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THURSDAY 22 DECEMBER 2011
ARTISTS OF THE YEAR 2011: BJÖRK
In nearly 35 years as a performer, Björk has never been conventional and has done much to push the boundaries of music in her time. But for her latest album, 'Biophilia', she experimented not only musically but also with how the music itself was released. 'Biophilia' is an ambitious project that sometimes overstretches itself, but has created something that will act as a marker music more>>
BEST OF CMU APPROVED 2011: LANA DEL REY
Throughout December, we will be revisiting some of our favourite artists to have appeared in the CMU Approved column this year. Approved for her debut single 'Video Games' in September, Lana Del Rey quickly became a household name. Much faster than anyone, including her management, could have anticipated. If she manages to ride the hype, 2012 will be a big year for her more>>
TOP STORIES
- Sky blocks Newzbin
IN THE POP COURTS
- EMI sued over rights in Santa Claus Is Comin To Town
- Spanish man arrested over Madonna demo leak
OBITUARIES
- Exchange sound engineer dies
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Guns N Roses may reunite at Hall Of Fame, but probably won't
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- U2 top tour tally for 2011
IN THE STUDIO
- R Kelly needs money for more closet action
- The Darkness discuss new LP
RELEASE NEWS
- The Weeknd releases third mixtape
- Soap&Skin announces album, London date
- Lianne La Havas to release second EP
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Sinead O'Connor to tour
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Live Nation forming Japanese alliance
- Shock founder steps down
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- VEVO boss says no IPO on the agenda
- GEMA licenses iTunes Match
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Radio 1 to put evening shows into daytime for a week again
- Dutch magazine editor quits over Rihanna racism row
AND FINALLY...
- Kanye West ejects card-throwing fan
EVENTIM, AFFILIATE MANAGER
Eventim UK is part of CTS Eventim AG, the leading ticketing company in Europe with operations in 20 countries selling more than 100 million tickets to over 140,000 rock & pop, sports, classical music and other events every year.

We are looking for an Affiliate Manager to join our team in London and run our in-house affiliate programme. You should be capable of establishing and developing strong partnerships within the live entertainment industry and across brands that drive traffic to the websites of Eventim and our partners, help secure presales, deliver promotions and generate ticket sales.

A passion for live entertainment is essential.

To apply please send a cover letter including salary expectations together with your CV to: jobs@eventim.co.uk. Closing date: 13 January 2012
   
STUDIO MANAGER/GENERAL ASSISTANT
Enthusiastic individual required to manage a small private recording studio and generally assist a team of established dance music producers.

Must be organised and willing to deal with the day to day running of a recording studio, web/social media savvy, be familiar with Pro-Tools, Logic, Ableton etc. and have a genuine interest in cutting edge dance music of all genres.

Location: London (Kings Cross area)

Looking to interview pre-Christmas for possible mid-January start. Please e-mail CV to studiojob2012@gmail.com
 
   
KILIMANJARO LIVE, TICKETING MANAGER
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 info@kililive.com

SKY BLOCKS NEWZBIN
Sky's internet division has blocked its customers form accessing file-sharing website Newzbin after receiving a court order demanding such a block. The court order was requested by the Motion Picture Association which earlier this year won a similar injunction against BT having convinced the UK courts that such web blocks were the only way to tackle Newzbin, which relocated outside the UK after an earlier court ruling said the website was liable for copyright infringement.

Confirming that it was blocking access to Newzbin after receiving a court order, a spokesman for Sky told reporters: "Sky is working with the rest of the industry to implement a sustainable framework for tackling piracy. When presented with clear and robust evidence of copyright theft, we will take the appropriate action in respect to site blocking, as we have with Newzbin2".

As previously reported, both Sky and Virgin have been more sympathetic towards the content industries regarding their fight against piracy than other net providers, mainly because through their respective TV businesses they are content providers themselves and are directly impacted by file-sharing, especially when movies are illegally downloaded. That said, both ISPs have said they will only instigate web blocks when a court order instructs them to do so. Virgin says it is yet to receive any such order relating to Newzbin so hasn't as yet blocked the site.

