CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 25th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Industry score victory in Yahoo! China case
- Warner settle with Bertelsmann over Napster
- G-Unit-er in court over teenager attack
- Spector trial kicks off today
- George Michael court dates clash with Wembley gigs
- Jesse Jackson criticised for past rapper associations
- Arctic Monkeys shifting those there units
- Thom Yorke talks nonsense
- Timberlake, Eminem guest on new Fiddy album
- Fountains Of Wayne release Apple session
- Elton John's suit to be sold for charity
- New acts added to V
- Cable band play Little Nan Jo Jo
- Shakes to play gig for A New Movement
- Venue confirmed for second Slaang party
- Live Nation launch Blender venue
- Eminem might be buying 8 Mile venue
- Music telly - the future's bright, if a bit confusing
- Noel says Liam is losing it
- Keith Richards' mum dies
- Bryan Adams won't play at Diana concert
- Nutini not drunk, says manager

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TOP BIT>>
Old territory this one, but prompted by some recent news stories. Speaking at the MusicTank Think Tank event in London last night (more on that later), WhizzKid Entertainment chief Malcolm Gerrie recalled how senior record company execs had responded in the very late nineties to suggestions that he made about launching a new chart show based on which tracks were being most shared via Napster. That's the original Napster, which, of course, was enemy number one to senior record company execs at the time. Needless to say, they didn't respond to the idea too well, questioning why they would want to champion something their lawyers were busy destroying through extensive and expensive litigation.

Gerrie's anecdote came on the day that one bit of that very drawn out litigation finally reached a conclusion - Warner Music settled with Bertelsmann over the latter's financial support of the original Napster company. It also came on the day that Warner reportedly signed one of the buzzy buzzy new bands of the moment to a so called "360 degree" deal, ie one of those deals where the record company gets involved in, and takes revenues from, more than just recordings - ie live, merchandise and partnerships. Everyone knows that such deals are the future of the music industry (providing artists' interests can be properly protected) yet, despite a couple of high profile exceptions, it's taken a very long time to start doing them. Obviously striking such wide-ranging deals with established talent isn't going to be easy (or, rather, is going to be expensive) - but when it comes to new talent, it's something the labels should have been much more proactive in for some time now.

Which got me thinking, had the record company chiefs that shunned Malcolm back in the heyday of Napster taken their lawyers off the 'sue this thing into oblivion' project and used their time to devise new workable more wide raning artist contracts, wouldn't we all be much better off now? Which is easy to say with hindsight I know though, to be fair, and without wishing to sound a little boastful, we were saying it back then too.

But that was then, and this is now, and it has to be said some much wiser decisions are being made at the top of the majors these days (especially at those majors preparing to dump DRM, which, we hear, is almost definitely more than just EMI). But with the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry busy celebrating a victory in its ongoing and expensive legal action against Yahoo China, who have been told by the Chinese courts they are violating copyrights by linking to illegal sources of music, some decisions do seem to be wiser than others. Of course that's not to say labels should never use litigation to protect their copyrights, but the record industry does need to be careful to not return to the times when it spent so much time trying to protect its old (and ultimately flawed long term) business model, it failed to get moving with the new ones.

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: SHUFFLE

I stumbled across this band yesterday - and such was my liking for their quirky sound that I set aside the 4734 bands currently sitting on the MySpace Of The Day waiting list to make them MSOTD today. Sorry to the other 4734 - but we'll get back to the list tomorrow, promise. Anyway, Shuffle. How to describe these guys? As with most of the things we seem to really like these days, it's quite hard to say really. They tag themselves as Punk / Jazz / Rock - none of which really fit, which is presumably why they won the miscellaneous Leftfield category at the Diesel-U-Music awards in 2005 (previously won by the likes of Tom Vek and Mylo). There are quite a lot of bleeps, and you know we like bleeps, but that's not to say you could call it 'bleepy music', even if such a genre existed. Anyway, enough of these unsuccessful attempts to describe Shuffle - just go listen for yourself. There are bloggy things and pretty pictures too.

http://www.myspace.com/shuffleshuffle

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INDUSTRY SCORE VICTORY IN YAHOO! CHINA CASE
The good old music industry has won a victory against Yahoo! China in the Chinese courts in relation to the search engine's practice of providing so called "deep links" to illegal sources of music content. As previously reported, the record labels claim that if a search engine provides direct links to illegal sources of music, such as MP3 files, then they should be held liable for copyright violation, even though they themselves do not host or distribute the illegal content.

