CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 22nd September

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Sanctuary's financial hardships continue
- Beanie Sigel back in court
- Megaman trial continues
- DMX accused of beating up German fans
- Strokes single leaked
- Napster become digital partner for tonight's MOBOs
- Garbage coming to an end?
- Darkness reveal album tracklisting
- INXS end search for singer
- McCready says she attempted suicide
- Pias launch new vinyl venture with Mono Taxi
- Kitsune in the Maison
- Cliff not quitting, OK
- Single review: DJ Marky and XRS - Distant Lover/ Bungle - 25th Floor
- New John Lennon interview on R4
- The future's bright, though not necessarily Orange
- US senator calls for simplified copyright law to tackle P2P
- Single review: Merka - Hug A Speaker/ I'll Be There
- Nokia delay release of new music phone
- Mobile downloading worth 3740 million this year
- Babyshambles turn up and play shocker
- Chris Martin's kerazy country and hip hop plans
- Bassey angry with Kanye West

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OUT NOW...

ROCK SOUND MAGAZINE OCTOBER ISSUE OUT NOW! NIGHTWISH, THE RASMUS and HIM adorn this month's Finntastic cover. Also featuring Bullet For My Valentine, Coheed and Cambria, Arch Enemy, and Fightstar. Plus as well as the usual Music With Attitude CD featuring tracks from this month's issue, we also have an EXCLUSIVE 2nd CD with 15 of the best new bands from New Zealand. Visit www.rock-sound.net Available just £3.40 from WH Smith, HMV, Virgin, and Tesco

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WEB EDITOR WANTED! rock-sound.net is looking to hire a part-time Web Editor. Applicants should be able to write and edit well, be commercially minded as well as having good grasp of html. For more details please email patrick.napier@rock-sound.net with a copy of your current CV explaining why you'd be the suitable candidate for the job. Applications close on Sept 30.

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SANCTUARY'S FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS CONTINUE
London based Sanctuary Group, the music company with recording, live, management, publishing and studio divisions, has issued another pessimistic financial statement, warning the investment community that it is likely to generate a trading loss compared with market forecasts at the start of the year. Sanctuary has now issued three profit warnings in the last six months, and that in itself is making things difficult for the company. However, Executive Chairman Andy Taylor, who blames rapid over-expansion for the financial hardships, says his company's bankers are still supportive and that he is confident he can turn things around.

Taylor: "I am well aware that Sanctuary has disappointed the market significantly this year and, with hindsight, it is clear we grew too fast. I am totally focused on repairing the short-term damage to what is fundamentally a robust business. We will be restructuring our business and supporting our artists throughout. The Board and I are determined to steer [the] company...back to a profitable trading position and sustainable long term growth."

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BEANIE SIGEL BACK IN COURT
Rapper Beanie Sigel was back in court yesterday, just weeks after leaving federal prison, for take two of a trial over allegations he shot a man outside a West Philadelphia bar in Jul 2003. The case first went to trial last year, but the judge called a mistrial after a jury could not reach a verdict one way or the other. The prosecution yesterday again presented its evidence against the rapper, which depends mainly on testimonies from the man who was shot, one Terrance Speller, and his friend, who apparently came to his aid after the shooting. Sigel's lawyers are keen to damage the two witnesses credibility - Speller himself admits he initially told his family he had been shot during a robbery and that he has been drinking and smoking dope prior to the incident. However, he claims he lied to his family about his gun shot wound because he feared the ramifications of telling people he had been shot by the rapper. He reckons Sigel shot him because he had earlier argued with the teenage daughter of the rapper's girlfriend.

Sigel, just out of jail after serving a one year sentence for federal weapons charges, was in attendance at the court hearing, but did not make any comment to reporters because of the gag order covering the case. During the first trial several celebs showed up to support the rapper - including Jay-Z and Beyonce - but yesterday they only hip hop name in attendance was Sigel's mentor, Damon Dash. The case continues.

