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EMA, or Erika M Anderson, made the move from South Dakota to LA aged eighteen, taking her first footsteps into the music world with alt-rockers Amps For Christ and releasing a 2007 album with drone-folk pairing Gowns before electing to strike out on her own. Her debut album, 'Past Life Martyred Saints', has a broad but clearly defined sonic palette, which allows for diverse variety of styles more>>
Throughout December, we will be revisiting some of our favourite artists to have appeared in the CMU Approved column this year. Today it's Listener, a band whose frontman has been said to sound like a tramp ranting. In a good way. They released latest album, 'Wooden Heart', in July and, when they arrived in the UK to promote it a month later, played one of our favourite gigs of the year more>>
- Edgar Bronfman Jr's departure may signal Warner Music restructure
- Jackson's dermatologist faces medical board hearing
- Beggars Group's Martin Mills continues to be outstanding
- AIM head brands BBC Sound Of Poll "completely meaningless"
- Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood to record new film soundtrack
- The National "ready" for new album, says frontman
- Queen may release two previously unheard tracks featuring both Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson
- Nicki Minaj auctions custom Barbie doll for charity, debuts new track
- Reznor and Ross release Dragon Tattoo soundtrack sampler
- Frankie Rose confirms new LP
- Plan B announces forest tour
- Festival line-up update
- Metallica brought forward European tour because of Eurozone crisis
- Ben Kweller launches record label
- CPA welcomes PRS decision on the live royalty
- 7Digital announces Microsoft alliance
- US radio reaches royalty settlement with ASCAP
- HMV does not know who will win this weekend's X-Factor final
- Cliff Richard wouldn't mind duetting with Rihanna
- Keith Richards saved Charlie Watts from heroin addiction
Kilimanjaro Live are promoters of live music and other events including Sonisphere and Wakestock festivals and are looking for a Ticketing Manager to join our team. We work on hundreds of events a year with a wide variety of artists and at capacities from small rooms to arenas to stadiums and green field sites so ideally you would have a good level of experience in the ticketing requirements of some if not all of these event types.

An interest in music and willingness to work within a pressured environment as part of a team is essential. The role is based in London but involves some travel, particularly in festival season.

Please send your CV and a covering note to [email protected]
Fast growing Music PR Agency is looking for a sharp Online PR account manager who loves the web and takes pride in doing a Superstar job. You will require significant music online experience, with a proven track record of working high profile releases and social media campaigns. You must also have exceptional writing ability. Superb training and support provided. You will take ownership of your job and be generously rewarded for the quality and reliability of your work. HTML, graphic design skills and technical knowledge a distinct advantage.

Minimum one to two years PR experience in online PR. Salary dependent on experience.

To apply, send a cover letter and CV to [email protected]
7digital seek an Account Manager to oversee our US based B2B clients. Reporting to the lead of the London HQ account management team with direction and priorities on North American business from the NA market lead and business development team, the focus of the role is to support all B2B API business implementation and provide general account coordination between the London and North American operations. The position is part of a small American team (consisting of: market lead, business development, technical evangelist, and marketing - all based in US; with the Account Manager role based in London).

More information here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/jobs

Please send CV and covering letter to [email protected] ensuring you put Account Manager in the subject field.
Cooking Vinyl is looking for an office manager to run and maintain our busy West London office.

Successful applicants will exhibit good written skills, ability to problem solve, multi-task, and be proficient on office software packages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc).

All applicants must be well organised, have a genuine love of music, enjoy going to gigs, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Cooking Vinyl is a successful independent record label and has developed a reputation as one of Europe’s prime artist-focused independent labels, inspiring an enviable loyalty among its artists which include The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, The Enemy, Roll Deep, Groove Armada and Billy Bragg.

Applicants should send CV and covering letter to [email protected]

Closing date 10 Dec
The Zeitgeist Agency is the leading creative communications agency in the festival, brand and music space. We have the contacts, ideas and passion to consistently over-deliver and generate the right buzz at the right time for our premium brands and events.

Want to join our expanding team?

