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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Are US ISPs close to a voluntary three-strikes system?
In The Pop Courts
Buju Banton jailed for ten years
Man arrested for knocking over Bieber
Diddy settles party shoot out lawsuits
Haddon committed suicide after crowd surfing injury
Judge rejects calls for estate and AEG to pay for Jackson memorial policing
Awards & Contests
NME announce second year of photo awards
In The Studio
Lamb Of God in the studio
Release News
New Gold Panda track
New YACHT vids
Minaj duets with Blige, well possibly not, or possibly not yet
Reviews
Album Review: John Maus - We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves (Upset The Rhythm)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
In The City to take a year off
AIM announce Women In Entertainment night
The Music Business
EMI buyer speculation
The Digital Business
Open source music identification technology launched
The Media Business
Pink writes to the paps
Scherzinger responds to former manager's X claims
And finally...
Prince prefers analogue beats


 
FRIDAY 24TH JUNE
THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
So, I'm guessing 29% of you are in Somerset, or are on your way there. Don't worry, it's muddy, but it will only rain while U2 are playing. Or at least that's what I hear. Bloody Bono. Many of the rest of you may be planning a weekend of mud-free Glastontelly, which sounds like a grand plan, after all, there's an awful lot of BBC dudes down there on Worthy Farm, and if Andy Parfitt's insistence that it's worth the spend is to stack up, we really ought to all tune in.

 
If you're one of the non-Glastonbury attending music journos going to the We're Not Worthy drinks do in London being organised by Sean at DiS and Paul at RoTD this afternoon, have a goodun - alas, Friday is CMU Weekly day so it's unlikely I'll make it down, which presumably means I'm not even not worthy.

I will be heading into Central London later today, though, for a grand debate on all things copyright, taking place as part of British Black Music Month at the University Of Westminster at 309 Regent Street at 6.30pm. A great panel has been lined up to discuss why we should care about copyright (or not), and where the rights of users should fit into the equation. It's free to come along, though you need to get yourself on the list, email editor@britishblackmusic.com

But first, it's your week in five...

01: EMI was put up for sale.
Or, if we are being pedantic, its owners Citigroup instigated a strategic review of options for the music company, which might include a sale, recapitalisation or even an IPO. But what that really means is that EMI is now on the market. Universal Music, new Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, and his main rival in the bid for Warner, the Gores brothers, are all reportedly interested in acquiring the British music major. CMU reports | Billboard report

02: The three-strikes judicial review failed, though an EDM requested a rethink. Judges knocked back BT and TalkTalk's court-based attempts to force a rethink on the copyright section of the Digital Economy Act earlier this year, and this week refused to consider an appeal of that ruling. In parliament Julian Huppert MP did submit an Early Day Motion noting a recent United Nations report that was critical of three-strike style systems like that the DEA will introduce, and suggested a rethink. However, the government is unlikely to comply with that demand. Meanwhile, the Irish government instigated a review of its copyright laws, possibly to help record companies in Ireland persuade internet service providers to follow the lead of market leader Eircom and introduce a three-strikes system for combating piracy. CMU reports | Telegraph report

03: We7, WiMP and Shazam announced expansion plans.
We7 confirmed it had new investment and was now hoping to expand out of the UK and become the Pandora of Europe. Scandinavian music service WiMP said it had done a deal which would enable it to launch in Ireland later this year. And Shazam said it had raised a bucket more cash to help it develop a telly-based version of its service. So, a busy week for digital announcements. Elsewhere speculation about Facebook's new music dashboard continued. CMU reports: We7 | WiMP | Shazam

04: Universal merged the back offices of its Motown and Def Jam divisions in the US, resulting in some job losses, part of a rampant restructuring that is quietly going on at the music major. With Sony Music also doing quite a rejig as the two record company rivals swap senior executives, there is a lot of insecurity jobs wise around the US record industry just now. And if Warner Music does successfully acquire EMI later this year, resulting in another big record company merger, that insecurity will expand across all the majors. Times are a changing, even if the top executives are the same, just with different job titles at different companies. CMU report | Hollywood Reporter report

