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CMU Info
Top Stories
Britney ex not concerned by latest child abuse claims
IE boss says DEA is "laughable and unworkable"
In The Pop Courts
Bez released from prison
Awards & Contests
MOBO nominations announced
Jay-Z leads bet hip hop award nominations
Festival awards date set
Reunions & Splits
Freebass split acrimoniously ahead of album release
Release News
Squarepusher reveals more album details
Mushroomhead announce new album
Gigs & Tours News
Bellamy says Muse may move back to smaller venues
Ou Est's Haddon tribute announced
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Brands & Stuff
JLS launch condom range
The Music Business
HMV sales down - blame the football, I say
EMI comms chief stands down
IODA enter into partnership with social media stats people
Celador buy two Bristol stations
And finally...
Quincy Jones: Jackson fired me

So, I'm writing this to you live from Cardiff. In fact, I've written this in Welsh, though most of you don't speak it, so I suspect the guys back in London might translate it back into English. I'm here running two of our seminars as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Welsh Music Foundation, which are taking place at the Wales Millennium Centre. It's all rather exciting, and if you're anywhere near here I'd definitely suggest checking out the website and strolling along to join us; everything is free I should add. More info is online here: wmfis10.com. Meanwhile, for the first time in a while, let's do a music business week recap shall we?

01: Terra Firma and Citigroup got ready for court. There was reportedly one last pre-court meeting between the EMI owners and the bank who advised them ahead of their acquisition of the music company back in 2007, though no one expected it to achieve much. It clearly didn't. Terra Firma is suing Citigroup over allegations the bank provided rubbish advice ahead of the equity group's EMI takeover. Subsequently this week, Citi asked the New York courts to throw Terra Firma's case out, while Terra Firma, strangely, suggested they shouldn't. We could get a decision on that later today. CMU reports | Guardian report

02: EMI chief Roger Faxon memoed his grand plan. While all that squabbling was going on outside the New York courts, back at EMI HQ newish top man Roger Faxon sent out a memo to staff outlining his plan for rescuing the faltering music major. His plans involve undoing some of key changes made to EMI's recordings division by Terra Firma when they first took charge, and parting company with a number of the star execs former EMI Music boss Elio Leoni-Sceti put in place, including head A&R man Nick Gatfield. Some Terra Firma changes will remain, however. Remains to be seen if Faxon's grand plan works. CMU report | The full memo on Billboard

03: Jeremy Fabinyi departed PRS. Although most recently Executive Director Licensing, Fabinyi stood in as CEO of the collecting society after previous top man Steve Porter departed somewhat suddenly last year. He will continue to advise the society, so that's alright then. He won't be directly replaced. CMU report | PRS press release

04: There were more Google Tunes rumours, as there are most weeks at the moment. The search for someone to run Google's planned digital music platform continues, though this week Topspin boss Ian Rogers confirmed he wasn't interested in the gig. Some had speculated he might be headhunted by the web giant because of his experience doing musical things at AOL and Yahoo! Elsewhere, there was chatter that Google is in licensing talks with all four of the majors, and some gossip Warner had basically signed on the dotted line. CMU reports | Tech Radar report

05: Simon Cowell talked about leaving 'X-Factor', saying the ITV show would have to move to accommodate his new 'X-Factor USA' project - he also pondered on whether Britain still wanted its annual bout of 'X'. Really, he was trying to strengthen his hand in contract renegotiations with the third channel broadcaster. Although Cowell seemed rather blasé about whether 'X-Factor UK' continued, presumably his Sony-backed company SyCo could do with maintaining the franchise a little longer. Elsewhere, ITV insiders said bosses there were considering possible replacements for their 'Cowell makes shit famous' show. CMU report | Radio 1 report

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU Daily
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: 718 Sessions at Santos Party House
I'm in New York this week, and so is the club tip. Okay, to a mainly UK-based readership, I'm probably not giving you much notice on this, but it's not happening until Sunday and I reckon it's one worth making the effort for. Book Monday off, get on a plane, we'll all hang out, it'll be fun. If you're in New York already, you really have no excuse, because this edition of the 718 Sessions is the launch party for the new compilation from the night's founder, Danny Krivit.