Of course, it was a case they first pursued against China's number one search engine Baidu. After an initial court success against that search engine company, they lost the case on appeal. However, they are in the process of appealing that appeal decision, and in the meantime began an identical case against Yahoo! China. Their success in the Yahoo! case in the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court this week means the labels are now increasingly confident they will secure a similar ruling against Baidu on a second appeal in that case.

Commenting on the Yahoo! decision, John Kennedy, the boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, told reporters yesterday: "This is a good news day for the music industry. This judgment will boost the growth of a licensed digital music business in China and provide better protection for intellectual property in this vast, exciting market. The ruling promises to improve the whole environment in which the local and international music industry does business in China".

On the importance of the new case in the Baidu appeal, he continued: "The Beijing Court has confirmed that Yahoo! China has clear responsibility for removing all links to the infringing tracks on its service. Since this is a judgment made under new regulations in China, today's judgment supersedes the previous decision on Baidu and confirms the responsibility of all similar music search providers in China. The judgment gives our members the legal basis to require all music search engines in China to remove infringing links from their service - which we will do. The Court has effectively called time on this type of mass digital piracy in China. Now we must see that this ruling is respected by all those who seek to profit from providing access to music online in this way".

Although the ruling will force Yahoo! China, and probably others, to remove links to illegal sources of music, the music industry did not win anything near the compensation it was seeking for copyright infringement to date. Yahoo! was ordered to pay 200,000 yuan ($27,200) in damages to the eleven labels who pursued the action, somewhat less than the 5.5 million yuan ($713,000) they were claiming.

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WARNER SETTLE WITH BERTELSMANN OVER NAPSTER
As expected, German media conglom and SonyBMG parent Bertelsmann has confirmed it has now reached a settlement with all of the major record companies in relation to its support of the original Napster. The final settlement was with the Warner Music Group, who, although not part of the original lawsuit relating to Bertelsmann's Napster support, had been reserving the right to take action in the future.

As much previously reported, the majors claimed that Bertelsmann, whose BMG record company provided funding to the original Napster P2P company in the latter part of its existence, should accept liability for copyright violation committed on the P2P network while its funding was helping it stay in business. BMG provided funding to help Napster in their ultimately unsuccessful bid to develop and launch a legitimate version of their P2P system, but the German music firm claimed that the funding was simply a loan and therefore they couldn't be held liable for any copyright violation Napster enabled. The majors argued that BMG stood to gain equity in the file sharing firm had its bid to find a legitimate model been successful, and that therefore it should be held liable.

Despite its out of court efforts to bring an end to this dispute, Bertelsmann has been careful to not actually accept any liability in its recent settlements with Universal, EMI and now Warner in relation to its support of Napster, mainly because a consortium of publishers is still pursuing its action and the media conglom won't want to weaken its hand should that case go to court.

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G-UNIT-ER IN COURT OVER TEENAGER ATTACK
G-unit-er Tony Yayo is due in court today in relation to that previously reported run in it's claimed he had with the fourteen year old son of Czar Entertainment chief Jimmy 'Henchmen' Rosemond. Yayo allegedly attacked the teenager because he was wearing a Czar Entertainment t-shirt - it's still not clear whether the rapper recognised the boy as the son of Rosemond, with whom G-unit have a long running feud. Either way, Yayo stands accused of one count of misdemeanor assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a minor.