05: A hacker was arrested for allegedly targeting the BPI and IFPI websites. Essex boy Ryan Cleary is accused of being part of the group that instigated a Distributed Denial Of Service attack against the two record industry trade bodies' websites, taking said sites down. He's also accused of bringing down the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which was possibly unwise. CMU report | Daily Mail report

And that is your lot until we go all CMU Weekly on your ass with more e-bulletins and a super duper podcast later today - sign up at theCMUwebsite.com/weekly.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU

 
VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Ludovico Einaudi: Taranta! at the Barbican
If you haven't heard any of Einaudi's work before, then this weekend could be the time to put that right, because this show looks particularly interesting. The classically inspired composer will team up with his La Notte della Taranta Orchestra to make music that has its roots in wild dances performed to ward off the effects of a tarantula bite. Apparently this will entail singers, a mandolin, tambourines, percussion, an accordion, strings, horns, organ and guitar, together creating a sonic smorgasboard of delight that can, apparently, overcome the bite. Well, at least that rhymes.

 
Joining him in creating this aural melee will be Turkish multi-instrumentalist Mercan Dede, DJ Savina Yannatou and award winning Malian kora player Ballake Sissoko. As well as his 'Taranta' escapade, Einaudi will be performing a few of his own pieces, including the theme from his recent 'Nightbook' album. All in all, a real treat for the ears. Oh, and FYI, Einaudi also releases a compilation of his works entitled 'Islands' on Decca on Monday.

Saturday 25 + Sunday 26 Jul, Barbican Hall, London. EC2Y, 7.30pm, £25-£35, press info from the Barbican or Serious Productions, more info at www.barbican.org.uk


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How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 13 Jul

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training



ARE US ISPS CLOSE TO A VOLUNTARY THREE-STRIKES SYSTEM?
According to CNET, the US record industry is getting close to a deal with some key American internet service providers - including big players like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon - that would see the net firms introduce some sort of three-strikes system to combat illegal file-sharing.

The Recording Industry Association Of America, of course, pursued a self-harming sue-the-fans strategy to combat online piracy for years, sending legal letters to thousands of suspected file-sharers, recouping less than their costs in damages, and having no noticeable impact on file-sharing levels.

Just over two years ago the trade body announced it was ending its sue-the-fans programme and would instead follow the lead of its counterparts in Europe to try and persuade the ISPs to take a more proactive role in policing file-sharing, by sending warning letters to suspected file-sharers with the threat of 'technical sanctions' against those who continue to access unlicensed content online.

Of course in most other countries where three-strikes has been pursued it has taken a change in the law to force reluctant ISPs to take part. But according to CNET, after a long period of negotiation, it is looking likely that the American net firms will voluntarily start sending out warning letters to any file-sharing customers, as identified by the RIAA.

It is unlikely users who persist in file-sharing will lose their internet connection under this voluntary system, though signed-up net firms would operate some sanctions against those who ignore the warnings, maybe including the 'bandwidth throttling' being considered as a sanction under the British three-strikes system, or maybe the application of filters that block user access to websites and services often used for sharing files illegally. It seems likely participating ISPs would be able to choose their own sanctions once it gets to that stage.

CNET's sources admit though no actual deals have been signed as yet, but say that talks are now moving along much more swiftly than before, partly because the White House has been talking tough on copyright issues of late, leading some ISP execs worrying that if they don't put a voluntary system in place Congress may legislate on the issue.

As yet neither the content owners nor the net firms have responded to this report.

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BUJU BANTON JAILED FOR TEN YEARS
Reggae man Buju Banton has been jailed for ten years for his role in a large cocaine trafficking deal. As previously reported, Banton was arrested after seemingly trying to buy five kilos of cocaine in 2009. Prosecutors also told the court that the singer had told a police informant that he could set up a coke deal on several occasions. But Banton claimed he had been tricked by a cocaine smuggler, and that while he may have told the informant he could set up a drugs deal, such claims were actually idle boasts.