Senior Account Manager – All-rounder with music, brand account management, festival and arts experience. Must have unrivalled contacts and proven record for new business. Experienced, determined and tenacious candidates need only apply.

Press Officer / Junior Account Manager – at least one year’s cross platform experience required and ready to go to the next level.

Send your CV and a tweet-sized covering note to: [email protected]

Could the decision by Edgar Bronfman Jr to step back from the Chairman role at Warner Music be a sign that some more radical restructuring is incoming at the major music company?

Probably not, after all Bronfman Jr had already given up any real control over the firm when he resigned as CEO in August, though his announcement this week that he'll now relinquish the Chairman role in January has added to gossiping that newish Warner owner Access Industries is now planning some radical changes in 2012. Access man Stephen Cooper is now WMG's CEO, of course, and it's thought another Access board member could take over in the Chairman post.

And, according to Digital Music News, which cites unnamed sources, that restructuring will be motivated by serious concerns at Access that its $3.3 billion acquisition of Warner was not as good a move as the firm originally thought, especially now that rivals Universal and Sony, instead of Warner, will share the spoils of the EMI sale (regulator investigation permitting), leaving WMG as the solitary little major alongside two even bigger mega-majors. DMN's source says Access Industries chief Len Blavatnik is "apoplectic over this acquisition" which was allegedly made with "lots of blind spots" about Warner's future performance.

If the restructuring is motivated by serious concerns at Access about its most recent purchase, then the aim of any structural change will almost certainly be to reduce costs. Or in the words of DMN's source: "There's some serious buyer's remorse happening here, and [Blavatnik] will be trimming the fat just like Guy Hands did". Hands, of course, was the boss of private equity group Terra Firma, who instigated a radical overhaul and dramatic headcount cull after his firm bought EMI in a debt laden multi-billion deal in 2007.

All of the majors have been quietly making staffers redundant for years now of course, some to reduce overall staff numbers, some to downsize traditional record label operations to allow expansion into other areas of the music business such as merchandise, management, brand partnerships and label services. But Hands' approach at EMI, a sudden radical cull of whole teams, labels and numerous senior and veteran execs almost overnight, really stood out. Could Blavatnik and Access be planning something similar at Warner?

You don't get the sense that something so dramatic is about to happen in the Warner Music empire, though it is true that new owners do normally start making their most radical changes towards the end of their first year in charge, which would mean a spring restructuring wouldn't be unexpected.

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Michael Jackson's dermatologist Dr Arnold Klein has been subpoenaed by the Medical Board Of California to face various allegations made against him, some of which indirectly relate to his treatment of the late king of pop.

Although he has not been accused of any criminal conduct, according to TMZ, Klein will appear before the Board on 15 Dec to face questioning about various claims that have been made, including that he self-prescribed narcotics, used false names on narcotic prescriptions, illegally handed out drug samples to famous patients and committed gross negligence by practicing while afflicted with multiple sclerosis.

As previously reported, Klein's name was raised by the defence in the trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor found guilty of causing Jackson's death by negligently administering the drug propofol as a cure for insomnia. Team Murray claimed that one of the reasons Jackson was suffering such bad insomnia was because, unbeknownst to Murray at the time, the singer had been receiving doses of the pain killer Demerol from Klein.

Although officially used as part of treatments being conducted by the dermatologist, the Murray defence argued that Klein was actually feeding Jackson's addiction to the painkiller medication, and that the singer subsequently suffered withdrawal symptoms from the drug, resulting in insomnia. Which in turn resulted in his dependency on propofol, a dependency Murray then fed, albeit reluctantly if his lawyers are to be believed.

The judge hearing the Murray case said any allegations against Klein were not relevant to the former's manslaughter trial, because there was no Demerol in Jackson's system when he died, so Klein's actions - whatever they may have been - were in no way linked to the singer's demise. As such the Murray team's allegations against Klein - part of an only hinted at theory that a number of doctors had been inappropriately feeding Jackson's various addictions for years - were only touched on briefly during the doctor's court hearing.