This incident has led to a new campaign against feuding and violence in the hip hop community (albeit a campaign in part coordinated by Rosemond's company, he himself being something of a feuder). As a result, a rally is expected to be staged outside the court where Yayo's case will be heard, led by Cynthia Reed, the mother of the teenage victim. Local councilmen and community leaders are expected to participate, as are the family of Israel Ramirez, the bodyguard killed outside a Busta Rhymes video shoot last year. They have got involved in the campaign because it is believed Ramirez may have been shot when an argument involving Yayo at the video shoot got out of hand. Yayo has always denied knowing who the shooter was.

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SPECTOR TRIAL KICKS OFF TODAY
Elsewhere in the pop courts, jury selection is now fully fully complete in the Phil Spector murder trial, meaning opening statements could be given today. The main jury for the case was selected last week, but six reserve jurors were still to be selected. They are now in place. Spector, of course, stands accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his LA home in February 2003. Spector maintains that she shot herself. The trial, which will be televised, is expected to be the most high profile court case since OJ Simpson, and a media circus is already mounting around the court room where the case will unfold. Needless to say, we'll be looking in from time to time.

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GEORGE MICHAEL COURT DATES CLASH WITH WEMBLEY GIGS
George Michael will be hoping there are no complications with his upcoming court hearing, because it coincides with his two Wembley dates, the first two concerts to take place at the all new Wembley Stadium. Michael is facing those previously reported charges of being unfit to drive and soft drug possession that stemmed from that incident last October when he was found slumped over the wheel of his car at a road junction at Cricklewood Lane, London. The case goes to court on 8 Jun, the day before the first of his two big Wembley gigs. His legal people had hoped to have him excused from the trial completely, to allow him to concentrate on the live shows, but the judge hearing the case has insisted he attend day one, though she has said she will bail him to return for the final day of the trial, probably at the end of the week, so he won't actually be in court on the day of the gigs. To the suggestion he should be excused completely, district judge Katherine Marshall said: "He is around in the area because I believe he is appearing at Wembley Stadium. I do not think he will have any difficulty in being here on June 8".

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JESSE JACKSON CRITICISED FOR PAST RAPPER ASSOCIATIONS
The backlash against sexism in hip hop really is gaining momentum, with political types who have in the past affiliated with allegedly misogynistic rappers now being dissed.

The latest up for the dissing is Jesse Jackson, who in 2002 invited rapper Slick Rick to one of his conventions, and refused to publicly criticise the rapper for some of his sexist lyrics, and in particular the track 'Treat Her Like A Prostitute'. With criticising rappers for their sexist lyrics now in fashion, the Virginia base National Legal & Policy Center (who campaign for "better ethics in public life", though mainly by targeting those of a liberal persuasion), who were critical of Slick Rick's appearance at the time, are being critical all over again. And they are targeting shareholders of General Electric, who support Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, by claiming that by supporting Jackson the conglom is supporting sexist rappers like Slick Rick.

A spokesman for the NLPC said this week: "In 2002, the National Legal & Policy Center asked Jackson to disinvite from his Wall Street conference a performer known as Slick Rick whose songs are characterized by vulgar and offensive lyrics. We even pointed to a song titled 'Treat Her Like a Prostitute'. But Slick Rick was allowed to speak and perform and Jackson refused to condemn Slick Rick during a press conference. GE is one of the biggest financial supporters of Jesse Jackson and his organizations. Let's consider just what GE is subsidising".

Jackson is yet to respond to the latest NLPC claims against him. Slick Rick hasn't said much either, those there's a chance he doesn't really care about the NLPC.

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ARCTIC MONKEYS SHIFTING THOSE THERE UNITS
Arctic Monkeys are all set to have the fastest selling new release of the year, though second long player 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' isn't likely to outsell the band's debut. The new album sold 85,000 copies on Monday, and HMV reckon the album should easily pass the 151,000 copies sold by Kaiser Chiefs during the first week of sale of their album 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob'. But it is unlikely to top the massive 360,000 units 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' sold in its first week of sale last year - that album shifting 118,501 on its first day of sale.

All of which isn't that interesting I know - until, that is, you throw in a quote from HMV chart chief Gennaro Castaldo. Here it is: "It was always going to be next to impossible to match or beat the phenomenal day-one sales of 'Whatever People Say I Am...' which proved to be one of the media stories of 2006. But coming this close is a fantastic result, which underlines the band's status as the UK's number rock act. People are buying this album not because of any media hype, but because it's had great reviews and they can't wait to hear it".