To be fair, TalkTalk, usually the most resistant to requests by the content companies for help in combating online piracy, has also said it would instigate a web block if a court order was issued. A spokesman told the BBC: "We are not in principle against blocking, provided a court decides. [But] we have received no such order in respect of Newzbin".

That no ISP is keen to block infringing websites without first receiving a court order has been demonstrated in responses from the net sector to the BPI's recent attempt to have The Pirate Bay blocked.

As previously reported, the record label trade body recently wrote to various net firms asking that, bearing in mind the precedent set in the Newzbin case (that the courts will issue injunctions forcing web blocks on infringement grounds), they voluntarily start blocking access to the rogue BitTorrent search engine. But from what we hear no ISP has agreed to do such a thing voluntarily, and the BPI will now have to begin legal proceedings in a bid to block access to the Bay.

Of course more prolific file-sharers can install software that circumvents such blocks, and Newzbin claims many of its users have done just that. Though most content owners would probably say they are happy just to know that more casual web users will not be able to reach copyright infringing websites, especially those who discover such sites via search engines and are ignorant of that fact the content available there is unlicensed.

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EMI SUED OVER RIGHTS IN SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN TO TOWN
See, we're being festive, we're reporting on a bit of pop litigation relating to a Christmas song.

The estate of the late songwriter J Fred Coots is suing EMI's music publishing company as part of a long running attempt to wrestle back control of 'Santa Claus Is Comin To Town', that much covered Christmas track that, although clearly tarnished by Justin Bieber's terrible version having been allowed into the public domain, is nevertheless a big earner at this time of year.

The legal dispute relates to a feature of US copyright law that allows songwriters who assign their copyrights to a third party, usually a commercial entity, to revoke that assignment, just once, after a period of time. For songs where original assignment took place after 1978 (when the current termination clause was introduced) that period of time is 35 years (which, maths fans will notice, means the impact of this 1978 law is only just about to really kick in, so look out for that).

But for pre-1978 songs, like the 1934 song 'Santa Claus Is Comin To Town', it's slightly more complicated, though this dispute isn't about whether a termination right exists in theory, rather EMI says that Coots has already used up his termination card.

Coots, who co-wrote the Santa Claus track with Haven Gillespie in 1934, originally assigned the copyright in it to a music publishing company headed by one Leo Feist. The song remained with Feist's company, and its successors, until the early 1980s. In 1981 Coots sent a notice of termination to the successor of Feist's company, but subsequently agreed a new deal, so control stayed with that publisher. That publisher was later bought by EMI.

Coots died in 1985. Then, in 2004, his estate sent a new termination notice to EMI, subsequently doing a deal with Warner Music's publishing company over Coots' songs. EMI, however, is trying to hang on to Coots' catalogue, arguing that US copyright law only allows one termination, and that occurred in 1981.

Lawyers for the Coots estate, however, argue that the 1981 termination notice was never filed with the US Copyright Office and was therefore invalid. Meaning the 2004 notice is legit, and EMI should relinquish control of Coot's songs, including 'Santa Claus Is Comin To Town', to Warner. And with that in mind they've now filed legal papers with the Florida court seeking judicial confirmation of their claims.

But EMI is sticking to its interpretation of events. A spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter: "US copyright law provides authors and their heirs with the one-time right to terminate a grant of US copyright. J Fred Coots and his family exercised that right in 1981, and were then paid a significant amount - and continue to be paid significant amounts - for a new grant of rights. Their contention that the supposed failure to file the 1981 notice of termination with the Copyright Office is meaningful is completely inconsistent with the plain language of the Copyright Act. The heirs have no right to terminate a second time. Their claims are baseless and EMI fully expects that they will be dismissed".

So, there you go, Santa Claus is coming to town for a big legal barney over a bit of American copyright law. Have a happy holiday, people.

