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Top Stories
Former Wilco man dies
Rihanna appears in Kanye video
In The Pop Courts
TI will start 366 day prison sentence today
Drummer sues Billy Joel
Pop Politics
Manic Preacher reckons we’re all corrupt, speak for yourself Wire
McClure to speed debate tonight
Artist Deals
Notting Hill sign Ivor Novello nominated Hemming
Release News
New Proclaimers next month
Films N Shows News
Diddy to play label boss in Brand film
Gigs N Tours News
More Jacko speculation
East 17 Mortimer prepping for solo show
Get The Blessing
Festival News
Eleven die as fence collapses at Moroccan festival
Doherty to headline anti-racism fest
Album review: Florence & The Machine - Lungs (Island)
Brands N Stuff
Saturdays do all important hair-removal cream deal
The Music Business
Beggars to open LA office
Chrysalis doing better than expected
Scottish touring programme recruiting new venues
The Digital Business
Cold War Kids play interactive
The Media Business
Ross show to be pre-recorded
Former Chrysalis boss acquires eight Global stations
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Susan Boyle sings a song
May wants to work with non-American Idol
VV Brown disses telly talent shows
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Tiny Masters Of Today are punky indie brother-sister duo Ivan and Ada, who are fifteen and thirteen respectively. But this is no flash-in-the-pan teen act, indeed Artrocker once called these guys "the future of rock and roll". Following some early releases via UK indie Tiger Trap, the then very young New York siblings signed to EMI's Mute, releasing debut long player Bang Bang Boom Cake in 2007 with guest appearances from the likes of Karen O, Kimya Dawson and B52 Fred Schneider. Now with enough years between them to count as late twenties, they return with a brand new album, 'Skeletons', also via Mute, next week. Do check out the video to the title track at the YouTube link below, but not before you've read Ivan's answers to our SSQ.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Basically, we were bored. We didn't have a PlayStation, or any gaming system, so my friend and I were making noise with instruments in the basement. Ada marched down with two songs she had written and because she couldn't play anything she became the singer. The two songs were 'Bushy' and 'Pictures', which were on our last album. She was eight at the time. I was 10.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We had a lot of guest musicians on our last album but this time we did it all ourselves. It is a little more experimental than the last album. There are more different styles and sounds, but most of it is still only two or three chords. Ada wrote almost all the lyrics. The song 'Skeletons' is probably about actual skeletons living in her closet.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
I write all the music and Ada writes most of the words. We don't usually work together. Sometimes she will write to match the music and other times she will give me stuff she has written and we will match it up to the music and make it fit. We recorded a lot of the album at home using Garageband and then we took those tracks into the studio to record drums and overdubs.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We like a lot of different music. Ada's favorite band is Belle And Sebastian but you probably couldn't guess that from listening to us. I like hip hop and noise rock and The Beach Boys.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We aren't that ambitious really. We do this for fun. We like getting to travel and meet people. We would like to keep doing it so it would be good if lots of people bought the records.

MORE>> and

The pitch from the PR was just too good to resist a listen to the latest offering from this existing CMU favourite: "ex-Gus Gus member has a new single called 'Kongulo' - which means 'spider' in Icelandic - about the skyscraper-climbing Frenchman, Alain Robert". Breathy, almost expectedly sweet vocals tell the tale, with dreamy, awestruck lyrics about how he'd "rather swing from the cable than sit by the table and eat cake", while the musical accompaniment could soundtrack Hawaii's hula dancers if they replaced the short burst of organ in the middle with a steel drum solo. That 'Kongulo' is about as euphonic as words get, particularly when pronounced by Hafdis, helps when it comes to the chorus of "watch out, here comes the Kongulo", which is delivered in homage to the classic 'Spiderman' theme tune. And though it's by no means anthemic, there's a summer 'anthem' in the making here.



The former Wilco member who sued the band's main man Jeff Tweedy earlier this month over a royalties dispute has suddenly died of unspecified causes, aged 45. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jay Bennett died at his Urbana, Illinois home on early Sunday morning, seemingly in his sleep, and an autopsy is being performed to ascertain cause of death.

A posting on the website of the Undertow Music Collective, Bennett most recent label, said simply: "We are profoundly saddened to report that our friend died in his sleep ... Jay was a beautiful human being who will be missed".

Tweedy, currently touring with Wilco in Spain, issued this statement yesterday: "We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him - as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band's songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time".