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MEGAMAN TRIAL CONTINUES
Talking of 'rappers with guns' (now, there's a compilation album in the making), the trial of So Solid Crew frontman Megaman over those murder allegations continued at the Old Bailey yesterday. As previously reported, Megaman, real name Dwayne Vincent, is accused of collaborating with his friend Carl Morgan to murder one Colin Scarlett, the new partner of Vincent's ex-girlfriend.

A witness, speaking from behind screens and through a voice distorting machine, yesterday told the court that he had watched the shooting take place. He said that Vincent confronted Scarlett before the shooting and, after an altercation, had told Morgan to "burst" him. According to the witnesses account to police: "The gun Morgan had was black in colour and the bullets were in a magazine in the handle. Colin then pulled out a gun that looks the same as Morgan's. They were both firing - I do not know how many times. There were loads of bangs and flashes. Megaman then ran off in the same direction as Morgan."

Both Vincent and Morgan deny the murder charges. The case continues.

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DMX ACCUSED OF BEATING UP GERMAN FANS
Not quite so serious by comparison, but another rapper in trouble with the law. DMX and his bodyguards have been accused of beating up two young fans in Berlin's Sage Club. The altercation reportedly happened after the rapper performed at the night club last Friday. Hip hop fan Oliver Osterode claims he and his friend were attacked by the rapper after he told him he thought Lil Jon's music was better than his. Berlin newspaper BZ quote Osterode as saying: "I wanted to go to the bathroom and met DMX. I told him that I think he's cool, but Lil Jon is better. Then he freaked out. He slapped me in the face, and then his bodyguards attacked us."

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STROKES SINGLE LEAKED
Gigwise say that The Strokes' new single 'Juicebox', which, as previously reported, is scheduled for a November release, has been leaked online. It's the first single to be taken from the band's next album 'First Impressions Of Earth', which is expected to see a release sometime in 2006, with UK live dates planned for Feb.

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NAPSTER BECOME DIGITAL PARTNER FOR TONIGHT'S MOBOS
Napster have announced they are the exclusive digital music partner of the UK's MOBO awards, which take place at London's Royal Albert Hall tonight.

As part of the partnership, Napster has added MOBO Radio to its streaming services, featuring music from every artist nominated for a MOBO award. A special 'ready to burn' compilation album is also available featuring three tracks from each shortlisted act. At the awards event itself Napster will be the official sponsor of the 'UK Act Of The Year Award', which features nominees including Estelle, Kano, Joss Stone and Lemar.

Confirming the partnership, Napster UK boss Leanne Sharman told CMU: "Napster's partnership with the MOBO Organisation follows on from our recent link-up with Club Asia, the Asian music radio station, and reinforces our commitment to ensuring Napster has the most diverse catalogue of new UK music available online. We're proud to be associated with the MOBO Organisation - an event that always sets new trends and generates excitement about music of black origin."

Kubi Springer, Brand Communications Manager of the MOBO Organisation, added; "Napster's aim of making the best in new UK and international music available to its members makes it the perfect partner for the MOBO Organisation. Through Napster, the MOBO Organisation will be able to use the power of the internet to reach out to even more people and continue to help reshape, redefine, revitalise and celebrate Music Of Black Origin."

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GARBAGE COMING TO AN END?
Woe. Garbage are planning to take a break when they finish their current Australian tour at the start of next month - but it might be an indefinite one. The latest rumours of a split began when the group cancelled European tour dates scheduled for later this year, and Shirley Manson has told the Melbourne Herald Sun "We're taking a hiatus. I don't know if we're calling it a day. We've not stopped for 10 years. We always swore if it wasn't 100% fun, we'd stop it."

The band have recently disclosed that they came close to breaking up whilst making the latest album 'Bleed Like Me', with drummer Butch Vig telling Billboard: "Because we were on the verge of losing it all, we made the album of our career. We feel completely rejuvenated."

