CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 20th August
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI to de-list from LSE
- Amazon downloads imminent
- Happy birthday CD!
- Max Roach dies
- Ultimate Elvis tribute announced
- X-factor lies shock
- Osbourne dreads stage debut
- No Doubt about Stefani's priority
- James Blunt on modern technology and boarding school
- Lily attacks Bush/Nicky attacks Snow Patrol
- Other V news
- The Rapture and co make football songs
- Radio One turns 40
- Carl Barat in prison
- Perry Farrell plays with 50 Cent
- Merlin announce board
- New look Music Week
- Borrell's trousers for sale
- West wants to sweat
- Jay Z is very rich

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CMU AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
So, the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts festival on the planet, is entering its second week, offering simply the most exciting and diverse range of theatre, film, comedy, musicals, dance, exhibitions, literature, talks and music, music, music. CMU's sister publication, ThreeWeeks, is in and all across Edinburgh right now providing simply the most comprehensive coverage of it all. You can read our music reviews each day here in CMU, plus check out all our coverage online at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk.

Duke Special
T On The Fringe
Duke Special and his band are more than just a cabaret act. More than just a quirky drum/bass/piano/clarinet ensemble. More than their 'Sgt Pepper' jackets and the Duke's dreadlocks and eye make-up. Above all this, they are a fantastic group who play foot-stomping, piano-led rock numbers, along with ballads so atmospheric it seems a shame to break the mood by clapping. Single 'Freewheel' falls into the latter category, with the excellently titled 'Salvation Tambourine' somewhere between the two. Duke's rich, soaring Belfast vocals and quirky yet touching lyrics make the show. Although he laughs modestly in the face of the rapturous applause, he better get used to it; there are big things ahead for the Duke.
The Liquid Room, 13 Aug, 7:00pm (10:00pm), £12.50, fpp n/a.
tw rating 4/5
[amc]

Seasick Steve + Dave Arcari
T On The Fringe
The irony of winning a breakthrough award at 60 years old is not lost on Seasick Steve, aka Steve Wold. But, as the former hobo frequently reminds us, "It's all good". Support act Dave Arcari exploded onto stage with some of the most violent punk-blues I have ever witnessed. However, despite his rugged appearance and aggressive playing, he was not actually threatening at all, and performed a strong set. Seasick Steve was the main attraction though, and upon taking the stage received one of the biggest ovations I have ever heard. Playing blues as it should be played - simple, but full of emotion and experience - Steve is a performer you can't help but love. A lifetime achievement award at 90? Definitely.
The Liquid Room, 14 Aug, 7:00pm (10:30pm), £12.00, fpp n/a.
tw rating 5/5
[asm]

Calvin Harris
T On The Fringe
Musical acts can become superstars so quickly these days that I simply must have been asleep when Calvin Harris pronounced that he created disco. True, you couldn't escape 'Acceptable In The 80s', but while hundreds scream at Harris' wooden persona, his songs leave little to be desired. Each song sounds suspiciously like the last and Harris' idea of picking up the pace consists of turning the sound levels up to Ministry of Sound status. Granted, the band help Harris disguise his lack of tunes, and the crowd don't mind, at this time in the morning they'll dance to anything. But as I spot a middle aged man with a glo-stick all I can think is: 'Has dance music really come to this?'
Liquid Rooms, 12 Aug, 10:30pm (3:00am), £10.00, fpp n/a.
tw rating 2/5
[ro]

Pete And The Pirates
T On The Fringe
There is not a hint of the maritime about Pete And The Pirates. In fact, their name really only serves to distract from the sense that we've seen and heard this before. The Reading five-piece open with the kind of urgent post-post-punk racket that made the Futureheads' name; and their energy is enough to carry them through the early part of the set, but interest begins to wane slightly as each song seems more familiar than the last. Their harmonies are not nearly as infectious as their Sunderland contemporaries, and their choruses unfortunately lapse into Kaiser Chiefs/Fratellis-style nonsense words a few times too many. Pete And The Pirates will certainly get your attention, but it's questionable how long they'll hold it for.
Cabaret Voltaire, 13 Aug, 7:00pm (10:00pm), £6.50, fpp n/a.
tw rating 3/5
[mc]

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EMI TO DE-LIST FROM LSE
That there EMI Group has said it expects to de-list itself from the London Stock Exchange on 18 Sep, which I'm assured isn't as painful as it sounds. The de-listing (de-listment?) follows a formal announcement on Friday from those not at all shady private equity types Terra Firma that their acquisition of the major music firm was now definitely happening.