Multi-instrumentalist Bennett joined Wilco in 1994 and wrote for and appeared on three of the band's albums, 1996's 'Being There', 1999's 'Summerteeth' and 2002's 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot', as well as taking part in the band's Woody Guthrie celebrating Billy Bragg collaborations, 'Mermaid Avenue' and 'Mermaid Avenue 2'.

He quit the band in 2001 after a falling out with Tweedy, a falling out which was closely documented because the band were participating in the recording of a documentary film at the time of the split. It was partly royalties relating to that film that Bennett claimed he was still owed earlier this month. At the time it was revealed that the musician needed the allegedly unpaid Wilco royalties to help fund a hip replacement operation, which with hindsight may have been an indication of general ill-health.

As well as his work with Wilco, Bennett recorded three albums in the nineties with his own band Titanic Love Affair, and more recently released four solo albums and appeared as a session musician on tracks by other artists, most notably Sheryl Crow. He was working on his fifth solo album at the time of his death. It is not clear what Bennett's death means for the litigation he launched against Tweedy.

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Rihanna makes a guest appearance in a new pop promo to accompany Kanye West track 'Paranoid', a song off his album '808s & Heartbreak', one version of which includes guest vocals from the R&B singer. Although Rihanna isn't seen singing in the video, she does appear prominently.

This is news, of course, because it's the first major public appearance of the singer since her much reported altercation with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown ahead of this year's Grammys which left her unconscious and him facing charges of assault.

The black and white video was filmed in Hawaii and apparently features Rihanna driving around late at night, with "messages" of "betrayal" and "traumatic delusions" somehow intertwined into it. It was previewed by LA Reid, the boss of West's label Def Jam, last week and will be properly released with a new version of the track later this summer.

At the time of Brown's alleged assault on Rihanna, West was one of the artists to quickly voice his support for the injured singer, telling reporters: "That's my [metaphorical] baby sister and I will do any and everything to help her in any situation".

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Rapper TI is due to report to prison today after failing to get his long anticipated prison sentence further delayed. The hip hop man's legal people last week tried to get a further ten day delay in a bid to secure their man a cell in a prison nearer his home in Atlanta. But a US judge ruled on Friday that TI, real name Clifford Harris, must report to prison in Forrest City, Arkansas today, as originally planned.

As previously reported, TI was sentenced to a year in jail back in March after pleading guilty to two charges of illegally possessing firearms and of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, both relating to an incident in October 2007 when the rapper was found trying to buy unlicensed machine guns and silencers.

Those who think Harris has already got a rather good deal thanks to his expensive lawyers and celebrity status - the standard sentence for his crime is at least five years - will be pleased to here that is seems those reports from last week that the rapper's sentence had been further reduced to just two months are not true.

As previously reported, there were reports widely circulating on the net last week that because TI has already spent 305 days under 'home detention', some of it prior to his trial in March, those days would be credited against his prison sentence meaning he could be out of jail by July. However, it seems there has been some confusion between his prison time and a separate part of his sentence ordering home detention. It is true that, having been under 'home detention' for 305 days, TI only has to spend a further two months living under curfew, but that is separate from the prison sentence. The two remaining months of home detention will come once he is out of jail.

Prison time, though, remains unchanged at a year and a day, though he could get two months shaved off that for good behaviour once inside. As previously reported, TI got favourable treatment as part of a plea bargain which included some high profile community service warning young people off guns and crime, some of which was seen via an MTV series.

Confirming that the one year one day sentence still stood, TI told a celeb-filled audience at a special gig held in Atlanta this weekend to mark the start of his prison time: "I'm going to stand up tall, head up high. What I need y'all to do is pray for me while I'm gone. I'll see y'all in 366 days".

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Billy Joel is the latest music star to face a royalties lawsuit. He is being sued by his former drummer who claims he is owed royalties relating to his last ten years working with the singer songwriter.

Liberty DeVitto worked with Joel for some thirty years before being kicked out of the band in 2005. The drummer says his dismissal came as a shock, and was possibly caused by his involvement in an intervention in which Joel was challenged about his various addictions. Joel checked into rehab later that year.

DeVitto is clearly bitter, though he claims the lawsuit relates to straight royalty commitments that Joel and his label Sony have failed to fulfil. He is suing to get access to accounts of Joel's record sales, and for any cut of profits he is due.

Confirming the litigation, DeVitto told the New York Post: "Everybody always assumes that you make a lot of money because you worked with Billy Joel. It didn't happen that way. People get fired, they get severance or insurance for a certain period of time. I didn't even get a phone call. It was cold".