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THOM YORKE TALKS NONSENSE
Thom Yorke has posted some more nonsense on his website - something to do with the work he has been doing on the new Radiohead album. Here is is.

"radiohead starts up again having finally caught up on some sleep next week
i have a cd of what we;'ve been up to...
and you haven't.
yet.
(sorry)

i must listen to it, after taking an ear break
that always makes me nervous"

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TIMBERLAKE, EMINEM GUEST ON NEW FIDDY ALBUM
According to reports, 50 Cent's new album 'Curtis' is to feature guest contributions from Eminem and Justin Timberlake. Other artists featuring on the new LP, produced by Dr Dre, Eminem and Timbaland, include Akon, Mary J Blige and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. The record is out in June, preceded by a single, 'Straight To The Bank'.

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FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE RELEASE APPLE SESSION
Fountains Of Wayne are to release a recording of the eight song live session that they played at New York's Soho Apple Store last week. The collection, due for release next month, will feature renditions of songs such as 'Hackensack' and 'Valley Winter Song' as well as tracks from their recently released album. Here's the full tracklisting for you:

Barbara H
Hackensack
Fire In The Canyon
Valley Winter Song
Yolanda Hayes
I 95
Red Dragon Tattoo
Joe Rey

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ELTON JOHN'S SUIT TO BE SOLD FOR CHARITY
One of Elton John's suits, a Donatella Versace number he wore to his White Tie And Tiara ball back in 2000, is to be sold to raise money for Oxfam's Darfur and Chad appeal. Also going under the hammer is a dress worn by singer Corinne Bailey Rae in the video for 'Put Your Records On' and and a black Dolce & Gabbana jacket worn by Coldplay's Chris Martin. Non music related items include Sienna Miller's gold shoes from her appearance in Factory Girl, a script of the film The Queen and a pencil sketch by Tracy Emin. All items are going up for sale on eBay.

Speaking about Oxfam's appeal, Elton John said: "Try to imagine living in a tiny shelter made out of straw, dry branches and plastic sheeting with the sun baking down on you at 45 degrees. For most of us that's beyond imagination. Right now there are two million people living in camps in Darfur and on the border with Chad. Oxfam is helping 500,000 people providing basic sanitation and clean drinking water but to reach more people they need our help."

The appeal has thus far raised £800,000 since it began on 16 April, and hopes to add a further £500,000 to its total with the sale of the auction items.

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NEW ACTS ADDED TO V
Five new acts have been added to the line up for this year's V festival, and I can now reveal exactly who they are. Not that it's an exclusive, or anything, I just wanted to sound important. I'm now imagining a light drum roll... and the new confirmations are: Jet, Lemar, Just Jack, Willy Mason and Juliette & The Licks. As I'm sure you remember, the already-sold-out event takes place from 18-19 August at Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in Staffordshire, and features previously announced acts such as The Killers, Foo Fighters, Primal Scream, Damien Rice, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, and The Fratellis.

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CABLE BAND PLAY LITTLE NAN JO JO
Killing For Company, former Stereophonic Stuart Cable's new band, are to make their live debut at the previously reported Little Nan Jo Jo Loves... fest in south east London next month. The band will appear at the Goldsmiths Tavern in New Cross on 5 May ahead of an upcoming support slot for The Who in June.

As you will remember, tickets (or rather, wristbands) for Little Nan Jo Jo are just £15 and give you access to more than a hundred acts, including the likes of Dan Le Sac, Olympus Mons, Eddy Temple Morris, Thomas Truax, The Alps, Pink Grease, and The Eraserheads. Info from http://www.nxpromotions.co.uk.