But back in February it took just two days for jurors to decide they didn't buy Banton's excuses, and to find him guilty of the drugs crime. A flurry of letters were sent to court talking up Banton's good character and sound past record ahead of this week's sentencing, but the judge handed down the mandatory ten year sentence for the drugs charge anyway. Though he did throw out a periphery gun charge which would have added an extra five years to the prison time. And with time already served and good behaviour, the reggae star could be out of jail in six years time.

Nevertheless, six years inside is a long time, and Banton admitted he 'despaired' at the sentence, though added he would get through the ordeal. In a statement read out by his lawyer David Markus, the reggae star told reporters and fans: "The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and I'm hopeful, and that is sufficient to carry me through. The man is not dead. Don't call him a ghost".

Markus added that his client intended to appeal the ruling.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR KNOCKING OVER BIEBER
Justin Bieber was knocked to the floor by an unnamed man in New York yesterday, as the popster attended a bash at Macy's to promote his new fragrance brand, SmellLikeATeenageBoy.

According to reports, when the unnamed pusher jumped over a barrier and knocked Bieber to the ground, the pop boy suffered some bruises and was a little shaken, though he nevertheless got up, got on with the promo junket as planned, and then headed off for his girlfriend's film premiere. You see, this is because the Biebster is used to dealing with flying objects coming from his audience, as this video proves.

The jumper-pusher-attacker man was arrested and taken into custody. No word on what then happened to him. Perhaps Bieber got his new pal Chris Brown to sort things out. Which will either mean the attacker is lying unconscious in the street somewhere, or he's recovering from being called a "gay nigga", depending on whether you're thinking of the classic Chris Brown story, or the one we've chosen not to report on this morning.

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DIDDY SETTLES PARTY SHOOT OUT LAWSUITS
Sean Diddy Man Combs has reportedly settled various lawsuits relating to an infamous night at a New York club in 1999 which ended up in one of those fashionable hip hop shoot outs.

Combs and his then girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were at Club New York when the shoot out occurred, and were taken in for police questioning after the incident. Combs associate Jamal 'Shyne' Barrow was jailed in relation to the shooting, but Combs was cleared of involvement by the criminal investigation. Nevertheless, he, Barrow and club owner Michael Bergos were all sued by some of the people injured in the shooting, and those lawsuits have been rumbling on ever since.

Except, according to new reports, they were all settled earlier this year with big cash pay outs being made to the victims, presumably without any actual acceptance of liability on the part of the defendants. We don't know the details, and didn't know these deals had been made at all until know, because everyone involved signed up to a non-disclosure agreement, except, for some reason, Bergos, who has now spilt the beans to the New York Post. Which is how we know this much.

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HADDON COMMITTED SUICIDE AFTER CROWD SURFING INJURY
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool's Charles Haddon committed suicide shortly after injuring a fan while crowdsurfing, an inquest into the late singer's death has confirmed.

As previously reported, Haddon died shortly after performing at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium last August. There were reports at the time he had fallen or jumped from some sort of mast, but actually he had hanged himself with a belt.

Prior to his death Haddon had been "deeply upset" after a female fan had been injured while he crowd surfed during his set at the festival. The band's manager says Haddon had spoken to the fan's father after the incident and was told she had suffered three damaged vertebrae. It was also implied legal action may be taken, manager Sam Farr said. A distressed Haddon then took his own life, Coroner Anne Pember concluded.

Haddon had clearly suffered from depression prior to the Pukkelpop incident, and since his death his bandmates have become supporters of CALM, a charity set up to support young men dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. You can support their work at www.thecalmzone.net

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JUDGE REJECTS CALLS FOR ESTATE AND AEG TO PAY FOR JACKSON MEMORIAL POLICING
An LA taxpayer who wanted the courts to force the Michael Jackson estate and AEG Live to pay back to the city of Los Angeles the money it spent policing the late king of pop's big memorial concert back in 2009 has failed.