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Not three months after he was handed the Industry Champion Award at the inaugural Artists & Managers Awards back in September, it has been announced that Beggars Group founder and chairman Martin Mills is to receive the Outstanding Contribution Award at next year's Music Producers Guild Awards.

Announcing the news, MPG chairman Steve Levine told CMU: "The Outstanding Contribution Award acknowledges those who have made a significant contribution over a long period of time to the success of the UK music recording industry. This may be a producer or engineer, but it can equally be a manager, an A&R person or even a great artist. We have chosen Martin as our 2012 recipient because he has always adopted the philosophy of putting artists first. Artists signed to Beggars Group are given the time and freedom to develop and are supported every step of the way. In our industry it is rare to find a record company chairman who is so determined to release quality music that he is prepared to put creativity above profits, and for this reason we applaud him".

This and all the other MPG awards, including the first BRIT of the year for Best Producer, will be handed out at Café de Paris in London on 16 Feb. And right now you can read CMU's interview with Martin Mills published earlier this year: www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/qa-martin-mills-beggars-group/

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Following the previously repprted announcement that this year's BBC Sound Of poll longlist only featured one artist signed to an independent label, Alison Wenham, boss of the Association Of Independent Music, has branded the poll "completely meaningless".

Speaking to the NME, Wenham said: "I think it's very inconsequential because, even going back years, this list has not proven to be particularly accurate. The independents will do what they do, and I'm not all that bothered about these sorts of polls. I don't think it has very much to do with music, to be honest with you. They say 100 tastemakers put it together, but it cannot be that those tastemakers manage to avoid an entire sector".

She added: "I think [the BBC Sound Of polls are] completely meaningless. Brutally, this is a list of product placements for the year coming, and then something [else] will come along out of nowhere. That's the glory of the unpredictability of our industry - and long may it reign".

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That Jonny Greenwood off of Radiohead is only at it again. He's gone and signed up to record his fifth film score. The latest is for 'The Master', a drama set in the 50s starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix, which is due to hit cinemas in 2013.

Work is already underway on the new soundtrack, and although his previous scores have been solo efforts, this time he has worked with jazz outfit Zed-U. And it was the boss of their label Babel, Oliver Weindling, who broke the news at the weekend, tweeting: "Zed-U recorded part of soundtrack for Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead last week. Film (by Paul Thomas Anderson) to appear in 2013".

Greenwood's most recent film score was for this year's 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'.

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The National's Matt Berninger has discussed the songs which may or may not the follow-up to the band's last album 'High Violet', while describing chief songwriter Aaron Dessner's new material as his finest work yet.

He told Jam! Showbiz that the Brooklyn quintet have been working on new songs on tour, saying: "We're getting really excited about the new record. I feel like we're kind of ready. Of course, all that being said, it all may change completely - six months from now we might just throw everything away that we've been working on and start from scratch. You never know".

Speaking about Dessner, he said: "Aaron seems to be in some sort of really weird creative space. He recently had a baby, so maybe it's a lack of sleep. He's wired differently. The songs he's given me are much less cerebral and academic and much more immediate and visceral than usual. I'm in love with them. I just spent all night listening over and over to some things he sent. I think they're some of the best things he's ever written".

Since there simply isn't room to print the entire interview, read it in full here: jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/N/National/2011/12/05/19069921.html

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Two previously unreleased Queen tracks featuring Freddie Mercury and guest appearances from Michael Jackson are likely to be released next year, it has been revealed.

There had been plans in the Queen camp to put together a whole collection of various previously unreleased recordings featuring Mercury, though those plans have seemingly been dropped after Roger Taylor and Brian May decided there were not enough complete demo recordings to justify a full album.

However, it seems that the two collaborations with Jackson are suitable for a public airing, and it's been reported that the tracks have now been cleared by the Jackson estate for release sometime next year under the Queen banner. It's not yet clear when the recordings were made, or how substantial Jackson's role was in them.