As of last week the equity firm had secured commitments from existing shareholders that will deliver them 93.5% of the company. Having passed the 90% requirement for the takeover to go ahead, Terra Firma bosses have confirmed their offer is now unconditional and will, therefore, proceed.

The music company announced on Friday: "Following the Wholly Unconditional Announcement and the applications earlier today by the Company to the Financial Services Authority for the cancellation of the listing of EMI Shares on the Official List and to the London Stock Exchange for the cancellation of the admission of EMI Shares to trading on the London Stock Exchange's market for listed securities, EMI expects that the Cancellations will take effect at 8.00am on Tuesday, 18th September 2007". So, that's all clear then.

In the same announcement it was confirmed that four members of the EMI Group's board would resign as a result of Terra Firma's takeover - Sly Bailey, Kevin Carton, Peter Georgescu and David Londoner. Non-executive Chairman John Gildersleeve will stay on until the delisting and will then also stand down.

It remains unclear what effect Terra Firma's takeover will have on the day to day management team at EMI. Billboard reports that Terra Firma partner Stephen Alexander will have a senior management role at the major, but it is unclear what that role will be.

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AMAZON DOWNLOADS IMMINENT
Following the previously reported announcement last week that Universal plans to follow EMI and make its music available without digital rights management technology embedded, albeit officially for a "trial period", Music Week has reported that both Amazon and Yahoo! now plan to launch MP3 based download platforms, including the Universal catalogue, in the next six months - the former next month, the latter in the New Year.

Amazon's digital music offer has been in the pipeline for sometime, of course, with the company seemingly determined to only sell non-DRMed MP3 tracks when its service finally launches. With EMI, who started offering non-DRMed music earlier this year, already signed up to Amazon, and with Universal seemingly now on board also, now would be as good a time as any for the service to launch.

If Amazon is able to launch an MP3 based service next month with two majors on board, it will give the company a real opportunity to take on current digital music market leader iTunes, especially because Universal have somewhat controversially barred the Apple service from accessing its DRM-free catalogue. It's long been thought that Amazon, with its existing large base of music consumers, was one of the few firms that could genuinely take on Apple for market dominance, and with Universal's help that could as yet happen.

Should Amazon launch with both EMI and Universal on board, and should that prove successful, it will be interesting to see how long Warner and SonyBMG can hang on before also making their catalogues available without DRM.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CD!
Everyone's second favourite music format (after vinyl, we're assuming) - the CD - has just turned 25. Yes, it's now been exactly a quarter of a century since the first "indestructible" (ha!) compact disc was made at a Philips factory in Germany, so hurrah and happy birthday and all that jazz...

Since the format entered the market (with Abba's 'The Visitors', no less) it's estimated that over 200 billion CDs have been sold, and it is still going strong, despite frequent reports that its demise is imminent due to the rise of the evil digital download.

Given the birthday celebrations, let's have some CD trivia shall we? The CD was a joint venture between tech giants Philips and Sony, and work began on it in 1979 with the initial aim being to develop a disc that could hold an hour of audio. The length was later extended to 74 minutes, apparently so one disk could fit Beethoven's 9th Symphony in its entirety. There was a general bias towards classical at the start of the CD age because it was thought only the more well off classical music fan could afford a CD player, the cheapest of which were retailing for what equates to £1000 by today's comparisons.