There was much controversy at the time of Jackson's death about the cost to the city caused by the memorial concert held in the late singer's memory at LA's Staples Centre. Although various groups called for the Jackson estate and/or AEG to cover those costs, and some Jackson fans started a fund to help pay, in the end city chiefs insisted policing the event was their responsibility and that, while the city was cash strapped, it budgeted for policing a couple of major events each year.

But LA resident Jose Freddie Vallejos was not happy, and took legal action against the Jackson estate and AEG in a bid to force them to pay. But yesterday, as the second anniversary of Jackson's death approached, Judge Mary Ann Murphy ruled that "whether it's a Laker championship or the funeral of a celebrity, it is the city's call, not the court's call, how many officers to deploy", and therefore, she concluded, it was the city's job to pay.

Needless to say, reps for the Jackson estate and AEG welcomed the ruling, while Vallejos' lawyer, Jeff Grotke, said he'd be looking into a possible appeal. The legal man seems quite angry about all this himself, writing: "It should be utterly astounding to the everyday taxpayer that the court ... has refused to find that a billion-dollar business like the Jackson estate cannot at least find the money to repay the city for the event. This was a nauseating, quasi-worshipful sanitisation of the noseless Jackson, a grand, cynical chance to forget his repeated sins and creepy lifestyle. The fact was it was a lifelong worship and adoration that had doubtless turned him into such a vain lunatic".

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NME ANNOUNCE SECOND YEAR OF PHOTO AWARDS
NME has announced details of its second Music Photography Awards, staged in association with camera makers Nikon. Amateur photographers are invited to submit their work for one of various categories, while two professional music snappers will also be honoured. Amateur winners will win rather flash Nikon cameras as well as the honour and the glory and other such intangible benefits.

Says NME's Head Of Creative Media, Rob Hunt: "We're really pleased to be working with Nikon again this year on the NME Photography Awards. NME has an incredible history of publishing some of the most iconic images of bands and live music over its 59-year history. We now want to find the next genius behind the lens and partnering with the most iconic camera company is a perfect match".

Nikon marketing man Jeremy Gilbert added: "The competition is an ideal platform for us to engage with and celebrate the talents of both aspiring and professional music photographers. We encourage people to capture and share their music experiences through images and ultimately to have fun with their photography".

You'll get more on this mallarky at www.nme.com/photoawards

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LAMB OF GOD IN THE STUDIO
American metal types Lamb Of God have begun work on their sixth studio album. And if you don't believe me, well, drummer Chris Adler has confirmed it, so now you look stupid, you stupid doubter you. Commenting on the album making process, he told Gunshyassassin.com: "I'm excited. When you are in the middle of it, writing, and having to perform it over and over again, you kind of get lost in it. But when I get to sit back and we have this hard disc - it's pretty exciting stuff. I'm excited that at our spot in time, and at our age, that we're still doing something that is different and better than anything we've done in the past". The new long player should be released in early 2012.

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NEW GOLD PANDA TRACK
Fancy a new slice of Gold Panda? Go on, you know you do really. Well, the London-based electro producer has put a new MP3 online that you can download for freebie. Called 'MBP', its a melange of tropical xylophone trills and jittery synth sounds, skilfully arranged into a smooth and sophisticated piece of several phases. Interested? Go here: www.iamgoldpanda.com/news/

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NEW YACHT VIDS
Electro two-piece (well, in the studio) YACHT have posted a two part video for the two opening tracks of their new album 'Shangri La', which is out this week. The two competing tracks brought to life are the counterbalancing 'Utopia' and 'Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire'). You can watch them on the DFA Records Vimeo channel here.

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MINAJ DUETS WITH BLIGE, WELL POSSIBLY NOT, OR POSSIBLY NOT YET
Despite announcing recently that she was "done" with collaborations, it seems old habits die hard for Nicki Minaj, who has made an exception for Mary J Blige by appearing on the R&B queen's new song 'Feel Inside'... or has she?

According to Billboard, a source close to Ms Blige's camp has reported that the song, which surfaced online recently, is just a mash-up of two separate tracks, a mock-up of how a musical partnership between the two divas might sound. Apparently both stars are, in fact, working together on a totally different project, which may or may not feature on Mary's upcoming album 'My Life II: The Journey Continues'.