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Pop-rap lady Nicki Minaj is auctioning off her own special edition Barbie doll for a good cause. Created in her likeness by Barbie makers Mattel, the 'Her Minajesty' doll models "wispy layers of silk charmeuse and shimmering tulle" in the style of Minaj, who herself cultivates a 'Harajuku Barbie' image, loves pink, and has nicknamed her fans 'Barbz'.

With bids pushing $4000 at last glance, proceeds from sales will go to LA-based charity Project Angel Food, who deliver meals to people with life-threatening illnesses. You'll find more details and some nice photos of the doll here: www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/291301

Minaj has also just premiered the first official taste of her forthcoming second album, 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded'. Listen to the track, which is titled 'Roman In Moscow', here: soundcloud.com/nickiminajofficial/roman-in-moscow

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So, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will this week release their original soundtrack to David Fincher's film adaptation of 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo', which opens in UK cinemas on Boxing Day. And the NIN frontman is marking the occasion by offering a free six track album sampler, which you can pick up here in exchange for an email address: nullco.com/GDT/gbp.php

Having previously worked together on the Oscar-winning 'The Social Network' score, Reznor has said of his and Ross' latest partnership: "We laughed, we cried, we lost our minds and in the process made some of the most beautiful and disturbing music of our careers. Atticus and I are very proud of the film and our work, we hope you enjoy".

The digital version of the 39 track OST album will be available from 9 Dec, with the three-disc CD version due out on 27 Dec.

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Now standing apart from her one-time backing troupe The Outs, a solo Frankie Rose has named her forthcoming second album 'Interstellar', and set it for release next year.

Having spent stints playing in Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls, she insists the sequel to her debut LP with The Outs won't be of the lo-fi variety. She says: "I always have a big picture in mind. I knew I wanted a HUGE sounding record. Big highs, big lows, and clean. There is no fuzz on this record".

The spotless and fuzz-free 'Interstellar' is due out via Memphis Industries on 19 Mar.

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Plan B has announce that next year he will lure his fans into the woods and... wait, lure sounds bad, doesn't it? He's not going to lure them, he's going to entice them. Is that better? Maybe not. OK, he's going to tempt them into the woods with some of his music. A bit like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The rapper-come-soul-singer will perform a series of shows in the forests of England as part of the Forestry Commission's annual run of getting artists to do that sort of thing.

Tickets go on sale on Friday. Here are the dates:

15 Jun: Thetford Forest, Suffolk
16 Jun: Sherwood Pines Forest, Nottingham
22 Jun: Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest, Kent
23 Jun: Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
29 Jun: Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire
30 Jun: Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire
7 Jul: Delamere Forest, Cheshire

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ISLE OF WIGHT, Seaclose Park, Newport, 22-24 Jun: Heartland rock sorts Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers are just-announced newcomers to next year's Isle Of Wight bill, set to provide company for the likes of Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band, Elbow, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Biffy Clyro and The Vaccines. www.isleofwightfestival.com

PRIMAVERA SOUND, Parc del Forum, Barcelona, Spain, 30 May-30 Jun: Taking gradual steps towards a planned return in 2012, Franz Ferdinand have outed Primavera Sound as their first festival date of next summer. They mark the latest addition to an overall line-up that includes headliner Björk, The xx, Spiritualized, Yo La Tengo, Washed Out and SBTRKT. www.optimusprimaverasound.com

SXSW, various venues, Austin, Texas, 13-18 Mar: SxSW has announced another batch of bands for its line-up next year. Which bands have been announced, you ask? Um, all of them, I think: sxsw.com/node/9746

WAKESTOCK, Penhros, Abersoch, 6-8 Jul: In their own words, Wakestock organisers are "stoked" to welcome brand new bill-topper Calvin Harris to proceedings at the annual surf and wakeboarding bash. This news means Harris squaring up to first-booked headliner Ed Sheeran on the line-up listings as they are so far, with further acts tbc. www.wakestock.co.uk

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You may well have noticed that Metallica are playing a number of rock festivals next summer, despite having already cropped up at quite a few European fests in the last two years. You may have also noticed that at some of the 2012 festival dates they will be playing 'The Black Album' in full to mark its twentieth anniversary, even though you might usually expect a 21st rather than 20th anniversary to be overtly celebrated.