Despite what we just said regarding the CD surving against the odds, global CD sales are, of course, in decline. Although those making the format remain optimistic about the near future, with one of the format's senior engineers, James Heeskerk, telling reporters this week: "I don't have an iPod, although my youngest son uses one. But CDs are still his preferred format and he copies them on to his MP3 player".

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MAX ROACH DIES
The revolutionary jazz drummer Max Roach has died in his sleep in New York aged 83.

Famed for playing with luminaries like Miles Davis, Dizzie Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Roach is credited with co-creating the fast-paced bebop style with Kenny Clarke, a style that has since been emulated by thousands of musicians.

Indeed, before bebop, jazz was mainly swing music where the drummer's function was merely to keep the beat consistent. Roach and his contemporaries opened-up a new take on the definition of jazz, developing a style that allowed the drummer to be increasingly expressive by keeping time using the cymbals.

The self-trained star can be heard on a variety of classic recordings, perhaps most famously on Miles Davis's 'The Birth Of The Cool' sessions long-player.

Furthermore, Roach was renowned for his strong politics, having campaigned against racism in music for years, even when doing so prevented him from recording for certain labels who were nervous about his outspoken beliefs.

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ULTIMATE ELVIS TRIBUTE ANNOUNCED
The previously reported 30th anniversary commemorations of Elvis' death continued in Memphis this weekend with the 'Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition'. The overall winner was one Shawn Klush, 38, from Pennsylvania whose versions of 'My Way', 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and 'Viva Las Vegas' won over the judges and the estimated 75,000-strong crowd.

As previously reported, the celebrations at Graceland have attracted Elvis fans from all over the world. The events culminated with one of those hi-tech special effect show type things where it kind of appeared that Elvis himself was performing on stage. Though, for all those "Elvis lives" nuts, we should stress this was all down to some video tricks, the King was not actually there. He, of course, now works down the chip shop, as well all know.

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X-FACTOR LIES SHOCK
Another shocker from the world of TV, so you better brace yourself. ITV bosses have admitted that some of the scenes shown on 'The X Factor' were "staged". Yes, staged. I'm outraged. I might have to have a sit down to recover.

ITV Director Of Entertainment Paul Jackson has admitted that the show's producers have re-shot some scenes from the supposed reality show to "get the story right", adding that: "We tell stories, we don't tell lies". Format owner Simon Cowell, meanwhile, added: "The one thing I can tell you about the show is this - what you see is what happens. We don't censor. We don't sanitise".

The revelations about scene fixing against the pop talent show came as the fourth series began on ITV primetime. The new series is hosted by Dermot O'Leary, of course, and not Kate Thornton. So perhaps I'll watch it this time.

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OSBOURNE DREADS STAGE DEBUT
Kelly Osbourne, who, as previously reported, is making her stage debut in a West End production of 'Chicago' next month, has spoken-out about how terrified she is about the first show. The sometime pop star told reporters: "I'm absolutely bricking it because the only theatre I have ever done before this was my school play - and I was a windmill". It's a while since I saw 'Chicago' but I don't remember there being a windmill in it. But I'm sure she'll be fine.

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NO DOUBT ABOUT STEFANI'S PRIORITY
Gwen Stefani has said she is putting her band, No Doubt, before plans to expand her family. The band have been on hiatus since 2003, of course, while Stefani got about launching her solo career and starting a family. But following their recent announcement of plans to record a sixth album together, Stefani, who was too busy to attend initial studio sessions, has reassured fans - and maybe her bandmates - that she remains committed to the band, saying: "I love being pregnant and I want more children but I've unfinished business with No Doubt first".

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JAMES BLUNT ON MODERN TECHNOLOGY AND BOARDING SCHOOL
James Blunt claims that boarding schools breed great songwriters - like himself, obviously - because they induce "intense" emotions when a child is separated from his or her parents. Blunt says that he recalls these emotions every time he writes a song, adding: "Being sent away to boarding school at seven is as great an inspiration as any songwriter could have - to be taken away from one's family and locked away for 10 years".