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SHAKES TO PLAY GIG FOR A NEW MOVEMENT
The lovely The Shakes will play a 'secret gig' (not that secret, really - I mean, I've just told you about it) in Glasgow next week (1 May) to celebrate the launch of a new online community thingimy aimed at music and fashion types, being backed by French Connection. The new community site is called http://www.anewmovement.com and is billed as "a new creative online forum dedicated to contemporary street culture" and is being aimed at "18 - 25 year old fashion, music and art lovers with a cool and alternative approach to life". The secret bit of the Shakes gig is the venue - and details of that will be posted on the site closer to the date. Other similar gigs will take place in Bristol and Manchester on 16 May and 13 Jun featuring Rumble Strips and Underground Heroes respectively.

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VENUE CONFIRMED FOR SECOND SLAANG PARTY
Organisers of the SLAANG parties have announced the venue for their next edition - the London Bridge Warehouse on Tooley Street. As previously reported, Jesse Ros, Para One, Padded Cell, Kissy Sell Out, Punks Jump Up and Mock & Toof are among the acts due to appear at the party, the follow up to a similar event that took place in East London back in March. This one takes place on 5 May - ie the bank holiday weekend. It will be just the third time the space has been used for such partying. More info is available at http://www.slaang.net/info. Press stuff from bobby@issst.com

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LIVE NATION LAUNCH BLENDER VENUE
Live music conglom Live Nation has announced an alliance with US music magazine Blender which will see a New York club rebranded as the Blender Theatre.

The 600 capacity venue is in the Manhattan neighbourhood of Gramercy, and used to be known as the Gramercy Theatre. It will relaunch as the 'Blender Theatre At Gramercy' this Thursday with a Wolfmother gig. Live Nation say they plan to host some 250 live music shows at the venue each year, focusing on rock, soul, hip hop, folk and alternative music.

Confirming the partnership with Blender, Live Nation boss Bruce Eskowitz told reporters: "To align New York City's hippest new music venue with one of the coolest music magazines around, makes perfect sense for us. We look forward to a long affiliation with Blender as we continue to bring live music's hottest acts to the city in an incredible new music venue".

Stephen Colvin of Blender publishers Dennis Publishing added: "We are delighted to enter into this unique relationship with Live Nation. It provides us the opportunity to bring to life that which, in just 5 short years, has established Blender as the 'must read' music magazine - a passion for new and emerging artists across all modern music genres".

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EMINEM MIGHT BE BUYING 8 MILE VENUE
Talking of Live Nation venues, though one they might be offloading rather than one they are opening. The Detroit News has reported that Eminem is negotiating with the live music major about buying St Andrew's Hall, the venue which appeared in Slim Shady's movie '8 Mile' as The Shelter. Rumour has it that if the rapper can acquire the venue, he and manager Paul Rosenberg plan to work with existing management to develop and run the club, which hosts a range of rock and hip hop acts. Eminem's people are yet to comment on the reports.

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MUSIC TELLY - THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT, IF A BIT CONFUSING
"MTV is a bit like Jesus". Yep, you heard it here first. That, I should explain, was the claim made by MTV UK VP Marketing James Scroggs at the outset of his keynote address to the MusicTank Think Tank on the future of music television in London last night. He continued: "Everyone needs a bit of Jesus in their life, everyone needs a bit of MTV". Scroggs' point, I think, was that people like having trusted institutions that provide guidance and a communal hub, which bring some order to the chaos - the chaos of life at large in Jesus' case, the chaos of all things music with MTV.

Scroggs was trying to convince people that MTV was [a] still relevant in and [b] responding well to the multi-channel, multi-device, online, on demand world that young music consumers now live in. While accepting that MTV, as a massive global institution, may at times be slow to adapt to the new challenges and opportunities of the mad world of digital, he argued that the music TV conglom's web, download and mobile initiatives demonstrated the broadcaster was still an innovator, while adding that an established company like MTV had to be careful not to jump on every new online bandwagon, but rather to invest in those which have longevity, and which are supported by the music industry.

And, while MTV is perhaps not as cool as it once was, and while it continues to face new competition from all kinds of young pretenders, MTV is still a respected music brand, and when you have world wide web over flowing with a plethora of wannabe bands, producers and DJs, people will surely look to such brands even more for guidance on where the good stuff is.

