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CMU Info
Top Stories
New Jackson album, lots of gossip and bitching
In The Pop Courts
Believe writers win back copyrights
Judge throws out Suge Knight's Kanye lawsuit
In The Pop Hospital
Lily Allen being treated for blood poisoning
Awards & Contests
EMA winners
ARIA winners
Revamps planned for BRITs 2011
Reunions & Splits
Pulp reform for 2011 festival shows
Artist Deals
Cooking Vinyl signs Marilyn Manson
Festival News
Band submissions open for City Showcase 2011
Single review: Prinzhorn Dance School - Seed, Crop, Harvest (DFA Records)
Brands & Stuff
Ice-T puts his name to brandy drink
The Music Business
Tories order IP law review
Live Nation revenues still in decline
Universal UK appoint new comms chief
Your Army expand into press
Wiggin launch online contract tool for music companies
The Digital Business
Ten thousand French music cards sold so far
The Media Business
Vodafone to sponsor commercial radio chart show
And finally...
Lou Reed directs Boyle video

So, last week I forgot to mention that Yann Tiersen was on tour in the UK. Particularly foolish as I had tickets to see him in London. The London show was already sold out by then though, so I don't feel too bad. He's still on these shores until Thursday, so you should seek him out. As ever, his live show is completely amazing, the hour and a half he was on stage seemed to shoot by in a matter of minutes. I'd mention all this in the gigs section below but, as you'll see, it's a bit crowded down there.

01: Music 4.5. The second Music 4.5 event takes place at the Café de Paris in London this Wednesday. This time around the topic is 'The Power Of Audiences', which might make it sound like it's going to be a day of stating the obvious, but I'm assured it's not. Apparently it will "create, curate and deliver fresh thinking focused on the opportunity within the extended new music paradigm, by bringing together music tech start-ups, serial entrepreneurs, investors, artists, band managers and key industry players".

02: MusicTank. The next MusicTank Think Tank event takes place in London tomorrow, and will look at the potential of social media, apps, location-based games, augmented reality and other such techie widgets as marketing and fan engagement tools for music types. The event will bring together some leading names from the tech industry to share their insights as to what is now possible in the digital world, and discuss how the music business could and should be using the latest set of techie tools in their marketing campaigns. Meanwhile Imogen Heap's manager Mark Wood will discuss his recent digital marketing ventures.

03: Student Radio Awards. The Student Radio Association's Student Radio Awards return for their fifteenth year this Thursday at the IndigO2 inside the O2 Dome in London, handing out awards to the best of the best in student radio. Past winners include Xfm's Marsha Shandur and Radio 1's Greg James, so it's entirely possible that the likes of Rob Howard and Sarah Birch, who are amongst this year's nominees, will be big names of the future.

04: New releases. Hey, Andy, what cool stuff shall we go and spend our money on this week? Oh, I don't know, why don't you get 'Christiania' by Napoleon IIIrd, 'WYWH' by The Concretes, Hervé's second 'Cheap Thrills' compilation, 'Mount Chimaera' by Brasstronaut and 'Lost In A Dark Place' by Decimal? Oh, and while you're at it, pick up the debut singles by Porcelain Raft, 'Tip Of Your Tongue', and Polly Mackey & The Pleasure Principle, 'Higher'.

05: Gigs. Oh, bloody hell, there are a lot of gigs on this week. I've not got space to include them all. I've certainly not got space to ramble on about it. Here's a very quick list: Die Antwoord, Jessie J, The Cinematic Orchestra, LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip, Gorillaz, Local Natives, MIA, Chase & Status, Deftones, School Of Seven Bells, Gold Panda, Sleigh Bells, The Sound Of Arrows, Foreign Office, Tim Key, Roses Kings Castles, Death Ray Trebuchay and Fabric's Fragile X charity show.