If you're not familiar with Mr K, here's a quick crash course. He's basically a man who has lived through the entire history of modern dance music. Starting out DJing at a young age in his father's New York clubs, he was there are the beginning of disco, and later ushered house in, too. As a producer, he's known as the 'king of the edit', which why the release of 'Edits By Mr K Vol 2' (the sequel to the 2003 original) is such a big deal. Expect to hear a few of these re-works spun out. Should be kicking off.

Sunday Sep 12, Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street, Ground Floor South, New York, NY 10013, USA, 6pm til late, $5 before 7pm, $12 with flyer, $20 otherwise, more info from www.santospartyhouse.com/event/index/id/1817

Kudos Records Limited is an independent physical and digital distribution company based in Kentish Town, London. Due to expansion, we now require an in-house press and PR officer.

The successful candidate will develop and maintain a media database of key influencers, provide proactive marketing support to a selection of our distributed labels and help us develop innovative tools to enable our labels to successfully market their releases.

Applicants should be well versed in both social networking as well as traditional marketing techniques, have that rare combination of enthusiasm and tenacity, without being pushy, and, perhaps most important of all, have a genuine passion of the music we distribute.

Initial salary will be based on experience. We also offer a performance related bonus scheme. Application by email only to pressoffice@kudosrecords.co.uk. Please attach a copy of your CV.
CMU is looking for a full time (Mon-Fri 10.30am-4pm) intern to assist with editorial tasks at its Shoreditch-based HQ.

Working closely with the Editor, the intern will manage the reviews database, input content into the CMU content management system, prepare photos for email bulletins, and assist with other editorial tasks. There will also be opportunities to write, including artist biogs and reviews.

Some writing experience and a passion for music are a must, while any admin, CMS and/or Photoshop experience will also be useful. Although unpaid, this internship role will provide excellent hands-on experience and some formal training. Zone Two travel will be covered. The post runs from one month minimum to three months maximum. Immediate start available.

Send your CV and two recent examples of your writing to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk, indicating how soon you could start and how long you would like your internship to last.
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A legal rep for Britney Spears' ex-husband and baby-father, Kevin Federline, has spoken out against the child abuse allegations made against the pop star by a former bodyguard.

As previously reported, Fernando Flores this week sued his former employer Spears for sexual harassment and also made various allegations about the singer mistreating her and Federline's two sons. It's not the first time Flores has made the claims, and last time round Los Angeles Department Of Children And Family Services investigated and ruled that there was "absolutely no truth" in the former bodyguard's allegations.

Federline's attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told the Associated Press yesterday that Flores' accusations had been looking into before and "warranted no action". He said his client obviously took any allegations of this kind seriously, but that he was "satisfied that these allegations are a product of economic motives - they are as baseless as they seem".

Noting that Flores' lawsuit was leaked online before being filed with the court - suggesting the former bodyguard is really pushing for an out of court cash settlement from Planet Spears - Kaplan added: "I think that the timing of this and the nature of the allegations speak for themselves".

A statement on Spears' official website reads: "This lawsuit is another unfortunate situation where someone is trying to take advantage of the Spears family and make a name for himself. The Department Of Children And Family Services conducted a proper investigation surrounding Mr Flores' accusations and have closed the case without any further action. Ms Spears and her attorneys have every expectation that this matter will be dismissed by the courts".

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ie:music's Tim Smith, best known for managing a certain Robbie Williams, was pretty clear about his expectations for the Digital Economy Act and the three-strikes anti-piracy system it will introduce at Popkomm yesterday.

According to Billboard, he told the German music business convention: "[The DEA] is laughable and unworkable. It allows ISPs to sit on their hands for longer, knowing they are off the hook. The truth is digital technology has driven a panzer division through copyright law. If 70% of the population are ignoring a law, it's no longer a law - we have to figure out a new way of working with copyright".