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DARKNESS REVEAL ALBUM TRACKLISTING
Exciting news for those of you who like to collect tracklistings for albums before actually hearing all the songs. The Darkness have revealed the full list of tracks for second album 'One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back', which is set for a release on 28 Nov, preceded by the single release of 'One Way Ticket' on 14 Nov. And here's that album tracklisting:

One Way Ticket
Knockers
Is It Just Me
Dinner Lady Arms
Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
Hazel Eyes
Bald
Girlfriend
English Country Garden
Blind Man

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INXS END SEARCH FOR SINGER
INXS have found their new singer. The band, as previously reported, have been searching for a replacement for late frontman Michael Hutchence via the medium of a TV reality show. Canadian Jason Dean Fortune, known as JD Fortune, beat two other contenders, estate agent Marty Casey and 'We Will Rock You' star Mig Ayesa, in a televised final in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. The conclusion follows a worldwide search, with INXS holding auditions in six continents.

Fortune said: "It's an understatement to say this is a dream come true. Growing up, INXS albums like 'Shabooh Shoobah,' 'Listen Like Thieves' and 'Kick' were a huge musical influence on me. I'd listen to their songs and wonder what it would be like to be in this band. That they've chosen me to be their new lead singer is just mind-blowing."

The band have, of course, not been idle since Hutchence's death back in 1997; they have continued to perform with a variety of singers, but have not recorded any more albums since the loss of their frontman. They insist that the new singer is not a direct replacement for Hutchence, but that he has a lot to offer the group: Guitarist Tim Farriss said: "J D has a slightly dangerous edge and will bring a sense of spontaneity to our live show. In addition, he has both the star quality we were looking for and is an inspired lyricist. I think he'll grow with us on all levels. We're a complete band once again."

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MCCREADY SAYS SHE ATTEMPTED SUICIDE
Country star Mindy McCready has been in court explaining what happened when she was found unconscious in a hotel lobby back in Jul. As previously reported, the singer was admitted to hospital after an apparent drugs overdose, and appeared at the Williamson County Court on Tuesday to appeal bail agreement terms. McCready, who was sentenced to a three year probation term after pleading guilty last year to fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs, subsequently left Tennessee without permission and did not report to her probation officer during the month when that incident happened. She told the court: "I attempted to commit suicide after I found out I was pregnant. I had just been through a horrible ordeal. I was going to visit family."

The 'ordeal' in question related to a series of incidents that included being attacked by her ex-boyfriend William McKnight (who was later charged with attempted murder), and a DUI arrest in Nashville. McReady was arrested in August, and held for ten days before she was released because she was experiencing medical complications with her pregnancy. She will be tried on 14 Nov over the probation violations. And as if that weren't enough, she faces a court case in Arizona on charges of identity theft.

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PIAS LAUNCH NEW VINYL VENTURE WITH MONO TAXI
Pias Recordings are launching a new venture called Play It Again 7, which will see the label releasing music from brand new bands on 7" singles. The first such release will come from Mono Taxi - the half-French half-English band who, you might just recall, appeared on V2's celebration of the French music scene, 'Le Nouveau Rock'n'Roll Francais', last year. The single will be released on 10 Oct.

Meanwhile, Mono Taxi will be playing a series of UK dates in the next couple of months, as follows:

26 Sep: Norwich Arts Centre (supporting The Research)
6 Oct: 53 Degrees, Preston
7 Oct: Goldsmith College, London (with Hordes + support TBA)
12 Oct: Meze Lounge, Newport
13 Oct: The Attik, Leicester
14 Oct: Evol Club, Liverpool (with The Sunshine Underground)
15 Oct: YoYo at Welly Club, Hull (with The Morphines)
4 Nov: ULU Live, London (with Youth of Britain + Captain + The View)
19 Nov: Lancaster Library, Lancaster (with The Guilty Pleasures)
25 Nov: Queen is Dead, Borderline, London