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SPANISH MAN ARRESTED OVER MADONNA DEMO LEAK
A man has been arrested in Spain over allegations he leaked a demo of a new Madonna single onto the internet. It's not clear how the man, described by Reuters as a "Madonna fan", got hold of the demo to start with, but police say they found copies of the recording in his possession.

As previously reported, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary said the singer was "very upset" when the demo of 'Give Me All Your Love' surfaced online last month, adding in a Tweet: "Madonna told me this morning 'my true fans wouldn't do this'... whoever is responsible for this leak, we ask that you please stop! I'm very happy with the positive reaction to the demo, but we are very upset with whoever leaked the song!"

The Spanish man, identified only by his initials by police, was charged over the leak and then bailed. As previously reported, Universal's Interscope is set to release Madonna's new album in the new year, her first since 2008, which will include the finished version of 'Give Me All Your Love'.

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EXCHANGE SOUND ENGINEER DIES
Nilesh Patel, a popular sound engineer who worked for Camden-based mastering studio The Exchange for over 20 years, has died.

Patel joined The Exchange in 1989 after studying at The School Of Audio Engineering. As a mastering engineer he worked on countless tracks and albums, perhaps most notably Air's 'Moon Safari', Björk's 'Homogenic' and Daft Punk's 'Homework'. His death was confirmed by The Exchange yesterday.

Numerous artists and producers paid tribute via Twitter, with Ewan Pearson noting: "Very sad to hear of the death of Nilesh Patel, mastering engineer at The Exchange - he cut my Soma [Records] album and singles and was a lovely chap", while Erol Alkan wrote: "In my eyes and ears, he was the best mastering engineer on Earth. [We] spent so many afternoons together talking like nerds".

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GUNS N ROSES MAY REUNITE AT HALL OF FAME, BUT PROBABLY WON'T
Organisers of the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame seem optimistic that all seven members of Guns N Roses' most classic line-up will attend next year's Hall Of Fame ceremony, when the band are due to be inducted. Unduly optimistic though, since the band don't seem especially keen.

Hall Of Fame CEO Joel Peresman says: "Who will be invited, obviously, is the original five, and Dizzy and Matt. All have RSVP'd that they will show. Everyone's said they're coming". By 'everyone' then, he means originals Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler, plus keyboardist Dizzy Reed and drummer Matt Sorum who first joined GNR in 1990.

But Slash has already tweeted to the contrary, writing: "For the record, I didn't RSVP, or in any way commit to attending the RRHF".

Meanwhile Axl Rose has been keen to play down any reunion talk of any kind, telling the LA Times: "There is no plan yet. There really is no plan. We're still busy with this line-up. We're gonna be busy - we're gonna be busy all next year. We'll be putting out new stuff as soon as we can figure out what our deal is with labels, blah blah blah".

He may be all 'blah blah blah' now, but Axl wasn't feeling quite so stoic at a Guns N Roses gig this past weekend, when he ordered a fan to leave the show for reasons unknown. At some point during a performance in Vancouver, Rose took a dislike to a man in the crowd, shouting: "Out, motherfucker! Out! Get the fuck out! Yeah, you! See ya, you dumbass motherfucker". The man was then removed.

Before resuming the set, he told the audience: "That's the first person I've had thrown out for 100 shows... like the good old days". So, that's a bit of nostalgia on Axl's part then, perhaps he could yet be talked into catching up with his former bandmates next April. Though we don't recommend anyone, Peresman included, hold their breath.

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U2 TOP TOUR TALLY FOR 2011
U2's 2011 tour was the year's highest grossing, according to Billboard Boxscore. The band performed 44 shows, all of which sold out, bringing in $293,281,487 (£187,085,502) in revenue. In the course of all that, they performed to 2.8 million people.

Here's the top ten live music performers for 2011:

1. U2
2. Bon Jovi
3. Take That
4. Roger Waters
5. Taylor Swift
6. Kenny Chesney
7. Usher
8. Lady Gaga
9. André Rieu
10. Sade

See who earned what here: www.billboard.com/news/the-best-of-2011-the-year-in-music-1005616852.story#/features/top-25-tours-of-2011-1005641362.story

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R KELLY NEEDS MONEY FOR MORE CLOSET ACTION
R Kelly has revealed that he has another 32 episodes of his 'Trapped In The Closet' musical soap opera written, but needs an investor to fund the filming of them.