Although some managers have been advocates of new laws to force internet service providers to tackle piracy - U2 manager Paul McGuinness, in particular - the British management community in general does seem a bit lukewarm towards the copyright provisions in the Digital Economy Act, the lobbying for which was mainly driven by the labels and publishers. Though there is some divide as to whether the solution is a better legislative framework or just accepting the file-sharing battle is one that can't be won and finding new ways to drive music revenues.

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Bez has been released from prison early, after serving two weeks of a one month sentence.

As previously reported, the jail sentence related to the assault conviction dished out earlier this month after an altercation between him and the mother of his two year old son back in May. He would have got away with community service and a fine, but when magistrate Marie Cash passed her initial sentence Bez, real name Mark Berry, said he wouldn't do it, telling her: "I'm not doing it. Bothered? I'm going to appeal and take this to a real court".

Unfortunately for Bez, it turned out that he was actually in a real court, and was sent straight to prison. Still, it got him out of doing the community service.

Leaving HMP Strangeways in Manchester yesterday, Bez was asked if he was glad to be out. He responded with what I believe could be called an air of irritable sarcasm: "No, I wish I was still in there".

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The nominations for this year's MOBO Awards have been announced, with Tinie Tempah leading the pack, which is good going for someone who's only released two singles thus far. He's up for Best Newcomer, Best UK Act, Best Video and Best Song. N-Dubz follow close behind with three nominations.

Announcing the nominations, MOBO head Kanya King said: "I am very proud of the level of talent in the UK today and extremely pleased with the dominance of MOBO music artists in the charts both here and in the US, what a massive change compared to when we started fifteen years ago".

The ceremony will take place in Liverpool on 20 Oct, following a MOBO tour headlined by Skepta, with Aggro Santos, Scorcher and Mz Bratt.

Here are the nominations in full:

Best Newcomer: Tinie Tempah, Professor Green, Scorcher, Labrinth, Devlin

Best UK Act: Tinie Tempah, Jay Sean, Tinchy Stryder, Taio Cruz, Chipmunk, N-Dubz, Giggs, JLS, Roll Deep, MIA, Dizzee Rascal, Alexandra Burke, Sade, Plan B, Leona Lewis

Best Song: Taio Cruz feat Ke$ha - Dirty Picture, Tinie Tempah - Pass Out, N-Dubz feat Mr Hudson - Playing With Fire, Mark Ronson & The Business INTL feat Q-Tip & MNDR - Bang, Bang, Bang, Professor Green feat Ed Drewett - I Need You Tonight

Best UK R&B/Soul: Sade, Natalie Williams, Corinne Bailey Rae, McLean, Plan B

Best UK Hip Hop/Grime: Giggs, Professor Green, Skepta, Akala, Wiley

Best International Act: Drake, Alicia Keys, Jay Z, Rihanna, Eminem, Janelle Monae, Black Eyed Peas, Nicki Minaj, Ne-Yo, Usher, Beyonce, Jason Derulo, Lil Wayne, Travie McCoy, Trey Songz

Best Reggae: Damian Marley, Mavado, Gyptian, Vybz Kartel, Gappy Ranks

Best Album: Plan B - The Defamation Of Strickland Banks, JLS - JLS, N-Dubz - Against All Odds, Chipmunk - I Am Chipmunk, Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N Cheek

Best Video: Mark Ronson & The Business INTL feat Q-Tip & MNDR - Bang, Bang, Bang, Tinie Tempah feat Labrinth - Frisky, Tinchy Stryder - You're Not Alone, Alesha Dixon - Drummer Boy, Dizzee Rascal - Dirtee Disco

Best African Act: K'Naan, P-Square, Hip Hop Pantsula, JJC, Banky W, Concha Buika, Mulatu Astatke, Wanlov The Kubolor, Angélique Kidjo, M3NSA, Yuri Da Cunha, Tinny, Waldemar Bastos, Staff Benda Bilili, BLK JKS

Best Gospel Act: Faith Child, Guvna B, Rachel Kerr, Jake Isaac, Beverley Trotman

Best Jazz Act: Robert Glasper, Brad Mehldau, Empirical, Phronesis, John McLaughlin

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That Jay-Z bloke has picked up eleven nominations in this year's BET Hip Hop Awards, which is a lot, isn't it? He's up for Lyricist Of The Year, Best Live Performer, CD Of The Year, Track Of The Year, Best Hip Hop Video and Perfect Combo (for his collaboration with Alicia Keys), as well as some others.