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KITSUNE IN THE MAISON
Talking of French music, French label Kitsune are releasing a new compilation of great music (albeit, not all French) from the likes of Hot Chip, VHS Or Beta, Tom Vek, Digitalism, Lo-Fi-Fnk, Tomboy, Popular Computer, Ruede Hagelstein and Metronomy. Called 'Kitsune Maison', you can buy it now from French store Colette's website (http://colette.fr/), though we are promised it will get a UK release in mid-November. More info at http://kitsune.fr/

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CLIFF NOT QUITTING, OK
A spokesperson for Cliff Richard has denied those reports that began in the Daily Mail earlier this week that the singer was planning on never recording another record because of a lack of radio support from his music. Cliff's promotions manager Lisa Davis said yesterday that "There is no truth in the story that he won't be making or releasing any more records", adding that Cliff was in the studio when the reports first appeared in Tuesday's Mail. "Cliff was having a pop at radio stations that don't play him, but there are plenty that do support him. He was A-listed at Radio 2 for five weeks in May."

Davis reports that Cliff is working on a new album, and that he is recording a duet with pop-opera group G4 for a Christmas release, which is enough to make you wish the Daily Mail reports had, in fact, been true.

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SINGLE REVIEW: DJ Marky and XRS - Distant Lover / Bungle - 25th Floor (Innerground Records)
I don't get so many 12"s in the post these days, so it's nice to get some wax through from the Innerground boys. The Brazilian label remains true to form and hits us with some rather warm and mellow d&b with 'Distant Lover'. On the flip side, though, the show is entirely stolen with a wicked funky roller from Bungle with his debut on the label. '25th floor' is quite pacey and also has a nod to the old school with those drum clashes. It's being caned by 1Xtra's L Double at the moment, and I can see why Andre Oliveira is gonna be a big star. PV
Release date: 26 Sep
Press contact: Innerground IH [all]

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NEW JOHN LENNON INTERVIEW ON R4
An interview with John Lennon which has never before been broadcast in the UK will air on Radio 4 in November as part of a season marking the 25th anniversary of the former Beatle's death (and not the 65th anniversary of his birth, which is next month). The interview was taped by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner just following the split of the fab four.

Radio four controller Mark Damazer said: "It is the first time anywhere in the world the interview has been heard in its entirety, " adding that the interview covered Lennon's career with "painstakingly emotional, at times excruciating detail."

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THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT, THOUGH NOT NECESSARILY ORANGE
Well, yesterday we said that the way for the music industry to combat the dominance of iTunes in the digital music world probably involved the words "added value", and it seems Tim Clark of management company ieMusic agrees. Speaking at the MusicTank Think Tank event in London last night, the man who manages, among others, Robbie Williams says that he reckons the future of selling music in the digital world will be all about 'bundling', despite download platforms like iTunes trying to force labels to 'unbundle' their music offerings.

The topic for the first ThinkTank since the summer break was 'new ways of selling music', with panellists and audience members alike communicating their concerns at the new companies dabbling in music sales - WalMart, Starbucks, the mobile firms and Apple among them. The concern centred on the issue of these brands commitment, or not, to new music. "New brands coming in and doing exclusivity deals with major artists is a problem for us," admitted HMV Digital's Mark Bennett, referring to deals like that struck between Bob Dylan and Starbucks. "Traditional record stores work with artists and labels to sell new music as well as established acts. We rely on the latter to help us do the former. So it is a problem when big acts start to do these kind of deals with our newer competitors. What about the people who helped them launch their careers? And what happens when these brands lose interest in a few years time and go back to selling coffee?"

However, Starbucks might be pleased to hear, that most of the venom at the event was reserved for Apple Computers who, many seemed to feel, were thieving the music industry's assets to help them flog bits of hardware. And while most accepted the music industry, and in particular the major labels, were in part to blame for letting Apple become so dominant in the digital music space (mainly by dithering so much about all things digital when the internet arrived), the consensus was that the music industry couldn't survive with the one-price-fits-all 79 pence model that iTunes has established, and which the more traditional players like HMV can only follow as they go digital.