Elsewhere in Blunt ramblings, the singer songwriter has been hitting out at the demise of the album format as radio and download platforms favour single tracks. Blunt: "We have lost the interest and ability to find albums and look at what musicians create. We make albums and yet radio requires singles [that] are three minutes and 30 seconds long, so there won't be another 'Stairway To Heaven' released as a single. The digital world makes it difficult to buy an album and easier to buy a single. We'll miss the new 'Bohemian Rhapsody'". Some might argue that any more than three minutes and thirty seconds of Blunt's warbling in any one sitting would be more than anyone should take, but we wouldn't.

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LILY ATTACKS BUSH/NICKY ATTACKS SNOW PATROL
So, it was the V Festival this weekend just gone, and from the file marked 'V ranting' comes the news that Lily Allen launched a torrent of abuse at America and US president George Bush during her performance at the pop fest. The 'Smile' star - apparently a "little drunk" - and a little pissed off that she's had visa issues with the good old US of A - apparently called Bush a "fuckin cunt" before saying: "I've been banned from America. That's nice. Oh well, that means I can't go back there. Good". All of which is interesting given the last official word from Allen's management earlier this month was that, despite reports, the singer hadn't had any visa issues in the States.

Elsewhere in V ranting, Nicky Wire reportedly declared that Snow Patrol were "the most hated band in Britain" on Saturday. Though he then seemingly went into complementary mode, singing the praises of Rilo Kiley to the NME, saying: "I've been banging on to James and Sean about them. When we did the second 'Lifeblood' tour I just played their album constantly, [frontwoman Jenny Lewis] is a brilliant lyricist - deeply sexual, deeply political, deeply odd!"

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OTHER V NEWS
More V news for you, and the news that Bright Eyes replacements Rodrigo Y Gabriela apparently set a V Festival record by playing four sets over the two legs of the festival. The Mexicans opened the mainstage at both Weston Park and Chelmsford before headlining the Virgin Mobile Stage on alternate dates to their opening slots, offering the V Festival crowd the opportunity to see them on both days.

Elsewhere, Mika was welcomed to the stage with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' by the crowd, and Foo Fighters played a surprise (well, surprise if you'd ignored the media reports that were circulating for the previous three days) acoustic set under the moniker 616. Following this, Grohl teased the crowd during their headline set by dedicating 'Learn To Fly' to "a band I used to drum for", before quipping "Juliette And The Licks! Man, I really blew that gig...."

For the celeb spotters, Peter Kay helped introduce Manchester re-formees James, Matt Lucas was seen on stage with the Foos, while Harry Potter's Rupert Grint was apparently looking on in reverence as Pink performed her set. Brilliant stuff, then.

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THE RAPTURE AND CO MAKE FOOTBALL SONGS
The Rapture and a host of other bands including OK Go, the Polyphonic Spree and Barenaked Ladies have contributed to a whole album of football-related songs. Yes, it's called football, not soccer. Recorded as a collaboration between Adidas and the MLS - America's Premier League - it sees bands recording theme songs for their local clubs. Available free on the Adidas website, the track-listing is as follows:

Akwid - ¡Chivas Explosivas! (Chivas USA)
Bad Brains - D.C. United (DC United)
Barenaked Ladies - TFC (Toronto FC)
Blackpool Lights - Ain't Nobody Gonna Stop Us Now (Kansas City Wizards)
Damone - Revolution (New England Revolution)
Mike Jones - Houston Dynamo (Don't Play) (Houston Dynamo)
Kinky - We Are the Galaxy (L.A. Galaxy)
Meg & Dia - The Mighty R-E-A-L (Real Salt Lake)
OK Go - Here Comes the Fire (Chicago Fire)
The Polyphonic Spree - H-O-O-P-S Yes! (FC Dallas)
The Rapture - Whoo! Alright, Yeah... Uh Huh (New York Red Bulls)
RJD2 - It's Your Crew (Columbus Crew)
Rose Hill Drive - Goal! (Colorado Rapids)

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RADIO ONE TURNS 40
BBC Radio One celebrates its 40th birthday this year and has announced that they will release a compilation to mark the occasion. The 40-track release is a covers fest, comprised of a song from each year of the station's existence covered by a variety of recent artists - as follows in fact...

