10. “Lonely” Joel Corry (Atlantic)

Official Albums Chart 2020 H1

  1. Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent Lewis Capaldi (Virgin EMI)
  2. Heavy is the Head Stormzy (Atlantic)
  3. When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? Billie Eilish (Polydor)
  4. Fine Line Harry Styles (Columbia)
  5. No.6 Collaborations Project Ed Sheeran (Atlantic)
  6. Music to be Murdered by Eminem (Polydor)
  7. Future Nostalgia Dua Lipa (Warner Records)
  8. Diamonds Elton John (EMI)
  9. Greatest Hits Queen (Universal)
  10. Big Conspiracy J Hus (Black Butter)
IVORS NAME RISING STARS
7/6/20

British songwriting and composing org The Ivors Academy has announced the five nominees for its new Rising Star Award with Apple Music. Say hello to Amahla, Carmel Smickersgill, Griff, lullahush and Mysie.

The award honors young British and Irish songwriting and composing talent who demonstrate exceptional potential and ambition. Nominees are chosen from a long-list of public submissions by The Ivors Committee, a group of award-winning songwriters and composers from across the organization’s membership. The winner will be announced on 9/2 when the now canceled Ivors ceremony was due to take place in London.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: SECOND #1 FOR HAIM
7/3/20

Haim have topped the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with Women in Music Pt. III (Polydor) taking the lead by 4,000 chart sales. Over on singles, “Savage Love (Laxed Beat—Siren)” (Columbia) by Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo lifts three places to #1 on 57,000 sales.

Women in Music Pt. III claims the most downloads and vinyl sales in the past seven days. It’s Haim’s second #1 in Blighty following their 2013 debut, Days Are Gone.

Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways (Columbia) finishes the week at #2, ahead of Jessie Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure (Virgin) at #3.

Khruangbin’s Mordechai (Dead Oceans) charts at #7 and Northern band The Lathums are at #14 with their EP, The Memories We Make (Modern Sky).

Further down, Nadine Shah’s Kitchen Sink (Infectious Music) is her first Top 40 album at #29.

On the Official Singles Chart, “Savage Love (Laxed Beat—Siren),” which tallied 6m streams this week, earns Jawsh 685 his debut #1 in the U.K. while Derulo has his fifth.

Elsewhere in this week’s Top 10, Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” (Columbia) lifts one place to a new peak at #6, and Regard & Raye’s “Secrets” (Ministry of Sound) jumps three to a new high of #7.

Ava Max’s “Kings & Queens” (Atlantic) breaks the Top 20 after 16 weeks inside the Top 100, up two to #19, while BLACKPINK land this week’s highest new entry with “How You Like That” (Interscope) at #20.

ARTISTS JOIN VENUE AID FIGHT
7/2/20

Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney are among the British artists issued an urgent plea for support from the U.K. Government to prevent mass insolvencies before live music is allowed to return.

The appeal, made in a letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden, is signed by 1,500 artists, many of whom were due to perform at festivals this summer. In addition, 560 venues and nearly 4,000 production crew members have added their names.

“U.K. live music has been one of the U.K.’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak,” the letter says.

“Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry.”

Other artists to have signed the letter include Skepta, Rita Ora, Coldplay, Dame Shirley Bassey, Eric Clapton, Annie Lennox, Sam Smith, Sir Rod Stewart, Liam Gallagher, Florence + the Machine, George Ezra, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Lewis Capaldi and Little Mix.

To coincide with the letter, people across the industry will today begin posting films and photos of their last live gig under the banner #LetTheMusicPlay. Fans will also be encouraged to post about the last gig they attended to show support for the live music industry during its shutdown.

…Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: HAIM HOT FOR #1
6/29/20

Haim are leading the U.K.’s Official Albums midweek chart with Women in Music Pt. III (Polydor) ahead by nearly 5,000 sales. Over on singles, viral smash “Savage Love (Laxed Beat - Siren)” (Columbia) by Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo is currently on top.

On albums, Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways (Columbia) is #2 and leading on CD sales. Jessie Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure (Virgin) is the second-highest new entry #3, followed by Khruangbin’s  Mordechai (Dead Oceans) at #4.

Northern band The Lathums are at #5 following the vinyl release of their EP, The Memories We Make (Modern Sky). Nadine Shah could collect her first Top 10 with fourth collection, Kitchen Sink (Infectious Music), at #9, while Grey Daze’s Amends (Loma Vista) is currently #17.

On the Official Singles midweek chart, it’s going to be a close race: While “Savage Love (Laxed Beat - Siren)” has moved up three places to #1, DaBaby f/Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar”  (Polydor) is just 317 sales behind.

The Rolling Stones’ “Living In A Ghost Town” (Universal) are new at #9 following the single’s physical release.

BLACKPINK start at #13 with “How You Like That” (Interscope) while Bring Me The Horizon’s “Parasite Eve” (Sony is just outside the Top 20 at #21.

BRIT AWARDS HEAD TO MAY
6/29/20

The 41st edition of the BRIT Awards has been moved to 5/11 from February to ensure the safety of workers and guests, offer a fairer opportunity to artists, and facilitate a mix of local and international performers. It will still take place at The O2 Arena in London.

Organisers made the decision to move the date following consultation with the music industry and show partners Mastercard, ITV and AEG. The awards eligibility period will be amended with further announcements to follow.

Speaking about the decision, Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI & BRIT Awards Ltd, said: “We want to make sure that The BRITs delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement that make it the biggest night in music. We believe that the best way to achieve this in 2021 is to move the show back a few months to May, and we are already at work planning a spectacular event that will remind us how important music has been in getting us all through these difficult times.”