The first series of 'Trapped In The Closet' was released in 2005, with a second following in 2007. The final episode of series two promised that the story would be continued, but so far no new episodes have been released. But this week Kelly told TMZ: "It costs a lot of money to do ... so we're actually looking for investors".

So there you go. If you have any money knocking around, please give it to R Kelly. This is important. And if you've not yet sampled the delights of 'Trapped In The Closet', well here's chapter one to get you started: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFosUj6A22c

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THE DARKNESS DISCUSS NEW LP
Since The Darkness' Christmas hit 'Don't Let The Bells End' is ringing in our ears this festive season, now seems as apt a time as any to hear about their in-progress new album. Doesn't it?

Having reunited with the group's original line-up earlier this year, frontman Justin Hawkins tells Billboard: "[We've got] nine of the required songs done, all finished, all sounding shining and good. We've got about two weeks of recording in January, and bits of it are already going off to be mixed even as we speak, so it's kind of nearly finished now".

His brother Dan adds: "Rather than a big-name producer we decided to do it ourselves, as per the first record. We just wanted to develop the songs and make sure they were really spot-on and basically take a minimal approach across the board - apart from when we needed to go really over the top".

Justin also hinted that he'd like to release the as yet untitled LP on his birthday, which is 17 Mar.

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THE WEEKND RELEASES THIRD MIXTAPE
One of our CMU Artists Of The Year, dark R&B sorcerer The Weeknd, has just dropped 'Echoes Of Silence', which follows predecessors 'House Of Balloons' and 'Thursday' as the final instalment of Canadian singer-songwriter Abel Tesfaye's acclaimed mixtape trilogy. It features production by Clams Casino, opening with a warped cover of Michael Jackson's 'Dirty Diana'.

You'll find a link to download it here: the-weeknd.com It's all free, by the way.

Tracklisting:

DD
Montreal
Outside
XO/The Host
Initiation
Same Old Song
The Fall
Next
Echos of Silence

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SOAP&SKIN ANNOUNCES ALBUM, LONDON DATE
Austrian soloist Anja Plaschg, aka Soap&Skin, has announced a sequel to her pure and poignant debut long player, 'Lovetune For Vacuum', in new album 'Narrow'. The album's release via [PIAS] on 19 Mar will precede a rare live appearance by the singer-songwriter at London's Scala on 11 Apr.

You can watch the video for 'Boast Turns Toward The Port', a track taken from the new LP, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fh4izS5wo0

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LIANNE LA HAVAS TO RELEASE SECOND EP
Having already sold out a four night residency at London's The Social, due to kick off next month, on the strength of her debut EP 'Lost And Found', London-based singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas is now poised to release a second suite in the new year.

Featuring production work from Two Inch Punch and Aqualung's Matt Hales, the five-track EP is due out via Warner Music on 13 Feb. Lianne's debut album is then slated for a springtime release. Meanwhile, here she is doing her best to ignore Willy Mason's ghost in 'No Room For Doubt', as taken from 'Lost And Found': www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBCt5nfsZ30

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SINEAD O'CONNOR TO TOUR
Newlywed chanteuse Sinead O'Connor has announced a UK tour in support of her new album 'How About I Be Me And You Be You', which will be released via One Little Indian on 21 Feb.