This might all be linked to the fact that the band originally planned to take next year off and tour Europe in 2013. But, it seems, such plans were altered earlier this year when the Eurozone crisis started to escalate, amid fears that the European currency will crash and take years to recover, rendering any festival fees paid in euros impractical for major American bands. The solution, it seems, was to bring forward the European shows so to get fees before the Euro totally crashes and burns, and then prioritise Asia and Latin America in the years following 2012.

Needless to say, it's not the band themselves agonising about the fate of the euro, but their manager Cliff Burnstein. He's admitted that Europe's faltering currency has impacted on the way he has scheduled Metallica's live plans for the coming years, telling the Wall Street Journal: "We're a US export the same way Coca-Cola is. We look for the best markets. And you have to ask yourself, what's the best time to be doing what, when and where".

So, European Metallica fans, make the most of the gigs while you can, and then just pray for a speedy resolution to Europe's economic collapse.

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Singer-songwriter Ben Kweller has announced he is launching his own record label, to be called Noise Company. The Austin-based label will handle all of Kweller's own releases, with plans down the line to sign other acts too.

Confirming the new venture, Kweller told reporters: "There's a lot of geeky stuff involved, but as a diehard music junkie and record collector, these things get me excited. It's the real deal, not just an artist self-releasing his music. We have a real staff, real funding, real distribution, and I look forward to eventually helping other artists achieve their goals too".

He continued: "I've worked with some great people, most of whom I remain friends with today. Unfortunately, we've all been operating within an antiquated system that doesn't work any more. The Noise Co is another step in creating my own system. It gives me the opportunity to work directly with people in the industry who were previously off limits".

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The Concert Promoters Association, the trade body for British gig promoters, has welcomed the recent announcement by PRS For Music that it will keep the royalties it charges the live sector at the current rate of 3% of ticket receipts.

As previously reported, PRS, representing music publishers and songwriters, announced it was reviewing the royalties paid by promoters to the collecting society last year. Many expected the society to subsequently propose increasing the royalty charged to mainstream gig, tour and festival promoters, possibly offering concessions to the grass roots sector in return. But after a lengthy consultation, PRS announced last month that it would keep the live royalty as is.

CPA Chairman Stuart Littlewood issued a statement supporting that move yesterday, telling reporters: "We are extremely pleased that the consultation has been persuasive in assisting PRS For Music in deciding to abandon an increase. The potential ramifications of the proposed increase - for both live music fans and people within the industry - were massive".

He continued: "Any increased tax on musical performances would have been directly passed onto music fans up and down the country. If live music is to survive, we need to ensure that we are keeping ticket prices at an affordable level, not least given the current harsh economic climate".

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7Digital marked its seventh birthday yesterday (albeit quite a few months after the company's actual seventh birthday) by revealing some interesting stats and announcing some new developments.

Delivering an overview of both the wider digital market and his own company, 7Digital CEO Ben Drury revealed just how important mobile download sales have become in the last year thanks to the growth in smartphone usage and increased bandwidth availability for many mobile users.

7Digital, of course, has deals in place with various mobile phone makers, Samsung and Blackberry in particular, and also offers an Android app. As a result 44% of the company's sales now come through mobile devices, compared to 1% last year, a huge percentage increase, all the more significant given Drury confirmed PC-based sales also went up in the same year.

One of the big announcements yesterday also centred on mobile, with news that 7Digital will be making downloads available via Windows Phones in 2012. Says Drury: "We're continuing to see demand from customers for access to their music on all their devices, regardless of the manufacturer or operating system. With the launch of our Windows Phone app, we're continuing to work towards the realisation of our vision to provide anytime anywhere access to music for our customers".

The 'anytime anywhere' ethos - ie providing music to any device or operating system - has always been key to 7Digital's business, and is obviously a key distinguishing factor between Drury's company and digital music market leader Apple.