So, yeah, like I said, quite a lot of gigs this week. I recommend attending all of them. Every single one. If you don't, we can't be friends any more. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Blonde Redhead's 'Penny Sparkle' is without doubt one of this year's most beautiful albums. The band's live activity to promote it in the UK, though, amounted to just a one-off show in London. Which meant that many were unable to witness their amazing performances, against the backdrop of photographical umbrellas blinking on and off. Okay, you probably had to be there to get that bit.

Luckily, you don't have to rely on me to paint a picture of how great a live band Blonde Redhead are, as their label, 4AD, stuck them in Integrated Studios in Tribeca, New York back in August and forced them to play five songs from the new album live in front of a camera. Okay, they probably weren't forced. There are certainly no signs of that in the video. Though it is quite dark.


Domino Recordings, home to some of the most exciting music around today including Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand, is seeking an International Promotions Manager. The successful candidate would be responsible for all aspects of international promotion including press, radio and TV for the whole label roster - working closely with our international partners and sometimes directly with the int'l media. Minimum two years experience with artists, managers, record labels and international media is required. The position is based in our London office.

Applicants should send their CV and cover letter to: internationalpromotions@dominorecordco.com
The Zeitgeist Agency are flying. We are a fully integrated communications agency representing premium brands, festivals and artists and we need some help with the most exciting campaigns in music.

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Announcements about new Michael Jackson projects were always a bit confused, so I suppose we shouldn't have expected Sony Music's statement on Friday about the first posthumous release of new Jacko material to be issued without some accompanying confusion.

Sony's statement itself was straight forward enough, on 13 Dec a new album called 'Michael' will be released featuring an undetermined number of new tracks featuring the late king of pop's vocals, most if not all produced and/or completed by a celebrity producer or musician. As a sneak preview, one new track, calling 'Breaking News', will be streamed for a week on the official Michael Jackson website, starting today.

Said Sony: "Unbeknownst to many fans around the world Michael Jackson was writing and recording songs continuously everywhere from a friend's home in New Jersey to studios in Las Vegas and Los Angeles with a small group of handpicked collaborators. Now, through the unique stories that will be told about the songs that comprise 'Michael', fans will get a mind-blowing insight into how this artist worked and a chance to hear the songs he most recently created along with tracks that Michael had a desire to bring to fruition".

So far, so straight forward. But then the rumours started to circulate on Friday that some of Jackson's family had claimed that not all of the tracks on the new long player actually featured real Jacko vocals - some had, in fact, been faked. Then new gossip suggested 'Breaking News' was among the fakes. And then a totally different supposedly new Michael Jackson track called 'Opis None' appeared on the internet via a non-Sony affiliated company called JacksonSecretVault.com, in which the singer's mother, Katherine Jackson has a stake.

And Mrs Jackson's partner in that company, Howard Mann, issued a loaded statement to TMZ.com, saying: "In an effort to overcome the confusion as to the authenticity of the track the [Michael Jackson] estate [in partnership with Sony] has recently released we want to give an actual authentic Michael Jackson track to the world ... for free".

Katherine Jackson, it seemed, had deliberately undermined the Michael Jackson estate and their business partners Sony Music, despite her seemingly being on cordial terms with the estate's executors. Or had she? The Jackson clan took to Twitter to say no.

Jackie Jackson tweeted: "I just spoke with my Mother and she did NOT authorise the release of the demo track called 'Opis None'". And then Taj Jackson, son of Tito Jackson, posted to the micro-blogging platform: "Just talked to my grandma. She didn't even know about the 'song', nor did she authorise it. We are getting to the bottom of this".

I think we can help with that. Mann has since issued a statement confirming Katherine Jackson was not consulted before he leaked 'Opis None'. He's also admitted that his 'new' MJ track was actually a remix of on old one. He told TMZ last night: "Our goal at JacksonSecretVault.com is to pay tribute to the legendary artist and artistic visionary that was and is Michael Jackson. The fans are entitled to a higher level of integrity than I demonstrated this past weekend and for that I am sorry".