Here are the dates:

9 Mar: Brighton, St George's Church
10 Mar: London, Queen Elizabeth Hall
12 Mar: Bristol, St George's Hall
14 Mar: Glasgow, Oran Mor
15 Mar: Manchester, Manchester Cathedral

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

ROSKILDE, Denmark, 5-8 Jul: Friendly Fires and Tune-Yards have freshly signed up to play at this diverse Danish four-dayer, joining Bon Iver, Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf, and headliners Björk and Bruce Springsteen. www.roskilde-festival.dk/uk/

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle Of Wight, 22-24 Jun: New additions to the Isle Of White billing include Crystal Castles, Tinie Tempah, Labrinth and The Charlatans, whose set will see them play their 1997 LP 'Tellin Stories' in its entirety. Also accompanying previously announced joint headliners Pearl Jam, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band are The Milk, Zulu Winter, Spector and Band Of Skulls. www.isleofwightfestival.com

HIT THE DECK FESTIVAL, Various Venues, Nottingham, 22 Apr: As headed up by Kids In Glass Houses, those acts set to grace multiple stages as part of this one-off event include Deaf Havana, The Wonder Years, Imperial Leisure, Violet, Wolves Like Us and Yashin. www.hitthedeckfestival.com

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LIVE NATION FORMING JAPANESE ALLIANCE
Following the news yesterday that Live Nation had opened a new division in South Korea, we are getting reports that the live music conglom will be operating in the Japanese market in 2012 also, via a partnership with one of the country's leading promoters Creativeman Productions.

Word has it that Creativeman's CEO Naoki Shimizu announced an alliance with Live Nation at his company's Christmas party on Monday, the result of which will seemingly be a new joint venture to stage tours in Japan for artists working with the US conglom, possibly including Madonna and U2.

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SHOCK FOUNDER STEPS DOWN
David Williams, co-founder of Australian independent music company Shock Entertainment, is stepping down as CEO after 24 years. He will be replaced by Scot Crawford, currently the company's Executive General Manager.

Originally founded in a Melbourne terrace house in 1988, Shock grew to be one of the most high profile names in the Aussie independent sector, though found itself facing financial problems two years ago resulting in the firm's acquisition by CD manufacturer and distributor Regency Media in 2010.

Williams stayed with the company under its new ownership, but said yesterday that "after a successful couple of years of rebuilding the business it is the perfect time to hand the reins over to the next generation of music, TV and film enthusiasts".

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VEVO BOSS SAYS NO IPO ON THE AGENDA
VEVO chief Rio Caraeff has denied his company's owners, Universal Music, Sony Music and the Abu Dhabi Media Company, are planning to float the firm in 2012. Though the fact that both he and founder Doug Morris have popped up in the Financial Times talking up their music video business might suggest that at least some thought is being given to impressing City types, just in case an IPO does suddenly become an option down the line.

As previously reported, The New York Post reported rumours last month that the video site, owned by the two majors and powered, and in part promoted, by YouTube, would be spun off as a stand alone company via an IPO.

Recent interest in City circles in digital companies could make such an IPO lucrative for Sony and Universal, both of which could do with some extra cash to fund their respective EMI acquisitions (though, technically speaking, Sony Music owns a slice of VEVO while Sony/ATV is buying EMI Music Publishing). And with plans to further expand the VEVO service, possibly into its own TV channel, Universal's co-ownership of the prominent video site in particular is likely to raised when competition regulators review its EMI acquisition plans.

But in the FT interview, Caraeff insists VEVO is not for sale, adding he has "no interest personally in running a public company". Morris, who created VEVO while running Universal, though remains a key stakeholder in his new job heading up Sony Music, is slightly less dismissive of the IPO proposals, though does stress "it would be important for record companies to maintain some control".

The FT article, which refers to Morris as "the man who made music videos pay", tells the VEVO story as well as dropping in some stats provided by the video site, who claim to have 600 advertisers and to have paid out $100 million in royalties to the labels whose music it carries, which includes its owners and EMI. Of course a lot of VEVO's traffic comes from YouTube users who inadvertently land on the video site, though I suppose that's not really a criticism but testament to Morris's decision to collaborate rather than compete with the Google service when he set up his big music video website.

Read the FT piece here: www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7a26870a-2bb5-11e1-98bc-00144feabdc0.html

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GEMA LICENSES ITUNES MATCH
Well, an albeit mini-survey of CMU readers on Twitter has resulted in almost universal praise for iTunes Match, the scan and match service offered by Apple to simplify the process of setting up a digital locker on the IT firm's servers. So, German readers, go play why don't you, because yes, German collecting society GEMA has licensed the service. And that's news, people, because GEMA, representing German songwriters and music publishers, is notoriously hard to please when it comes to digital services.