Also up in the Lyricist Of The Year, are Eminem, Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj. Those latter two are Jay's closest contenders in the awards as a whole, Drake having scored eight nominations, and Minaj six. Though two of Minaj's are Rookie Of The Year and Hustler Of The Year, which sound made up to me.

The ceremony will take place on 12 Oct.

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Organisers of the UK Festival Awards & Conference have confirmed that the event will once again take place at the IndigO2 venue in the O2 Dome on 18 Nov.

Topics for debate at the conference bit include how to make festivals profitable, the challenge of taking sponsorship without selling out, tackling on-site crime and the pros and cons of unticketed large-scale music events.

Meanwhile, on the awards side a long list of categories have been announced and festival people can nominated themselves in the relevant bits right now at this URL: uk.festivalawards.com/ukfa/index.cfm/apply/.

Newly appointed Managing Director of Festival Awards Ltd, James Drury told CMU: "Despite the unsteady economy, the festival industry has continued to be successful, which just goes to show how much of a crucial part of the British calendar these events now are, and the skill and commitment of the people working on them. The Festival Awards are all about recognising the hard work which goes into producing such an incredible summer for hundreds of festival-goers and celebrating another year of achievements".

More info available here: www.festivalawards.com

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Freebass, the collaboration between Manchester bassists Peter Hook, Mani, Andy Rourke and lesser known vocalist Gary Briggs, has split just under two weeks before the release of their debut album, 'It's A Beautiful Life'.

Rourke already announced he was no longer part of the group last month, but in a statement this week, the group said: "Recent events have made Freebass entirely unviable as a band, and with this in mind, it has been decided that the project should be shelved, rather than placed on hiatus while members pursue their other interests".

Less diplomatically, Primal Scream and ex-Stone Roses bassist Mani accused former Joy Division and New Order man Hook of having a "wallet stuffed with [Joy Division frontman] Ian Curtis's blood money".

Referring to Hook's recent live performances of Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures' album and the opening of a new Factory Records-inspired club, Mani also referred to him as "the vulture who is ravenously devouring the last morsels of putrid flesh from Wilson/Curtis bones".

As for the Freebass album, he told one fan: "It's where it belongs mate... In the fuckin bargain bin before it's even released".

'It's A Beautiful Life' due out via Hacienda Records on 20 Sep.

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Squarepusher, aka Tom Jenkinson, has revealed some more details about his upcoming new album, 'd'Demontrator', which is billed as "Squarepusher presents Shobaleader One" and is due for release through Warp on 18 Oct.

The musician said: "Shobaleader One is my band. Last summer a bunch of kids got in contact with me. They were talking about forming an ensemble, which I thought was a ridiculous idea but I was impressed by their perseverance so we met up. Their idea was that they wanted the 'fantasy group' I had written about in connection with [previous studio album] 'Just A Souvenir' to become a real entity that would record and tour. So we had a go at doing some recording and the story so far is documented on this record".

He's not letting on who these people are, though: "Basically a bunch of people who you may or may not have heard of from other bands and projects. Part of their idea is that this music is a completely clean break with whatever they've done in the past so I'm not allowed to mention any names. I can tell you that they are pretty frightening players".

As for why, after so many years, he has chosen to work with other musicians, rather than alone, he said: "I always thought that a band would be a limiting thing. I've got very used to being able to make music by programming or playing without having to explain anything to anyone, and I assumed it would slow everything down if I had to. Actually it has made it quicker because I'm not trying to be four people simultaneously any more. I'm not over-explaining anything to them as they've got strong ideas of their own and I want to hear that in the final results".

Jenkinson said that he's also been discussion with Outkast's Andre 3000, a long term Squarepusher fan, about a possible collaboration.