Elsewhere, the Daily Star turned to Mark Ronson for clarification on the original claim that Sony's new Jacko album was lacking in Jacko. He, you see, has produced a new Jackson tune, although he doesn't know whether that track, 'Lovely Way', will actually appear on 'Michael'. Nevertheless, although Ronson never met the singer, he is convinced the vocals he was provided by Sony to mix into a full song were the genuine article. He told the tab: "It was definitely him singing". So, that's that resolved then.

It's not the first time Katherine Jackson's dealings with Canadian businessman Mann has caused concern for the Michael Jackson estate, of course. Mann has collaborated with Mrs Jackson on a new book, and has also discussed plans to make a film about his business partner's late son and to release up to 273 previously unheard Michael Jackson recordings he claims to be sitting on. The MJ estate's lawyers have previously said they will be watching Mann's output carefully to assess whether he infringes any of their Jacko-related copyrights.

Meanwhile Mann also seems to be causing some tensions within the Jackson family, and not just over the 'Opis None' leak. Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson's three children all appear in a special Oprah Winfrey programme due to air in the US today, seemingly arranged by Mann to promote the aforementioned book release.

That has pissed off Jackson brother Randy, who says that while Michael did go to Oprah when he wanted to talk to the world in 1993, he subsequently fell out with the US TV star when she chose to broadcast a show on paedophilia to coincide with his 2005 child abuse trial.

Commenting on the 'Oprah meets Jacko's kids' show, Randy tweeted this weekend: "I know that he would not have wanted this. In fact, she is the last person on earth he would want around his children. I know there are a lot of you out there upset and angry over this. I don't blame you. Can you imagine how I feel? I'm angry too".

So, Michael Jackson, nearly eighteen months gone, still good value.

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British songwriters Paul Berry and Mark Taylor last week won ownership of the copyrights in a stack of songs they have written, including Cher hit 'Believe' and Enrique Iglesias' 'Hero', after years of legal wrangling.

Frequent collaborators Berry and Taylor, the latter often also the producer of hits penned by the duo, were originally in dispute with Rive Droite Music who, they claimed, had under-accounted on songs created under a publishing deal with the company. Their dispute moved to US publisher Crosstown Music when they acquired the Rive Droite catalogue, including Berry and Taylor's songs, in 2006.

A High Court ruling in the UK last year went in favour of the songwriters, awarding them ownership of the disputed songs on the basis of Rive Droite's actions. But Crosstown appealed the ruling, arguing automatic reversion of copyrights was not possible under English copyright law, and that the London court did not have jurisdiction to order such reversion outside the UK.

But, according to Music Week, an appeal court last week rejected both those arguments, with Lord Justice Mummery saying: "I would dismiss the appeal on all grounds as Crosstown has not established that the [original] judge's order is wrong in any respect ... in my view, relatively straightforward questions of dealings in copyright were complicated by Crosstown's convoluted and, in my view, misconceived legal arguments".

The copyrights, therefore, revert to Berry and Taylor.

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A judge in Miami has thrown out a previously reported lawsuit in which one time hip hop mogul Suge Knight, former supremo of the Death Row Records label, claimed Kanye West should be held liable for injuries he suffered during a shooting at a Miami Beach night club back in 2005, because the rapper was host of the party where the shooting took place.

The rather optimistic Knight sued for a million, claiming West had a duty of care to him to ensure there was sufficient security at the club to stop a gun from being taken into the premises. But a judge threw the case out last Thursday, saying there was insufficient evidence that the shooting had been preventable.

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Lily Allen spent the weekend in hospital being treated for blood poisoning just days after suffering a second miscarriage. The singer confirmed she had lost her baby last week after six months of pregnancy. It was confirmed this weekend Allen was now suffering from septicaemia.

A spokesman told reporters: "She is responding well to treatment and her condition continues to improve. Lily thanks everyone for their messages of support and again asks that she and partner Sam Cooper be left alone whilst she recovers".

On Friday Allen herself took to Twitter to report on her condition and thank fans for their support, noting: "I'm still very sick but the messages are helping me to be stronger. Thank you xx".

