5 SEP 2012

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With his third album, 'I Know What Love Isn't' out now and due to kick off a European tour later this week, Jens Lekman will be in the UK for two shows later this month, at the Hackney Empire in London on 20 Sep and The Haunt in Brighton on 21 Sep. Ahead of that, CMU's Andy Malt spoke to Jens to find out about the new album, his writing process, his opinion of major labels and why he's waiting for a call from Drew Barrymore more>>
Julia Holter and Nite Jewel duet 'What We See' is set to be released as part of 'Light From Los Angeles', a collaborations-rich new compilation from LA arts co-operative Dublab, and thus will feature alongside tracks donated by Sun Araw, Dntel and Lucky Dragons. Each single will be given its own video, all filmed with Digital Harinezumi cameras. Not that I'm entirely sure what the significance of that is more>>
- One Direction change name
- Evanescence draw fire from Anonymous after online paedophilia cover-up accusations
- AEG livid over leaked emails, Jacksons allegedly blamed
- Three face Copyright Tribunal in New Zealand three-strikes
- PR woman Maria Miller made Culture Secretary
- Deap Vally sign to Island/Communion
- Flying Lotus talks "fucked up" Beck collaboration
- Carl Barat's new solo LP to "discuss kettling"
- Rolling Stones confirm greatest hits LP, two new anniversary tracks
- Kanye's GOOD LP gains tracklisting, single artwork
- Jay-Z, Rihanna to (maybe) play Paralympics closing ceremony
- The Killers to slay arena dates
- Charli XCX adds shows
- Susanne Sundfør books Communion concert
- Lucy Rose to tour
- ERA says record releases should be better spread
- Nokia launches free streaming service in US
- Bauer profits down
- Dear Sirs, Grimes is a producer
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One Direction have announced that they have changed their name to Uncharted Shores, the title of their second album. This leaves the British boyband, also known as One Direction, free to use the name as they please. That's right, just to clear up any confusion, the US band who launched a legal challenge against the 'X-Factor' alumni earlier this year over the One Direction name have backed down, possibly after a large cheque fell into their laps (well, travelling to uncharted shores can be expensive).

As previously reported, One Direction USA said that they formed in 2009, before Simon Cowell first put together his One Direction boyband on the UK version of 'X-Factor' in 2010. They also started selling their album 'The Light' on iTunes in February 2011 which, while after the UK group had been created, preceded the release of their debut album 'Up All Night', in Britain, never mind the US.

The US band added that they were also first to file an application for ownership of the name with the US trademark authorities, and that Cowell's Syco knew this, because the label was told so by the US Trademark Office when it tried to register the mark for itself. Syco put in a counter claim accusing the US band of trying to cash in on the success of the British group.

The British boyband's members were adamant that they wouldn't be changing their name when asked about the matter, and that did always seem like the most likely outcome. Now that the US band have indeed backed down, both parties said in a joint statement earlier this week that they were "pleased with the resolution and wish each other success".

One Direction US's management also posted a statement on the band's Facebook page on Monday, saying: "The California band formerly known as One Direction, whose albums are titled 'The Light' and 'Uncharted Shores', will now be known as Uncharted Shores".

So, there you go, a band with a pretty rubbish name now have an even worse name, but at least they'll stop getting death threats from teenage girls.

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Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee, the band's manager Andrew Lurie and Ed Vetri, the head of their label, Wind Up Records, have all been named as new targets for online hacktivist group Anonymous.

The loose group of hackers have taken offence at Lee et al based on allegations made in a parliamentary petition submitted by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming in July. In that document, Hemming claims that Lee and Lurie hired law firm Shillings to force a user of the band's web forum,, to remain silent about concerns over alleged illegal activity being undertaken by some other forum members, including paedophile and cyber bullying activities, the latter linked to allegations one forum member had encouraged another to consider suicide.

Seemingly the silenced user wanted to report the alleged crimes, but was asked to sign a contract saying they would not, presumably (if true) because of concerns about the impact such allegations would have on the band and their website.

Responding to all this in, a statement at says: "Lee and Lurie have been named in the UK Parliament as using corporate legal threats to hide evidence of child pornography and their own culpability in attempts to procure the suicide of a teenager. The band hired the infamous corporate law firm Schillings to intimidate fans into signing illegal contracts not to report crimes. The band have hidden evidence of child molesters lurking on their official chat board whilst Ed Vetri has done nothing to stop them".

It continues: "We Anonymous aim to diminish if not eradicate this plague from the internet. For the good of our followers, for the good of mankind, and for our own enjoyment we shall expel from the internet and systematically destroy Amy Lee and Andrew Lurie unless they agree to cease and desist their selfish and corrupt actions ... Evanescence are touring the UK in November and Anons are asked to picket their concerts in full masked gear".

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Lawyers at AEG Live are very pissed off about those Michael Jackson related emails that surfaced in the LA Times this weekend, which is no surprise really, they didn't exactly portray executives at the live music firm in a great way. And, if US gossip man Roger Friedman is to be believed, the live entertainments giant is blaming the Jackson family for the leak.