GEMA has licensed Apple's digital locker on a suck-it-and-see basis, with a one year agreement. Says the collecting society: "A temporary one year contract with GEMA made this agreement possible. [Fees for] iTunes Match are to be collected in the first twelve months and the terms of the contract adjusted if necessary at the end of this period. Under the terms of the agreement, copyright holders are to receive a certain flat-rate portion of sales per user".

GEMA has been coming round to more digital business models of late, with Deezer and Rara.com recently licensed to enter the German market, to compete with the likes of Simfy, a German-based streaming platform.

Of course the big one is Spotify, which is still not available in Germany because of GEMA, though with the Swedish service having reduced the extent of its freemium option (which GEMA bosses didn't like) it's thought even that could finally get a licence from the German collecting society at some point in 2012.

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RADIO 1 TO PUT EVENING SHOWS INTO DAYTIME FOR A WEEK AGAIN
Radio 1 will again put its evening show presenters into daytime for the first week in January, meaning that the daytime line up on the nation's favourite will be Zane Lowe on breakfast, and then Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Nick Grimshaw in that order.

A line-up I think most music fans would quite like to see permanently installed at the BBC station. It sort of makes me think that Radio 1 should launch a +12 service on DAB, so that those who prefer their DJs to have a least a little bit of music credibility could listen to the previous night's output while working during the day.

Radio 1 has also confirmed that the documentary series 'International Radio 1' will return next year, which will see Pete Tong, Jaymo & Andy George and Gilles Peterson reporting on music scenes in Las Vegas, Milan and Tokyo respectively.

Elsewhere in Radio 1 news, petitions have been filed this week with the BBC Trust over plans to axe the weekly regional slot on the station, which features BBC Introducing shows focused on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that air in those respective regions. The regional shows are due to be phased out to save costs, but music communities in the three countries have hit out at the move, saying it reduces Radio 1's ability to discover and champion new talent in those areas.

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DUTCH MAGAZINE EDITOR QUITS OVER RIHANNA RACISM ROW
The Editor-in-chief of Dutch magazine Jackie has resigned following accusations of racism after it published an article on how to dress your child like Rihanna, in which the singer was referred to as "the ultimate niggabitch".

As previously reported, Editor-in-chief Eva Hoeke said in a statement published via Facebook and Twitter that the use of the term had been "meant as a joke", claiming it was a slang term regularly used on TV and radio and not intended to cause offence.

Rihanna herself disagreed, saying via Twitter that the magazine was a "poor representation of the evolution of human rights", accusing it of putting "two words together, with the intent of abasement, that made no sense".

In a new statement yesterday, announcing her decision to step down from her position at Jackie, Joeke said: "I realise that my first reaction through Twitter, in which I indicated that it was a joke, has been an incomplete description of what I, and also the author of the article, meant. The term 'niggabitch' came from America and we solely used it to describe a style of dress ... [the article] had no racial motive as its basis. Through the course of events, the publisher and I have concluded that because my credibility is now affected, it is better for all parties if I quit my function as Editor-in-chief effective immediately".

Jackie Magazine is now expected to invite Rihanna to share her feelings and thoughts on the article in a future edition.

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KANYE WEST EJECTS CARD-THROWING FAN
Kanye West had a fan escorted from one of his and Jay-Z's 'Watch The Throne' concerts last week, having spotted the audience member throwing business cards onstage at Washington's Tacoma Dome.

Threatening to eject part of the crowd unless the culprit confessed to the act, West said: "I see it come from that direction... Unless one person raises their hand and says: 'I'm the one who did it', all that whole section gotta go".

He added: "We risking are lives up here, you can't go throwing shit that we gonna slip on".

Fearing Ye's wrath, the fan eventually owned up and was led from the venue by security. And quite right too, no one likes a shameless self-promoter.

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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 andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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