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It was the MTV Europe Music Awards last night. People won awards. People like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Don't believe me? Well, here's a list of the people who won the awards. Including Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Free-style.

Best Song: Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Best Video: Katy Perry - California Gurls

Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best Female: Lady Gaga
Best New Act: Ke$ha
Best World Stage Performance: Tokio Hotel

Best Pop: Lady Gaga
Best Alternative: Paramore
Best Live Act: Linkin Park
Best Hip-Hop: Eminem
Best Rock: 30 Seconds To Mars
Best Push Act: Justin Bieber

Global Icon: Bon Jovi

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On the other side of the world, the Australian music industry gathered for its big annual awards bash, the ARIAs. Organisers had revamped the proceedings this year, a new look variously described by the Aussie media as "shambolic", "chaotic" and "shit". Good times.

Here are the winners:

Album of the Year: Angus & Julia Stone - Down The Way
Single of the Year: Angus & Julia Stone - Big Jet Plane

Best Male: Dan Sultan - Get Out While You Can
Best Female: Washington - I Believe You Liar
Best Group: The Temper Trap - Love Lost

Best Independent Release: Sia - We Are Born
Most Popular Australian Single: The Temper Trap - Love Lost
Most Popular Australian Album: Powderfinger - Golden Rule
Most Popular Australian Artist: Powderfinger - Golden Rule
Most Popular International Artist: Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More

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Talking of shit revamps of tedious award shows, organisers of the BRIT Awards have announced some changes for next year's big event, which, as previously reported, will now be hosted in a cold tent in Greenwich instead of a rusting shed in Earls Court. Hmm, is that my invite cancelled? Scratch that, then. Let's try again.

Unlike the shitty ARIAs, the UK's marvellous BRIT Awards will be bigger and better than ever before next year, following a string of exhilarating and frankly mind-blowing innovations planned to coincide with the award show's move up, up, up to the glorious entertainment centre that is The O2, in the blissful surroundings of North Greenwich.

Out goes the tired outstanding contribution to music prize, in comes a stepped-up best British album gong, sponsored by the not at all evil Mastercard.

And, as if that wasn't enough excitement for one year, it's just been confirmed that the ultimate Dame, you know, the Dame of Vivienne, the one in the Westwood, will be redesigning the very BRIT Award itself, so to ooze even more cool from what is already undoubtedly Britain's coolest mark of cool.

And if you don't agree that all this makes the BRIT Awards the single most important night out in 2011, I don't wish to now your name.

The BRITs 2011 will take place on 15 Feb. They'll probably be shit.

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Pulp have announced that they are reforming to play some live shows next summer, which is nice, I suppose.

All six members of the band's 'Different Class' and 'This Is Hardcore'-era line-up will take part - Jarvis Cocker, Russell Senior, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey, Nick Banks and Mark Webber - with two shows, at the Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park and Primavera Sound in Barcelona, so far announced (though a statement from the band hints that there will be more).

This will be the first time all six members of the band's classic line-up (all of the above, bar Webber, first appeared together on 1992 album, 'Separations') have appeared on stage together since 24 Aug 1996.

If you fancy reading a load of cryptic questions and/or signing up to a mailing list to stay up to date with all Pulpish goings on, go to www.pulppeople.com.

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Cooking Vinyl has announced a deal with Marilyn Manson and his newly launched label Hell, Etc. Under the deal, Cooking Vinyl will handle worldwide distribution, marketing and promotion for Manson's eighth studio album, due for release next year. The deal follows Manson's departure from Universal's Interscope Records, through which he has released all previous albums.

Of the new deal, Manson says this: "We will always be our worst audience, until we stop being an audience and start being an artist. Any art is flesh and blood, no matter how you perform, decorate or display it. But we all want the passionate horror of that blood. And blood is what I am here to bring".

I have no idea what he's banging on about, but I think he's pleased.