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As Andy Burnham, the MP perhaps most associated with the music business because of his job as Culture Minister, came under fire in the Daily Telegraph's ongoing MP expenses story, one musician, Manic Street Preacher Nicky Wire, cautioned against obsessing too much about politicians' questionable expense claims, remarked: "if we were all placed under the same scrutiny as politicians, I reckon we'd all be out of a job, I really do, because we're all corrupt".

Burnham is one of the latest MPs to be featured in the Telegraph's review of politicians' expenses, and has been criticised for some property arrangements that possibly enabled him to dodge a six grand tax bill. That said, the criticism of Burnham is less clear cut than that levelled against many of his parliamentary colleagues, as it relates to a complicated property windfall which changed in status from income to expenses, reducing tax liabilities, as it went through the parliamentary fees system, rather than simple lavish expense claims or the dodgy practice of 'flipping' second home assignment to boost the tax-payers' mortgage contributions. Only really a tax accountant could say whether Burnham acted unethically or not.

Anyway, back to Wire, who was talking about his band's reputation for politically charged lyrics in an interview with Absolute Radio. Asked if the recent MPs expenses scandal had left him disillusioned about Britain's political system, Wire said: "Personally, I'm not disillusioned with politics. I enjoy politics. I still think it gets a lot of things done".

He also encouraged other bands who participate in political campaigns to bring their politics into their music. Wire: "There's a lot of musicians who seem to act politically, and you listen to their music and think, 'Well, why don't you actually write about it?'".

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Talking of pop stars being political, Jon McClure of Reverend And The Makers will take part in a 'speed debate' at the Boogaloo pub in Highgate tonight, alongside human rights advocate Bianca Jagger and London Minister Karen Buck, as part of the Instigate Debate project. This is the previously reported venture encouraging involvement in politics supported by music types like Carl Barat and Babyshambles' Drew McConnell. McClure, Barat, McConnell and guest Baaba Maal will all perform after tonight's debate. More at

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Nick Hemming, the unsigned songwriter who caught the headlines by earning himself a nomination at this year's Ivor Novello Awards, has signed a two year publishing deal with Notting Hill Music. The deal means Hemming will be able to give up his day job and concentrate on his music full time.

As previously reported, Hemming was nominated in the Best Song Musically And Lyrically category for his song 'The Last Of The Melting Snow', which his band Leisure Society self-released late last year. Although he lost out to Elbow at the awards show itself, he confirmed to Billboard last week: "I signed with Notting Hill Music last weekend, so that's exciting. It's my last day at work [on Friday] at a warehouse in Wimbledon. I'm a full-time musician as of Monday".

The band, however, remain unsigned, with Hemming admitting they are cautious about doing a label deal, preferring to release via their own Willkommen Records, though conceding they will probably sign up to a bigger record company eventually. Hemming: "There are a few labels who are interested but we haven't signed anything yet. We're holding out a little bit - we're scared of signing our rights away because we've been doing it on our own for so long. But I think we probably will do eventually".

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Those Proclaimers will return next month with a brand new single and album. The single is called 'Love Can Move Mountains' and is out on 8 Jun, while the album, 'Notes & Rhymes', is out on 15 Jun, both via Universal imprint W14 Music.

There'll be lots of gigging from the Proclaimer boys too, in both the UK and Canada, through to the end of the year. Dates at

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P Diddy whatnot is due to appear as an "eccentric record label boss" in the new movie 'Get Him To The Greek', a spin off from 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' in which Russell Brand will reprise his role as rock star Aldous Snow. Diddy has told MTV that he plans to use many of the label bosses he has personally known, including Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, Jimmy Iovine, LA Reid and David Geffen, as an inspiration for his characterisation. Should be interesting.

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There's been more speculation that the upcoming Michael Jackson residency at The O2 is turning into a shambles. Following last week's announcement that the first four dates of the residency will be postponed, three of them into 2010, one of those sources has told the Daily Mail that the official reason for the delay - that more time was needed to make the ambitious spectacle of a show that has been planned a reality - isn't true. The problem, they claim, is Jackson himself, who is consistently failing to show up at rehearsals.

The source says: "The suggestion that they need more time to set up the show in London is a joke. I think the fans who have already bought tickets should hold their breath and cross their fingers, because there is no guarantee any of this is actually going to happen. There is a possibility that this will still happen, but it is up to him to get his act together. Michael has only been to two days of rehearsals for the show. His dancers have been working on it every single day for 45 days at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, but Michael has been nowhere to be found".