Which brings us back to the question we posed yesterday - how can the music industry ever overcome the model that Apple has established, and which Steve Jobs seems to be keen to keep (willing to position the record labels as the greedy capitalists if they put up any kind of fight)? Which brings us back to Tim Clark's bundling.

"With Rob we didn't do a deal with iTunes, because it wasn't a good deal. We wanted to bundle, not to unbundle, because we found that fans would pay more than that 79 pence a track if they thought they were getting compelling content. We could put together a package with the track, and a video, wallpaper, that kind of thing, and Rob's fans would pay £5.99 for that, because they recognise the value of the complete package. When you work with an artist you get a grasp on what fans will pay for different packages, how much they will pay for a ticket to a certain kind of gig, that kind of thing. You can do the same here, and I see that as the way things will work in the future".

Others agreed the packaging was important. Gordon Richardson of Scottish coffee chain Beanscene, for whom championing new music is a key part of the business, explained how he was building a customer base eager for new music who would pay a premium because the overall 'brand experience' was a good one, one they desired. When music came as part of that experience, fans looked past the 79 pence a track model. The same was true for Stephen Godfrey, founder of the Rough Trade Album Club, who is able to charge a premium for his service because of the Rough Trade shop's reputation for discovering quality new music.

So, as we might just have said eight million times before, the future success of the music industry depends not on winning favours with IT firms or winning court cases against kids who file share, but rather in finding creative ways of packaging music that consumers will pay a premium for. Which is why, despite the concerns about Apple, Starbucks, the phone companies et al, there's a lot to be optimistic about.

Tim Clark: "I was fortunate enough to work in the music industry in the sixties, which was an incredible time. What about the present? Well, I think it is an incredible time for music. I think now is the most exciting time in music since the sixties. There are more artists and more distribution channels - we can get more content to fans quicker, and in a more transparent way. That is a very good thing".

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US SENATOR CALLS FOR SIMPLIFIED COPYRIGHT LAW TO TACKLE P2P
Talking of the future of music, and all that kinda stuff, an American Congressman is calling on the music industry to support moves to simplify royalty systems in a bid to help the legal download services to properly compete with illegal P2P file sharing.

Speaking at last week's Future Of Music Policy Summit in Washington, Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, talked through many of the complications in US copyright law, pointing out that most complications were down to the fact the law was written in a totally different content environment to the one that now exists. However, Boucher argues, these complications are in danger of stopping the legitimate digital music players from competing with the illegal P2P services. Boucher: "The illegal services offer all of the songs, and the legal services don't, and therein lies the crux of the problem".

Boucher is one of the congressmen working on proposals to reform US copyright law, to simplify the process, to end inconsistencies and to end the "cumbersome, paper-based, song-by-song process" that causes many of the problems. But Boucher said he needed the compliance of all the content owners to make those reforms happen, telling his conference audience: "If you belong to an organization that represents copyright owners, please urge a resolution of these issues at the earliest possible time."

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SINGLE REVIEW: Merka - Hug a Speaker/ I'll be There (Fat!)
Breakbeat pioneer Merka returns on Paul Arnold's Fat! Records with a real treat: full on party breaks that you know would rock the Chew The Fat club night. Mark Ford carves up some acid injected breaks with bass that border on the infrasonic with 'Hug a Speaker'. The flip side 'I'll be There' starts slowly, is less peaktime and a bit darker, referencing early hardcore with its bleepy backdrop. Two quality tracks that demonstrate just why The Fat! label really are still front runners within the breakbeat cosmos. PV
Release date: 26 Sep
Press contact: Trailer Media [all]

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NOKIA DELAY RELEASE OF NEW MUSIC PHONE
Nokia has announced it is delaying the launch of its premium N91 music phone to the first quarter of next year to make sure they have the technology right. The new phone will, unlike Motorola's much hyped new iTunes compatible phone, use a Microsoft system which, Nokia are keen to stress, will make it compatible with a wide range of download platforms (though not the most popular). Their phone should also hold thousands of tracks, compared to the 100 odd held by Motorola's latest music phone release.