Putting off doubts over its authenticity for a second, the mix is at least cohesive and well-crafted. Nicki and Mary's two elements follow a similar narrative, with both women feeling on edge about their tiresome relationships. The Young Money rappette brings a few choice one-liners to the table on the Wu-Tang-sampling soul jam, while Mary's vocal is as heartfelt and assuredly strong as one might expect from a veteran of such classics as 'No More Drama' and 'Family Affair'.

Listen to it here via Idolator.

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ALBUM REVIEW: John Maus - We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves (Upset The Rhythm)
John Maus - pop music philosopher, friend of Ariel Pink, purveyor of the kind of echo-slathered-mutant-Italo destined to annoyingly be lumped in with both the hypnagogic pop and reverb-revival scenes - reminds this listener of Ian Svenonius. The Nation Of Ulysses/Chain & The Gang frontman's semi-arch/semi-serious musings on pop culture through song seem to strike a chord on this record, Maus' third full-length for esteemed London indie label Upset The Rhythm.

As an album - and clocking in at a streamlined 32 minutes, one really should be able to find the time to listen to it the whole way through - 'We Must Become...' roots itself in an re-imagined past where the original batch of post-punk bands were inspired by Alexander Robotnik rather than Chic; this is bedroom pop based on the dry academic abstractions of Italo Disco Studies. And it's absolutely marvellous. Maus harnesses the sentimentality of old synthesizers endlessly over resolutely stiff, unfunky drum machine percussion, and vocals buried so low in the mix - and covered in studio dust to further place the listener at a remove - to craft an album of alternate-reality megahits.

Album closer, and highlight, 'Believer', marries a kind of taunt, ascending, melodic bassline to those basement dwelling vocals, creating a song that, conceivably, and with a little studio polish, could retrospectively soundtrack euphoric moments from 80s films: characters fistpumping in slow motion, freeze frames and rolling credits. 'We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves' is the kind of literate, intelligent, genuinely warped pop music that we want and need. A triumph. JAB.

Physical release: 27 Jun

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IN THE CITY TO TAKE A YEAR OFF
Organisers of Manchester-based music business convention and new band festival In The City have announced they are taking a year off, but will return for a 20th anniversary celebration in 2012.

ITC was relocated within Manchester and revamped a little last year as it endevourted to compete in the increasingly competitive music convention market, changes which were generally well received. However, most of the staff brought in to lead the revamp were quietly made redundant earlier this year. Yesterday the event's co-founder, Yvette Livesy, revealed that she had decided to take a year's sabbatical to recover from a serious, long-term illness, but that ITC would return next year.

Livesey told reporters: "I have been suffering from a serious, long-term illness for some years now and thankfully I am now fully recovered. I am also getting married and having a baby this year so I have made the decision to take a year-long sabbatical. This means that although there will not be an In The City this year we are going to have the opportunity to plan an amazing event to celebrate our 20th Anniversary in 2012".

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AIM ANNOUNCE WOMEN IN ENTERTAINMENT NIGHT
The Association Of Independent Music has announced that its next Women In Music & Entertainment event will take place at Proud's City venue on 18 Jul, celebrating the successes of women in the entertainment industry.

The event comes as UK Music puts together its equality charter, which hopes to tackle the white, male bias of much of the British music industry, especially at the top. A keynote speaker is ETA, though a panel debate will follow on 'closing the music industry gender gap' involving UK Music's Andy Heath, Westbury Music's Paulette Long, AEG Live's Jessica Koravos and AIM chief Alison Wenham.

Check more at www.musicindie.com/womeninmusic2011

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EMI BUYER SPECULATION
I think we all knew that the three other majors and everyone who bid for Warner Music would be at least considering making an offer for EMI once current owners Citigroup properly put it up for sale, which they did earlier this week, but in case you wanted confirmation of that fact, Bloomberg have reported that billionaire investor Alec Gores and new Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik are both definitely considering bids.