But not everyone is predicting doom and gloom for the Jacko comeback. 50 Cent, presumably asked by a passing reporter what he thought about the postponed Jacko dates (he was speaking at the Cannes Film Festival), said that he reckoned the delays in starting The O2 residency were just the result of Jackson's characteristic perfectionism, something he'd be willing to forgive because of Jacko's legacy. Fiddy told reporters: "Michael Jackson is such a perfectionist, you know? He is the King Of Pop. Until someone tops 'Thriller' he's going to have that, and the odds are it ain't gonna happen no time soon".

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Former East 17 man Tony Mortimer has said he is "nervous but excited" about his comeback gig this week. Mortimer will be performing a charity solo show in London later this week, his first live performance since the one-off East 17 reunion three years ago.

Speaking to Digital Spy, he said: "It's a big deal for me as I've only performed once in the past ten years. We've been rehearsing a lot for it and I'm still nervous but excited to get back out there. I'm going to be singing our classic songs like 'House Of Love', 'Thunder' and 'Around The World', because I think that is what my fans will want to hear".

On the motivation to start performing solo, he continued: "It's really exciting to get back out on the road. I don't really want to stop gigging now. Although the East 17 comeback didn't work out, the outcome was positive as it really got me back in the mood for going out and performing again".

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Bristol-based BBC Jazz Award winning Get The Blessing launch their new album 'Bugs In Amber' this week at a special night at Cargo in Shoreditch held in association with the brilliant Flomotion, the radio show hosted by former Xfm presenter Nick Luscombe on London station Resonance each Friday night (you can also tune in at The new GTB long player is the follow up to the quartet's debut 'All Is Yes', which won the public voted Best Album prize at last year's Jazz Awards. The launch party takes place on Thursday, 28 May, with support from Ernesto and the aforementioned Luscombe.

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At least eleven people were killed and forty more injured when a fence collapsed at a music festival in Morocco this weekend. Kylie Minogue, Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys were among the artists who played the Mawazine festival in capital city Rabat.

According to Reuters, the fence collapsed at the city's Hay Nahda stadium as the festival was closing and crowds rushed to leave the venue. Some festival-goers have blamed police who, they allege, closed some exits as the festival ended, forcing audience members to use unsafe routes to leave the stadium. However, authorities have said all official gates were open, and it was fans who chose to exit by unofficial routes in a bid to beat the queues.

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I'm still finding it hard to get used to the fact we now live in an age where, when Pete Doherty is announced as the headliner of a festival, it's more than likely he'll actually show up. Yes, Doherty will headline the previously reported Love Music Hate Racism festival being staged in Stoke On Trent this coming weekend. The one day event takes place on Saturday at Stoke's Britannia Stadium and also includes performances from Kelly Rowland, Reverend And The Makers, Specials star Jerry Dammers and Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell's side-project Helsinki. Tickets are fifteen quid - more at

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ALBUM REVIEW: Florence & The Machine - Lungs (Universal/Island)
Florence Welch's first album has a lot of hype to live up to. Selling out shows and wowing critics - including those that doled out the Critics Choice BRIT Award 2009 - Flo has already received more than her fair share of praise, but for good reason. 'Lungs' is, in one word, epic. Like a blink through the looking glass, Florence & The Machine's debut LP is a gaze into the wonderful world of Flo and all its crazy, colourfully imaginative glory. From the familiar but excellent singles 'Dog Days Are Over' and 'Kiss With a Fist', to brand new tracks like the breathtaking 'Howl' and the violently addictive 'My Boy Builds Coffins', 'Lungs' is like a walk in the secret garden - everything is just a little bit different, a little bit peculiar, and, each time played, it's extraordinary. Filled with the sounds we've come to love her for - harps, guitars, rattling and intense percussion - plus a few more hidden gems, Florence - and her Machine - have fine-tuned themselves and have met, and perhaps surpassed, all critical expectations. 'Lungs' is not only a perfect soundtrack for the summer, it's a perfect soundtrack for the year. TW
Release Date: 6 Jul
Press Contact: Darling Department [all]

Buy from iTunes
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Say what you like about The Saturdays, but the girl group is providing a textbook case study for the exploitation of pop celebrity in the brand partnership domain. The latest Saturdays brand endorsement deal sees the girls endorsing hair-removal cream. Yes, if you've always longed to have legs as smooth as the Saturday girls, then look no further than the Veet brand of hair-removal products.