And that "being device agnostic" thing featured heavily in Drury's presentation yesterday, he predicting that Amazon's move into tablets and Google's continued promotion of the Android OS and purchase earlier this year of Motorola would likely make the other two big players in digital content increasingly gear their services to their own software and devices.

Drury: "7Digital is 'platform agnostic' and by working closely with Microsoft on its Windows devices we are closer to our goal of being able to give our customers access to their entire music collection on all of their devices, any time they want to access it".

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America's Radio Music License Committee, representing the country's commercial radio sector, has announced a new licensing settlement with ASCAP, one of the US's key collecting societies for music publishers and songwriters (alongside the other major player BMI, of course). The RMLC and ASCAP have been in dispute for a while over what royalties US radio stations should be paying ASCAP members for the song rights in the tracks they play, but the new arrangement ends those disputes and will now be in place until 2016.

Speaking for the RMLC, Ed Christian, also CEO of Saga Communications, told reporters: "This is a gratifying result for the radio industry, which reflects the current realities of our industry and puts the industry back on sound footing insofar as its licensing relationships with ASCAP are concerned. We appreciate the good will which ASCAP has demonstrated in working with our industry to get this resolution".

ASCAP boss John LoFrumento added: "The process of building this agreement was based on mutual trust and appreciation, and reflected both sides' clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities we each see for the future. I want to thank the Radio Music License Committee for its creative approach in respecting the value provided by music creators in our negotiations".

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HMV does not have a secret insider insight into who will win this weekend's 'X-Factor' final, just in case you thought it did. Which is just as well really, given the winner is meant to be chosen by a viewer vote.

Meaning, of course, that when HMV added 'X Factor 2011 Winner's Single' by Amelia Lily to its upcoming releases list on its mail-order website yesterday, allegations were quickly made that something dodgy was going on at 'X' Towers, and the winner of this year's tedium contest had already been decided by telly bosses. Though, of course, others quickly pointed out that an error on HMV's part was a much more likely explanation.

And last night HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo confirmed that the company had intended to add the potential winner singles from all three 'X' finalists to their website, allowing fans of the respective wannabes to pre-order each release, even though only one of them will actually be released, if that makes sense. But, by error, Lily's single appeared on the list before the other two.

Says Castaldo: "HMV.com was looking to accept customer pre-orders for versions of the 'X Factor' winner's single recorded by each of the three finalists. However, due to a technical issue only Amelia Lily's details were uploaded. These have been temporarily removed so that all three finalists details can go up at the same time. This has been the result of an unforeseen but regrettable technical issue, for which we apologise and ask that nothing further be construed".

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Cliff Richard has said that, should the opportunity arise, he'd be willing to collaborate with Rihanna, provided they can settle on the right track. Oh, and given that she wants to sing with him, which is probably important.

Speaking to Digital Spy amidst a seasonal promo push for his new live DVD 'Soulicious', Cliff riffed: "Someone asked me if I'd like to sing with Rihanna, and I said 'Of course I would'. I mean, who wouldn't? She looks great, she sings great. When you do a duet though, it's whether or not you can come to an agreement as to what song. Quite often, I hear other singers, as well as Rihanna, but I don't always like the songs they do. There's a bit of a gulf there sometimes".

Still, Cliff concedes that even when he doesn't personally like the songs sung by Rihanna et al, at least they are bringing in some serious cash into the flagging music business. Says Cliff: "Anybody that has a hit, nowadays particularly, when the record industry is at its lowest level, their success keeps our industry alive and buoyant".

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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has revealed that Keith Richards, of all people, stopped him from falling into heroin addiction while the band were recording their 1978 album 'Some Girls'. Although I'm not sure his advice was that great.

In a programme due to be broadcast on BBC 6music on Christmas Day, Watts says: "I was lucky that I never got that hooked, but I went through a period of taking heroin. I fell asleep on the floor during [the recording of] 'Some Girls' and Keith woke me up and said: 'You should do this when you're older'. Keith telling me this! But it stuck and I just stopped along with everything else".

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email [email protected] or [email protected].

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