Commenting on the decision not to go for the Christmas market with the new phone, Nokia's Multimedia VP Jonas Geust told reporters: "What we basically decided is that we will postpone it a few weeks, push it out to Q1 and do this Microsoft DRM implementation solidly. And that's how we want to ensure that we get a great user experience already from launch."

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MOBILE DOWNLOADING WORTH £740 MILLION THIS YEAR
Talking of mobile phones, a new report from research monkeys Mintel reckons that us mobile phone users in the UK (well, you mobile phone users, my mobile only just copes with calls and text messages) will spend some £740 million on mobile downloads this year, up from £40 million two years ago. But before you all think that means we're all downloading music to our phones - read the small print. Only 8% of that income will come from music downloads. 33% is from ringtones, 26% from games, 13% screensavers and 9% gambling services. So, good news for mobile firms and ringtone types.

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BABYSHAMBLES TURN UP AND PLAY SHOCKER
Babyshambles finally got around to starting their delayed UK tour in the wonderful border city of Carlisle (and yes, it is a city, and yes, that's where my Mum and Dad live) on Tuesday night. Not only did they turn up to play the gig, but the Independent's critic called Doherty's performance at the Brickyard "commendably lucid" if "still mingled with his trademark eccentric chatter and louche arrogance".

Doherty told local paper the News and Star: "This is the first time in years I've come on tour not being a heroin addict. It's a really positive vibe, a positive, exciting time. We're just here to play music". On the ongoing media attention he continued: "That's the thing about a lot of the tabloid stuff. They keep using the word junkie. It's just not accurate." He had nothing to say on the subject of Kate Moss snorting gak, however, as his management told him not to and he miraculously complied, saying: "I'd love to talk about it, I'm in the midst of a grand conspiracy."

And talking of Kate Moss, who is currently hiding out in Ibiza, we think, the police have revealed that they plan to investigate the reports of the model's drug use, but maintain that more than just the photographs would be required as evidence. A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said: "Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur has reviewed the matter and had asked officers from the specialist crime directive to look at reports as highlighted in a national newspaper."

Can it get any worse for Kate? Probably, yes. She's been offered help by scientologists (don't do it, Kate), she's already lost three modelling contracts (at time of going to press), and now the Daily Star claims that Pete Doherty is £300k in debt, and, according to a roadside café owner, is only going out with her (if they are still going out with each other) because she's very rich. Of course, that can't be true. Why on earth would Pete Doherty say such a thing to a roadside café owner unless he were high or drunk, or something? Oh.

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CHRIS MARTIN'S KERAZY COUNTRY AND HIP HOP PLANS
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is keen to do something interesting, and thinks a country album with a hip-hop flavour is the way to go about it. He's apparently planning a collaboration with retired country singer Garth Brooks, Kanye West and hip-hopper Timbaland.

Martin said: "Country is a very sleeping beast within us. We have two things we're not allowed to do - country and rap - just because of where we're from. So I think they'll rear their heads at some point in the future. In fact, I think the only future for music is if you bring together the most disparate worlds."

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BASSEY ANGRY WITH KANYE WEST
And talking of Kanye West, Shirley Bassey is apparently very angry over his sampling of her vocal from 'Diamonds Are Forever' for his hit single 'Diamonds From Sierra Leone', and says she's considering legal action. The legendary diva told the Daily Mail "He didn't ask my permission to have me singing on his song. I didn't even know it existed until I heard him performing at the Live 8 concert. I didn't even hear from his record company, which wasn't very nice. One way or another, he is going to have to pay me a lot of money."

It's hard to believe that no one at Universal would have thought to clear the sample before using it, though even if copyright law isn't on her side, I wouldn't want to be in Miss Bassey's bad books.

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