More coherently, Cooking Vinyl founder Martin Goldschmidt added: "We're delighted to welcome Marilyn Manson to Cooking Vinyl. Often our 'relaxed' approach to A&R brings out killer performances and albums from artists. I can't wait to hear what Manson comes up with".

He continued: "This is a landmark signing for us. We shook up folk music in the late 80s/90s with Michelle Shocked, Cowboy Junkies and Billy Bragg, we have shaken up dance in the last couple of years with The Prodigy, Groove Armada and Underworld, and we are ready for a new adventure with Mr Manson".

More details of the new album are expected in the coming weeks.

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Organisers of London's City Showcase festival have officially opened the doors for bands wanting to put themselves forward to play next year's event. The City Showcase takes place in fashion stores and gig venues around the West End of London from 4-8 May, and bands interested in being considered to play should go to www.cityshowcase.co.uk now for details of how to apply.

Says City Showcase Director Nanette Rigg: "Time and time again we see great artists who just need the confidence to move on to the next phase of their career. City Showcase gives them that confidence by providing a stage and a nurturing performance environment".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Prinzhorn Dance School - Seed, Crop, Harvest (DFA Records)
Three years since their self-titled debut, Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn are back with another slab of awkward, rudimentary art-pop weirdness.

Despite child-like call and response, tribal drum beats and simplistic guitar licks, this is no easy rise or instant aural gratification. 'Seed, Crop Harvest' rumbles in with a bass line that suggests at most, a pre-school mastering of the instrument; while vocals whose intonations and stylings lean heavily on Gang Of Four spout incomprehensible, though undoubtedly sincere, ramblings. Prinzhorn once again prove themselves to be a more minimal, skeletal aural Franz Kline. Their particular brand of art rock is as self-consciously difficult as ever: scuttling, off-kilter rhythms and menacingly jarring guitars make for a distinctly abrasive offering.

However, for all its atonal sparseness, there's a strange charm. Perhaps it's an 'Emperor's new clothes' scenario: we want to like it so to egotistically tell ourselves that we are hip, we do like post-post-post-punk or whatever the hell this masquerades as. Perhaps this is where PDS succeed: their angular earworm of a song makes you think you should like it, though you have absolutely no idea why. EG

Digital release: 1 Nov
Press contact: Toast Press

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Rapper-come-telly-star Ice-T is lending his name to a new brandy drink made by Aiko Importers. The new beverage, which the rapper will promote, is called Gangster XO Brandy. And Ice's manager says the rapper asked for a business partnership with the drink makers rather than a simple endorsement fee, because he's keen to develop other drink lines.

Manager Mickey Bentson told AllHipHop.com: "Ice-T sat down with me and I told him, 'You have to see the presentation'. He loved the taste and the bottle. At the direction of Ice-T, I told them we didn't want money, we wanted a partnership. Ice decided it would be best to have partnership in the business so we can build other brands. The bottles are great and the liquor is fantastic".

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David 'The Man' Cameron has announced a major review of British intellectual property law, because it's been ages since we last had one of them. Well, apart from the two we've had in the last five years.

The Cam Man reckons all things IP need to be looked at because of this crazy thing called the internet. Oh well, it'll presumably give the record companies an opportunity to whine about the sound recording copyright not being long enough, and we all know how much they love doing that.

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Live Nation confirmed last week that its revenues for the summer quarter were down 14% to $2.14 billion because of continued slumping ticket sales in the US, while profits were down 25.7% as the live music major discounts ticket prices in a bid to counter the aforementioned ticket sales slump. All a bit doomy and gloomy, really.

And Live Nation chief Michael Rapino warned that things weren't improving this autumn either, with October's sales figures "hitting us a little harder than we expected". All in all, Rapino said, it is looking likely the live music conglom won't hit its full-year targets.

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Universal Music announced last week that Selina Webb is its new Senior Director of Communications for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and all known dependencies of the British Crown. It's quite a job.

Once editor of something called Music Week (anyone?), Webb has spent over ten years in PR roles at Universal's Polydor division, but will now switch from talking up Take That and Girls Aloud to spinning the corporate word according to Universal UK.