Confirming they would be fronting an ad campaign for Veet, Saturday girl Una Healy told reporters: "We all like to look after ourselves and we are often wearing little dresses and shorts for shoots, videos and live performances so we have to make sure our legs look their best".

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London-based indie Beggars has announced it will open an LA office in July, to support its existing US operation in New York. The Beggars Group, which includes the XL, 4AD, Matador and Rough Trade labels, already has offices across Europe and in Canada. The indie's Senior Product Manager Miwa Okumura will be promoted to Senior VP West Coast Operations & Licensing and will head up the new LA office. London-based XL exec Seb Webber will also move out to LA to head up A&R operations out West.

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London-based independent music publisher Chrysalis posted losses of £2.6 million for the six months ending 31 Mar, which is down from a loss of £13.1 million in the same period a year earlier, and better than expected.

Bosses at the music company said that they were now quite optimistic about the rest of this financial year, with songwriters like Bat For Lashes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs expected to deliver well this year, and the firm's CD and DVD distribution company benefiting from the downfall for their large Woolworths-owned rival eUK.

Chrysalis boss Jeremy Lascelles said in a statement: "I am very pleased that we have managed to emerge from a very difficult period last year in such strong shape, which I attribute to some very good A&R decisions in the signing of artists like White Lies, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Mastodon and Laura Marling, and the steps we took to streamline the business and concentrate on our core strengths. The continuing robust performance of our catalogue confirms our belief that the value of strong intellectual property is holding up in the difficult current economic environment".

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Organisers of the Scottish Arts Council funded Tune Up project, which aims to enable new and established, local and international artists to truly play every corner of Scotland, and in particular off the beaten track towns, is inviting local promoters and venues interested in hosting gigs during its 2009/2010 season to get in touch.

The current Tune Up tour features James Yorkston & Lisa Knapp, Going Across The Sea, De Rosa and The Hebrides Ensemble and touches down in both bigger Scottish cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, but also in less obvious locations like Peebles, Langholm, Ayr, Stornoway and Ullapool - details at

But plans are already underway for the next season, and any Scottish promoters and venues, whatever their size, are invited to sign up to receive information about how they might participate. To do so fill out the form at

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So, this is fun, the MTV website is hosting a rather natty new interactive video from those Cold War Kids which lets you decide what instruments each band member plays (so that the bass line can be played on guitar, keys or double bass, percussion on drums, drum machine or maracas), or you can choose to have one or more band member sit the song out, so you get just vocals and drums or whatnot. On one level kind of pointless, on another level rather addictive. The song their playing is 'I've Seen Enough' from last year's album 'Loyalty To Loyalty'. Go play.

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Jonathan Ross's Radio 2 show is to be pre-recorded from now on after various post-Sachsgate complaints about comments made by the presenter on his Saturday morning radio show.

Although the remarks that garnered the recent complaints were relatively minor, the Beeb is still very nervous about offending listeners, especially when Ross, who some feel should have been fired over the Andrew Sachs phone calls he participated in on Russell Brand's Radio 2 show last year, is involved.

Of course the infamous Sachsgate edition of Brand's radio show was actually pre-recorded, so I'm not sure making Ross's own show a pre-record gives 100% guarantees nothing will go wrong, though presumably Radio 2 hopes it now has enough checks in place to stop inappropriate pre-recorded content from getting to air.

There were reports that Ross was unhappy with the decision to ban him from live broadcasting on Radio 2, but a spokesman for the station denied those rumours, telling reporters: "Both Radio 2 and Jonathan are all very happy with the plan as we've been discussing the matter for many weeks". Station bosses added that by recording the show on a Friday rather than a Saturday morning they should be able to secure higher profile guests who many not be willing to do an early(ish) start at the weekend.

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A consortium led by the former boss of Chrysalis Radio has bought eight radio stations off Global Radio, all in the Midlands. The mega-radio firm, which originally entered the UK radio market by acquiring Chrysalis' radio business, was forced to sell some of its stations in that region following its acquisition of GCap, because by combining the two radio firms' Midlands stations Global was deemed by competition officials to be too dominant in that region.