As previously reported, the LA Times had already revealed that bosses at Universal Music are trying to work out whether competition regulators in Europe would let them absorb some or all of the EMI business, if Citigroup would be willing to sell it them, which they probably wouldn't.

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OPEN SOURCE MUSIC IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY LAUNCHED
A digital company called The Echo Nest has launched a Shazam-style technology that is open source, and can therefore be used by any developers wanting to incorporate audio-based music identification into their product. There's a tie up with 7Digital, which means the Echoprint system can identify the millions of tracks in their digital catalogue. As an open source technology it's hoped that catalogue of identifiable tracks will grow as other developers use it.

Says The Echo Nest CTO Brian Whitman: "Music fingerprinting should belong to the internet. It should be a service that every developer can rely on without worrying about licensing fees or complicated database implementations. The Echo Nest is uniquely positioned to open its best-in-class fingerprinting technology and music resolution data to the public. Any music experience, from a streaming cloud service to a social music game can now immediately include music recognition. We're giving people the client and server along with the data, and we can't wait to see what they build with this".

7Digital Ben Drury told CMU: "Through the many partnerships that run on the 7digital platform, we have learned that consumers have no problem paying for music if the experience is simple and convenient. When music fans hear something they love, they want to know what it is and make an easy purchase of that track or album. Echoprint and 7digital combined gives developers the tools to identify music from any source and then provide an easy way for users to buy that music".

He continued: "This open-source option will help companies to help solve the problem of accurate song identification. 7digital's catalogue has been a part of The Echo Nest's API suite since last fall, and Echoprint is a great extension of that relationship. We both believe that adding new tools for application developers promotes more creative music services and better options for consumers".

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PINK WRITES TO THE PAPS
Pink has published an open letter to those pesky paps who seem very keen to get a photo of her recently born child. She'd like to make it clear she really doesn't want endless photos of her child in the papers, but that she will sell one set of official snaps sometime soon to raise money for charity and hopefully satisfy the public's curiosity (FYI the curious, the baby looks like, well, every other baby).

Writes Pink: "Due to the unsettling, surprisingly aggressive and unsafe measures that the paparazzi seem to be willing to go to in order to secure that 'first shot' of our daughter - stalking us, chasing us in cars and sitting outside of our home all day and all night - as new parents Carey and I decided that we would release personal photos of our Willow, and donate all of the money to charity".

She continues: "Here's the bottom line: we don't want you to take our little girl's picture. We don't want you to one day follow our little girl home from school. We don't want our little girl's picture in a magazine or on a blog. If you take or publish her picture, it is against our wishes, and without our consent as parents, as people".

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SCHERZINGER RESPONDS TO FORMER MANAGER'S X CLAIMS
Nicole Scherzinger has denied claims made be her former manager that bosses at 'X-Factor USA' always intended the former Pussycat Doll to be a judge on the show, and that they initially brought in Cheryl Cole as a publicity stunt, always intending to axe her.

Officially Scherzinger was originally recruited to co-host the US version of the programme, but was moved onto the judging panel after Cole was cut from the show. But the singer's ex-manager Jeff Haddad recently claimed Scherzinger was always going to judge, but had to wait on the sidelines why show bosses went through with the Cheryl Cole escapade.

But speaking on US radio show 'Kidd Kraddick In The Morning' this week, Scherzinger said Haddad had never been involved in her talks with 'X' chiefs, who didn't even know who he was, and that everything he said about Cole was untrue.

Scherzinger: "I was very hurt by that [claim]. But it goes to show how much he doesn't know. The people at [show producers] Fremantle, and all the powers that be, have no idea who he is, because he was never involved".

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PRINCE PREFERS ANALOGUE BEATS
Despite being an early innovator on the internet, and self-releasing various records digitally, Prince has decided he doesn't like digital music because, erm, people are analogue beasts and should listen to analogue music.

In an interview with The Guardian, Prince says: "I personally can't stand digital music. You're getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can't feel anything. We're analogue people, not digital".

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Fireman Sam
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