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I.B. BAD: KOPPELMAN'S RETURN, DR. LUKE'S DILEMMA

PURPLE & GREEN: Charles Koppelman is back in the game. The highly regarded, once-controversial executive, who had an incredible run in the ’80s and ’90s at SBK/EMI, is said to be in charge of making deals for the Prince estate to exploit the assets and the brand. Londell McMillan, who is not that highly regarded, is also part of that team, as they try to determine the value of the vault of unreleased Prince material. The record deal is supposedly for his massive cache of unreleased recordings and the master recordings of all his previously released material, while the publishing deal—presumably for his vast catalog of released and unreleased songs—is said to be in the $20m+ range. Prince had famously been super-protective about his copyrights since the dawn of the digital age, and some critics feel that that preciousness will now be lost as the brand gets exploited. Presently, his complete discography can be streamed only on Tidal. Koppelman and Marty Bandier (shown together below in a classic gag shot with Gerardo) enjoyed a great run together as they built EMI Music Publishing into one of the great publishing companies of the modern era. Given their shared history, oddsmakers believe the new publishing deal will end up at Bandier’s Sony/ATV.

STEALTH TACTICS: Most believed Dr. Luke’s longtime production client Katy Perry represented his last chance of making a comeback. His Kemosabe label deal at Sony has been mostly unsuccessful, the Kesha scandal was a terrible look and his supposedly questionable business practices and alleged mistreatment of people he’s worked with have alienated him from many with whom he’d done business over the years. Thus, his career appears to be cratering, at least on the surface. Given these issues, no one was surprised to learn that Perry had tapped Max Martin to produce her official Olympics theme single “Rise.” A whispering campaign initiated by Luke’s few remaining supporters—which insiders say is completely unfounded—suggested his pubco writers were deeply involved with the Perry album project, and that he played a role in negotiating the deal between Perry and NBC. Will he be resourceful enough to keep his career going despite all the negativity surrounding him?

CLOSING BLIND: What top-level label executive pushed hard for one of his artists to appear on Billboard’s troubled Hot 100 Festival, thereby undermining said exec’s credibility with the artist and agent?

NAMES IN THE RUMOR MILL: Lucian Grainge, Doug Morris, Stephen Cooper, Eddy Cue and Stefan Blom.

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