Watch the video for album track, 'Megazine', here: www.squarepusher.net

The album's full tracklist is this:

Plug Me In
Laser Rock
Into The Blue
Frisco Wave
Abstract Lover
Endless Night
Cryptic Motion
Maximum Planck

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Mushroomhead, a band who, amongst other things, are often cited as having had their image stolen by Slipknot, have announced that they will release their new album, 'Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children', later this year.

Drummer and producer Steve 'Skinny' Felton explains: "[This album] is truly a vice for everyone, the widest range of emotions ever recorded by Mushroomhead! Musicians today are half psychotic, half glutton for punishment. Mushroomhead has persevered through things that would have ended much weaker entities. Yet these things are taken in our determined stride, as par for the course. These truths shine through on 'Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children'!"


Come On
Slaughterhouse Road
I'll Be Here
Burn The Bridge
Holes In The Void
Harvest The Garden
The Harm You Do
Your Demise
The Feel
Darker Days
Do I Know You

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Muse frontman Matt Bellamy has said that the band's next album may see them move away from stadiums and back to smaller venues, which are more suited to the tone of the new material he has been writing.

Bellamy told Time Out: "I feel like we can't go much bigger in terms of the kinds of concerts we're playing. Weirdly, that seems to have coincided with my personal life destabilising about a year ago. I split from a relationship... I was doing lots of self-analysing. I sense that that's going to lead to a writing project that will be more personal, rather than talking about grand political concerns. That itself might lead to material that's more suitable for smaller venues".

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Ou Est Le Swimming Pool have announced Chazzstock, a memorial show for frontman Charles Haddon, who committed suicide last month. The show, due to take place at Koko in Camden on 4 Oct, will feature performances from an array of the band's friends, with proceeds donated to Mind.

On the line-up so far are: The Kooks, Mr Hudson, Eddy Temple-Morris, Kissy Sell Out, Man Like Me, Nat Jenkins, Mpho, Tribes, Daisy Dares You, Jay Jay Pistolet, with more to be confirmed.

Mind CEO Paul Farmer told CMU: "We are so sorry to hear of the band's recent tragedy and our thoughts of course go to Charlie's friends and family. Sadly, suicide is an all too common occurrence, especially in young men. To encourage men to get help when times get tough, Mind launched a campaign called 'Get if off your chest' to promote better mental health awareness. We are so grateful to Charlie's friends, family and band members for their hugely generous donation to Mind which will help us to continue with this work and we hope that this gig will inspire young men to open up about mental health".

Tickets are on sale now.

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SWN FESTIVAL, various venues, Cardiff, 21-23 Oct: Munch Munch, O.Children, The Guns and Sweet Baboo are amongst the latest acts confirmed to play at Cardiff's Swn Festival, along with Bastions, Stagecoach, The Computers, To The Bones and Lucky Delucci. www.swnfest.com

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JLS are teaming up with Durex to launch a range of condoms and a charitable organisation that will promote safe sex.

Explaining their motivation for having their faces attached to prophylactics (not literally, I don't think), the group's Jonathan 'JB' Gill told reporters at a press conference yesterday: "It's really a chance for us to tackle of some of the issues which we feel are pertinent within our society and use our influence and our status as role models to help change and help influence some of the behaviour that's going on in our society at the moment".

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Sales were down at the HMV Group this summer. But, you know, let's not forget this is a World Cup year. Remember how everybody stopped shopping for four weeks? Yeah, that'll explain it.

The impact of football's big dance was one of the reasons given for a slump in sales in HMV's stores in the last five months, revealed yesterday ahead of the entertainment firm's AGM. A slow released schedule on the gaming front was also a factor, bosses at the company told investors.

HMV top man Simon Fox said that an overall sales decline of 5.9% was in line with expectations, and that the run up to Christmas and stronger release schedules in the second half of the year, especially in gaming, will help the retail side of the firm - which accounted for the majority of the sales slump - to pick up its game.

Fox's decision to diversify into live music via HMV's acquisition of the MAMA Group in part helped with the latest set of figures - without live revenues sales were down 9.9%.

Live music isn't without its risks, however, despite the fact that the UK live sector is presently still maintaining its glow: HMV had to admit its latest festival venture via MAMA, the High Voltage Festival co-promoted with Classic Rock magazine, hadn't been as successful as hoped. Nevertheless, HMV remains committed to growing MAMA's festival business next year.