Kaiser Chiefs - Flowers in the Rain [The Move; 1967]
The Fratellis - All Along the Watchtower [The Jimi Hendrix Experience; 1968]
Amy Winehouse - Cupid [Johnny Nash; 1969]
Robbie Williams - Lola [The Kinks; 1970]
The Streets - Your Song [Elton John; 1971]
Sugababes - Betcha by Golly Wow [The Stylistics; 1972]
The Feeling - You're So Vain [Carly Simon; 1973]
Foo Fighters - Band on the Run [Wings; 1974]
Kylie - Love Is the Drug [Roxy Music; 1975]
KT Tunstall - Let's Stick Together [Bryan Ferry; 1976]
Franz Ferdinand - Sound and Vision [David Bowie; 1977]
The Raconteurs - Teenage Kicks [The Undertones; 1978]
Mika - Can't Stand Losing You [The Police; 1979]
Kasabian - Too Much Too Young [The Specials; 1980]
Keane - Under Pressure [Queen & David Bowie; 1981]
McFly - Town Called Malice [The Jam; 1982]
James Morrison - Come Back and Stay [Paul Young; 1983]
The Gossip - Careless Whisper [George Michael; 1984]
The Pigeon Detectives - The Power of Love [Huey Lewis & the News; 1985]
Lily Allen - Don't Get Me Wrong [The Pretenders; 1986]
Stereophonics - You Sexy Thing [Hot Chocolate; 1987]
Mutya Buena - Fast Car [Tracy Chapman; 1988]
Editors - Lullaby [The Cure; 1989]
Razorlight - Englishman in New York [Sting; 1990]
Groove Armada - Crazy for You [Madonna; 1991]
Paolo Nutini - It Must Be Love [Madness; 1992]
The Kooks - All That She Wants [Ace of Base; 1993]
Mark Ronson - You're All I Need to Get By [Mary J. Blige; 1994]
Calvin Harris - Stillness in Time [Jamiroquai; 1995]
Klaxons - No Diggity [Blackstreet; 1996]
Just Jack - Lovefool [The Cardigans; 1997]
Natasha Bedingfield - Ray of Light [Madonna; 1998]
The Twang - Drinking in L.A. [Bran Van 3000; 1999]
The Fray - The Great Beyond [R.E.M.; 2000]
Girls Aloud - Teenage Dirtbag [Wheatus; 2001]
Maxïmo Park - Like I Love You [Justin Timberlake; 2002]
The View - Don't Look Back Into the Sun [The Libertines; 2003]
Hard-Fi - Toxic [Britney Spears; 2004]
The Enemy - Father & Son [Yusuf & Ronan Keating; 2005]
Corinne Bailey Rae - Steady As She Goes [The Raconteurs; 2006]

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CARL BARAT IN PRISON
No, he's not following his Arcadian chum Pete to Borstal, rather Carl Barat has got himself on the right side of the law by agreeing to play a special Bank Holiday gig in London's Pentonville Prison. Taking place on 27 Aug the gig with also feature The Enemy, and has been organised by a campaign called Wasted Youth that aims to highlight the rate of suicide amongst young inmates. It will be the first time (I presume) that Barat has visited the prison since he last visited four years ago when then fellow Libertine Doherty was an inmate.

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PERRY FARRELL PLAYS WITH 50 CENT
Jane's Addiction supremo Perry Farrell has hooked-up with 50 Cent and Kelly Rowland for collaborations on his new group Satellite Party's debut album 'Ultra Payloaded'. The flamboyant star will be releasing the album independently too, for the first time in his career, after clashing with record label Columbia over the environmental concerns that he expressed regarding the production of CDs.