Says the major's UK top man David Joseph: "Selina is respected throughout our company and the industry and there's no better person to ensure our points of view, creativity and issues are communicated and understood".

Susie Ember will take over from Webb in overseeing Polydor's press office.

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Dance music promotions company Your Army is branching out into the press side of music publicity, it has announced.

John Power, previously with Name Music, will lead the company's new press and online division, which will offer a globally focused service.

Says the press release: "With the concept of releasing a record on a territory-by-territory basis becoming increasingly redundant, Your Army can now offer labels a unique worldwide press, online and blog outreach service, perfect for those, who in the age of digital distribution, need to connect with a global audience".

In other Your Army news, Christian Nockall has been promoted to the role of Head Of Radio, while Dan Kinasz has joined the agency as a Club Promotions Manager.

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Media law firm Wiggin has launched a new web-based service, or widget, to help record labels and publishers draft artist contracts. The service - which can be used by both in-house lawyers and execs with no legal background - will be updated to adapt to any legal developments of relevance so that users can "draft state of the art contracts safe in the knowledge that they are completely up-to-date".

Wiggin music partner Alexander Ross told CMU: "We regularly see music business contracts that are either out of date or in need of major work. In some cases these can be put right, but in others companies find out all too late that their contracts aren't legally robust, and they can lose rights and revenues as a result".

He continued: "We decided to develop the widget to take the time, cost and worry out of preparing, managing and updating day to day contracts in house. It also gives our clients the ongoing reassurance that their contracts will always be properly drafted, legally sound and regularly updated".

The service will be available on a subscription basis charged at £100 a month, with an additional nominal fee per contract also charged, starting at £10.

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The French government has revealed that 10,000 of its state subsidised Carte Musique have already been sold, just a week after the discount card's launch.

As previously reported, the card is the carrot to go with the stick of three-strikes in the battle against online piracy. The card basically enables young consumers to get online music at half its real cost, so that a 25 euro card will get you fifty euros worth of music. The government covers the difference.

The card can be used on various a la carte and subscription-based music services, though any one card has to be used in its entirety with one partner organisation. They include iTunes, Amazon MP3, Deezer and Orange.

France's Minister Of Culture & Communciation revealed 10,000 of the cards have been sold to the country's Council Of Ministers on Friday.

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Global Radio has announced that Vodafone, those fashionable tax dodgers, will be sponsoring its Big Top 40 Chart Show, which currently airs on 125 commercial radio stations around the country. It's the first time the weekly chart show has had a sponsor since it changed its name from the Hit40UK last year. The twelve month sponsorship will promote Vodafone Freebees, a new promotion for cheap-skate pay-as-you-go customers.

Global Radio's Group Commercial Director Mike Gordon told reporters: "A sponsorship of this scale truly reflects the phenomenal reach and innovation of the 'Big Top 40'. We're thrilled at this partnership and are proud to introduce 'The Vodafone Freebees Big Top 40'".

Vodafone Brand Director Danielle Crook added: "'The Vodafone Freebees Big Top 40' gives us a massive opportunity to get our message out that we offer great value to millions of Pay as you go customers across the UK. We're excited to be able to reach such a huge audience with such a compelling message".

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After that confusing rumble during which Susan Boyle was banned from performing Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day' on an edition of 'America's Got Talent', resulting in tears before bedtime, now Reed himself has stepped up to direct the pop promo for her version of the song, which appears on her new album 'The Gift'.

According to Scotland's Sunday Mail, it was Reed who called Boyle to ask if he could get involved in her version of his song. He told the paper: "I wanted to create a beautiful and intimate piece shot in Susan's native Scotland and she quickly agreed".

Boyle herself told the tab: "I loved that Lou understood how much it meant to me to film in Scotland. I didn't mind how much it rained or blew a gale - I enjoyed every minute".

The video is here should you wish to see it:

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Iain Duncan-Smith
Head Of Litter Patrol

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