Fox told reporters: "In line with our new strategic plan, over the summer we progressed the changes to our stores that will enable us to drive our new fashion and enhanced technology offers. These initiatives, combined with a stronger product line-up, particularly in games, are key to the delivery of a successful Christmas. Overall our plans for the peak trading period are in good shape, and our focus is on providing our customers with the best offers across all product categories and live venues".

Despite the firm's performance being more or less in line with expectations, the general mood in the City re HMV yesterday seemed to be one of disappointment. Given Fox is still trying to convince City types his diversification strategy for HMV will work, that's a set back.

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EMI's global corporate communications chief Amanda Conroy will take the log flume out of the music major's HQ for the final time ever following her decision to leave the flagging music major. She is leaving because of EMI chief Roger Faxon's decision to base his comms office in New York rather than London.

Says Faxon: "Amanda has given tremendous service to this company through a ten year period that has seen huge amounts of change, both at EMI and within the wider music industry. Her wise counsel throughout that time has been invaluable, and we wish her all the best with her future career".

Says Conroy: "I have loved my time at EMI. It has been a privilege to work with such creative and talented people and in an industry that has been at the leading edge of the digital age. I wish EMI, Roger and everyone at the company all success in the future".

EMI Music Publishing comms man Dylan Jones will take over from Conroy in a new Group-wide role.

Talking of EMI's publishing bit, they made some other appointments in their European division yesterday, with Stefan Gullberg from the company's Scandinavian business becoming Executive Vice President of European A&R; David Ventura, formerly of French radio station NRJ's label operations, becoming Vice President Of European Creative; and Lars Ewald, also from EMI's Scandinavian division, becoming Head Of European Song Pitching.

For legal reasons we must stress EMI HQ does not have a log flume by which key execs depart the building. Though there were rumours it was expensive plans to install such a log flume that led to the previous EMI Music boss Elio Leoni-Sceti being dispensed with earlier this year.

For legal reasons we must stress there weren't.

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Independent digital distribution company IODA has done a deal with social media analytics firm Next Big Sound, which, they say, will allow their indie clients to "integrate digital sales activity data from online retailers into Next Big Sound's new Premier analytics platform". This mean artists and labels can compare sales data with social media stats, presumably looking for correlations - ie more hits here, and uplift in sales there.

Says IODA top man Kevin Arnold: "Music discovery and consumption has moved online for millions of fans. Next Big Sound has created a groundbreaking new application that taps social media to put valuable online data about fans into the hands of our artists and labels. By integrating this application with IODA's sales analytics, our clients can adjust their marketing strategies in real time, prioritising what may be scarce resources accordingly. We are always evaluating innovations in the industry to uncover those that offer the most potential for the independent music community. Next Big Sound is a perfect example of great innovation and strong technical execution".

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The recently acquisitive Celador Radio - a small player in British radio, but part of the bigger TV production company - has acquired two more stations, this time the Jack FM and Star FM outlets in Bristol, both from Tomahawk Radio Limited.

Celador have bought various stations in South England recently, rebranding most under the call sign of The Breeze.

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Quincy Jones has revealed that his successful collaboration with Michael Jackson came to an abrupt end after the legendary producer tried to steer the singer towards hip hop. The pair recorded three albums together, 1979's 'Off The Wall', 1982 'Thriller' and 1987's 'Bad', some of the most successful albums of all time. But Jones was dropped because Jackson felt that hip hop's time had passed.

Jones told The Guardian: "Michael fired me ... He said, 'Quincy doesn't understand the business any more. He doesn't know that rap is dead'. But it's OK. It wasn't so obvious then [how big hip hop would become]".

He added that they still kept in touch, and remembered the last time he spoke to Jackson, shortly before his death: "I was in London when he sold out the ten concerts, and then sold out 40 more. He called me. He wanted to bring the kids over. But I was with Mohamed Al Fayed at his place. I said, 'I'll see you in Los Angeles'. And that was the last time I talked to him".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Kanye West
Speech Writer

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