Phil Riley's bid for the eight stations was backed by the private equity division of Lloyds TSB (called LDC), and a deal was done last week after earlier talks between Global and rivals Bauer Media fell through. The eight stations Riley acquires are FM pop stations BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon, three accompanying AM Gold services, and the East Midlands outpost of the Heart franchise, which has been operating as a Heart station since 2005. The latter will continue to operate as part of the Heart network, under licence from Global, but managed by Riley's company.

Confirming his purchase, Riley told reporters: "We are delighted to be taking ownership of these stations. I have a real passion for radio in the Midlands as someone who has spent most of his working life in the region, and LDC are perfect partners given their Birmingham base. These stations represent a fantastic opportunity for growth and we can't wait to start working with the teams there".

Global boss Ashley Tabor added: "We are delighted to have concluded this deal with LDC and Phil Riley, who will be great owners of these fantastic stations. We are pleased that the Heart brand remains on air in the East Midlands, where audience numbers are going from strength to strength".

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So, Mr Dizzee Rascal goes to the top of the singles chart this week with his Armand Van Helden-produced track 'Bonkers', which pushes last week's chart topper from those Black Eyed Peas right back into second place. It's bonkers I tell you. The previous number one from Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz, called 'Number One' of course, is now at number three, and yet the world somehow continues to function.

New entries-wise you have that Daniel Merriweather chap at five with 'Red', Alexander Ryback with 'Fairytale' at 10, Paolo Nutini with 'Candy' at 19 and Star Pilots with 'In The Heat Of The Night' at 21, while Kanye/Keri/Ne-Yo, Jade Ewen, Katy Perry and Empire Of The Sun all move into the Top 40 this week from previous positions lower down the chart.

Albums-wise, and no surprise that Eminem pushed Green Day into second place with comeback album 'Relapse'. The Manics quickly follow with a new entry in the form of 'Journal For Plague Lovers' at three. Madness are bringing liberty to Norton Falgate at number five, and with CMU HQ just next to the Falgate, can we just say, thank God for that. Jazzy songstress and music therapy advocate Melody Gardot arrives at number 12 with 'My One And Only Thrill', and there are new entries elsewhere from Jarvis Cocker at 19, Tori Amos at 20, Katharine Jenkins at 36 and Steve Earle at 37. Hurrah.

The charts are compiled, using an HB pencil and a Pritt Stick, by the Official Charts Company.

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So, Susan Boyle sang a song and 14 million people tuned in and the audience went crazy and Piers Morgan praised her for bringing hope to a recession-riddled nation and Andrew Lloyd Webber earned a few quid thanks to her decision to give us another showtune in the form of 'Memory' from that most tedious of West End musicals, 'Cats'.

Having been voted by the judges into the semi-finals, Boyle was quickly voted by the great British public onto the final of the talent fest which, I think, takes place next weekend. The show's producers remain insistent Boyle isn't a complete cert to win next week's final, though it seems unlikely anyone else can count on quite the same level of automatic public support once the phone vote begins.

If I was Cowell, I'd get 'Susan's Showtunes' and 'Boyle Does The Blues' out this side of the summer, before people find other reasons to cheer up and start to forget about this particular YouTube sensation. If he's lucky he might get a Christmas album out of her before the bubble bursts. Though given her popularity Stateside, a Vegas season might have more longevity.

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Talking of talent shows, it was the final of the latest series of 'American Idol' last week, and the winner was a bit of a surprise it seems - with Kris Allen beating favourite Adam Lambert to take the overall Idol crown.

Lambert was robbed, if Teri CMU is to be believed, but, of course, winning these shows isn't necessarily all that important in terms of pursuing a successful career. And it seems Lambert has some fans in high places.

Gene Simmons has reportedly offered the non-Idol a slot on the next Kiss tour, while Brian May, who performed with Lambert on the final of the talent show, has also said he'd like to work with him again, though, despite rumours, he has not suggested the Idol-wannabe fill the now vacant post of Queen frontman.

May told Rolling Stone: "It's not like we, as Queen, would rush into coalescing with another singer just like that. It isn't that easy. But I'd certainly like to work with Adam. That is one amazing instrument he has there".

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But, hey, what are we doing giving over CMU Daily space to these pointless talent shows which only have a negative effect of the music business? Well, that's what VV Brown would say, anyway. Commenting on 'Britain's Got Talent' and the Boyle phenomenon, Brown told Metro: "I think these reality TV contests are slightly ruining music. They're making quick fix positions where people just invest in a moment rather than an artist's career which has a lot more depth". She's not entirely wrong, you know.

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