Which is all fab and groovy for MTV, but what about music television in general? With traditional broadcasters only willing to programme X-Factor style music shows in prime time, with an ever increasing number of music services continuing to fragment already niche audiences, and with younger consumers using online, mobile or TV services as and when required, without offering much loyalty to any of them, what does the future hold for the makers of music television?

"Traditional broadcasters are worrying about all these changes", The Tube creator and now WhizzKid chief Malcolm Gerrie observed, "And MTV seemed to be worrying in the same way the BBC and ITV worried about them back in the early eighties. But they are the only people worrying. This is a most incredible time. I'd say it is the most exciting time ever for people making content - there are so many fantastic opportunities out there".

Gerrie's overall optimism was shared by many at the Think Tank, Scroggs included, though there are so many opportunities, the music TV domain, as with the download space, is also a very risky place to be. Who knows which of the new digital content platforms will succeed in the long term, or how they will impact on mainstream and niche TV services? And then there's the fact that many traditional and new services ultimately rely on advertising for primary funding. "Advertising has funded so much content over the years", Beep Marketing's Helen Keegan observed, "but viewers are becoming more adept at ignoring the ads. And if advertising is less effective, advertisers will make less money available for content".

Which means that the overall conclusion is upbeat but, arguably, not that satisfactory - "this is a very exciting time, with so many new opportunities, but no one really knows which of the exciting opportunities will pay off in the long term". Perhaps the best solution is Ministry Of Sound TV's Assia Grazioli-Venier's suggestion - "this is an exciting time, but we should be working together to take advantage of the opportunities new technologies allow" - or, in Scroggs' words, "There are no right answers yet regarding the future of music television, but if we work together perhaps we can ask the right questions".

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NOEL SAYS LIAM IS LOSING IT
Noel Gallagher has said some not-that-complimentary things about his brother Liam, and that the only reason that Oasis is still together is because he (Noel) holds it together.

On the fact that he didn't tour Europe with the band this year, he blamed Liam, telling Radio 1: "I don't like the way people are saying I want to spend more time at home. If you'd ever tasted my wife's tea you wouldn't say that. At the moment my brother is losing it. Anyone who knows me or has been a fan of the band down the years will know it would have taken something quite major for me to walk out of a tour".

He continued: "It's been me who has kept the band together, it's not been made lightly, but it's been impossible for me to even be in the same room as him let along be on the same stage".

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KEITH RICHARDS' MUM DIES
Keith Richards' mum Doris has died at the age of 91. According to reports, she passed away peacefully in her sleep following a battle with cancer, and not from shock at the revelation that her son had joked that he'd snorted his father's ashes. The guitarist missed a memorial for late Atlantic mogul Ahmet Ertegun to keep vigil at her bedside until her death at the weekend.

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BRYAN ADAMS WON'T PLAY AT DIANA CONCERT
Bryan Adams definitely won't be performing at the Diana memorial concert this summer. I'm not sure if he wanted to, or if he was even considered for the gig, but what's emerged is that Princes William and Harry wouldn't want him to be there because it's claimed he had a short affair with their mother shortly before her final relationship with Dodi Fayed.

The People quote a source as saying: "The princes have nothing against Bryan Adams... But they want the concerts to be free from any innuendo or tittle-tattle. It was decided that it would be inappropriate for Adams to appear".

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NUTINI NOT DRUNK, SAYS MANAGER
Paolo Nutini's manager Brendan Moon says he wasn't drunk, as has been alleged, when he performed in Swindon after celebrating Scottish football team Celtic's Scottish Premier League title win recently. The Daily Record claimed that the singer provoked jeers and walk outs from his audience after slurring his words during the gig, one date on the UK leg of a current world tour.

Moon has countered that his 20 year old client was just mumbling as he sang, and that some technical problems made him difficult to hear. "Him being drunk is absolute nonsense," he says. "Anybody who has seen Paolo before knows it's just the way he speaks. He has never claimed to be an orator and he is not a brilliant public speaker, but he doesn't pretend to be."

He did, however, admit that Nutini had had a couple of beers as he listened to the match. Shocking.

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