He said: "What I wanted to do with Columbia, which they didn't agree to, was to be a completely digital artist. And the reason they didn't want to do it, if I could tell you the truth, is because they have an overhead and they really need to sell those CDs and they need to sell them at a certain cost. I had worked out a way that they could do it, but it wasn't good enough for them, so now I've gone independent. I just use Columbia for distribution. But next time I put out any music, it will be completely digital".

Farrell's stand marks the latest in a number of environmental projects from the singer after he made Lollapalooza carbon neutral this year. Indeed, Farrell claims that he sees this new band as something of a revolutionary project, saying: "I've set this up because I want to be touring with this project for ten years. By the end of the ten years, I'm expecting the world to change completely and we're going to celebrate".

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MERLIN ANNOUNCE BOARD
The new globally focused indie label digital rights body Merlin, which was initiated at MIDEM earlier this year, has been formally incorporated and its inaugural board has been announced. As expected, the elected board has fifteen members, five from North America, five from Europe and five from the rest of the world. The founding board members are as follows:

North America: Kevin Arnold, Founder and CEO IODA; Susan Ferris, Founder and CEO Long Live Crime Records; Bob Frank, President Koch Records; Tom Silverman, Chairman and CEO Tommy Boy Records; plus one Canadian representative still to be appointed.

Europe: Stephan Bourdoiseau, President Wagram Music, France; Michel Lambot, co-President PIAS Group, Belgium; Martin Mills, Chairman Beggars Group; Hein Van der Ree, Managing Director Epitaph Europe, Netherlands; Horst Weidenmueller, CEO !K7, Germany.

ROW: Mark Kneebone, President Tardus Music, New Zealand; Clive Hardwick, Director, BULA Music, South Africa; Takashi Kamide, Senior Adviser MS Entertainment, Japan; Yongge Shen, founder Zu Shu Entertainment, China; Eduardo Muszkat, president MCD Entertainment, Brazil.

These elected directors will work alongside the organisations two permanent directors - Worldwide Independent Network President Alison Wenham and the body's CEO Charles Caldas.

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NEW LOOK MUSIC WEEK
Music industry trade mag Music Week has had a bit of a revamp, with a new logo and page design revealed this week ahead of a website relaunch. The MusicWeek.com website will have all sorts of new things added on in the very near future - including an extended range of content, more in-depth data and greater functionality.

Commenting on the revamps, in print and online, Music Week publisher Ajax Scott told reporters: "This is the beginning of a new era for Music Week. We're not just refocusing what we do in print but in the coming weeks we will be transforming how we interact with our audience online. Music Week has always sat at the heart of the music business, and as that business goes through unprecedented change it is only natural that we should find new ways to provide services for readers right across the industry, from the smallest start-up to the largest corporation".

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BORRELL'S TROUSERS FOR SALE
Razorlight's Johnny Borrell has put his trademark white skinny jeans up for sale in a charity auction, where they are joined by a Noel Gallagher signed guitar and items from Kings of Leion, BRMC, Klaxons and Art Brut. The jeans, which have become as synonymous with Razorlight as Johnny's incredible self-belief, are set to go up for auction later this month in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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WEST WANTS TO SWEAT
In his latest genre-hopping journey, Kanye West has announced his intention to buck hip-hop convention and, shock horror, wear just the one outfit during his performance at the MTV VMAs next month. West is up for five awards and, on adopting one of rock's less glamorous ideas, said: "Whenever you see rock stars they just wear the same thing and it's all sweaty and then you see them the next day and they stink. That's the whole thing about being a rock star - you could wear the same outfit all week. So, I'm going to pick one extremely good outfit and just wear it the whole time. The party is going to be too crazy, I won't have time to change".

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JAY Z IS VERY RICH
Confirming a fact that most of us knew already, Forbes' Hip-Hop Cash Kings list has put Jay Z at the pinnacle, naming him the richest man in hip-hop, pulling in an estimated £17 million last year. 50 Cent, who is just set to release his new album, came a close second with £16 million, while Diddy followed with a meagre £14 million. Poor Diddy, perhaps we could have a whip round for him.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

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