As previously reported, the leaked emails dated mainly from 2009 and showed that AEG execs and various people linked to the then planned Jackson 'This Is It' residency were very concerned about the singer's health, and his ability to undertake a gruelling fifty night stint at The O2. This ran contrary to the live firm's public stance at the time, ie that Jackson was it good health and excited to be undertaking such a major live project. The emails also included AEG Live President Randy Phillips giving a vote of confidence to Conrad Murray, the doctor caring for Jackson at the time, and the medic subsequently convicted for causing the late king of pop's untimely death due to negligent treatment.

It was thought the various emails published by the LA Times were linked to a legal battle between the live firm and Lloyds Of London, the insurance company that insured part of the fated 'This Is It' residency. Lloyds has been fighting AEG in the courts to get out of paying up on the policy attached to the cancelled shows, mainly by arguing that AEG and Jackson failed to declare the various health issues both were allegedly aware of in relation to the singer.

However, Friedman suggests that the emails are actually from sealed evidence attached to the other big outstanding lawsuit relating to MJ's death, Katherine Jackson's action against AEG. She claims that the live music firm should accept liability for the negligent treatment administered by Murray, as the company paid his bills. AEG is arguing that Jackson himself chose Murray, and that the doctor basically reported directly to the singer rather than the 'This Is It' promoter.

Freidman alleges on Showbizz411: "My sources say that the Jacksons, desperate for money after their failed attempt to snatch Katherine Jackson this summer, are looking for sympathy in the court of public opinion. I'm told they selectively pulled a few emails from hundreds and turned them over to the Los Angeles Times in an effort to make AEG Live look guilty of somehow forcing Michael to perform 50 concerts in London. The truth when the totality of the emails is uncovered in court will be quite different".

Whether members of the Jackson family really leaked the emails to the LA Times, or whether AEG believe that to be the case, we don't know, though it does seem likely that the handful of emails made public were deliberately selected to portray AEG as the bad guys. Whether we'll get to see a wider selection of emails when either the Lloyds or Katherine Jackson cases get to court, remains to be seen.

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Three-strikes in New Zealand is heading for strike three, according to The Register. And keeping things on brand, three suspected file-sharers will be brought before the Copyright Tribunal, where they could face fines of up NZ$15,000 per infringement.

As previously reported, New Zealand is one of a small number of countries to introduce a so called graduated response or three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing - whereby internet service providers are forced to send warning letters to suspected file-sharers when they are identified by rights owners. Those that ignore the warnings then face some kind of penalty, which varies from country to country.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to seriously discuss three-strikes, though it took a while to work out exactly how it would work. But warning letters started to go out last year, and by early summer over 2700 had been sent. The record industry insists that the warning letters alone cut file-sharing, but inevitably some of the cases need to be taken to strike three if the whole programme is to be a long term deterrent.

Word had it that in July some of the cases in New Zealand were close to the third strike, and the latest reports say three customers of Telecom New Zealand will be the first to go through the Copyright Tribunal process set up by the country's three-strikes laws. New Zealand's Justice Ministry has seemingly confirmed that the country's record industry trade body, RIANZ, has instigated that process, though exactly how it will work, and on what sort of timescales, is not yet clear.

As previously reported, some cases under a similar system in France are also heading towards strike three, though the government there looks likely to water down the anti-piracy rules before any file-sharers are actually brought to court. In the UK, where the 2010 Digital Economy Act in theory put in place a graduated response system, no warning letters have as yet been sent and, even if and when they are, no real process for a strike three has been written into British law so far.

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As expected, the clueless Jeremy Hunt has been kicked out of the Department Of Culture, Media & Sport in the government's big ministerial reshuffle, though he's been kicked out via a promotion to the top of the Department Of Health. I'd try not to get ill.

Aside from being clueless, Hunt, of course, caused the Coalition government considerable embarrassment via his close ties with the Murdoch empire while he was supposedly providing independent thinking regarding whether or not to allow Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to take complete ownership of BSkyB, in addition to its existing complete ownership of the News International newspapers.

The Sky bid collapsed in the wake of the Hackgate scandal at News International's News Of The World of course, though further revelations of Hunt's incompetence followed. All of which means that, should the government try to resist many of the recommendations due to be made by Brian Leveson regarding new media regulation rules (which they probably will), Hunt is not the man to lead that offensive.

However, political insiders say that Dave Cameron didn't want to push Hunt out of his cabinet, partly due to personal loyalties, partly because the PM himself is tainted by Hack-gate and the BSkyB bid, and basically sacking his culture minister would risk reigniting that scandal. So instead, let's promote the fool to the job of running the National Health Service.

Back at the DCMS, Hunt's replacement is not - as many expected - his junior minister at the culture department, the generally liked Ed Vaizey, but a newcomer to cultural affairs, Maria Miller, moving to the top culture job from a junior role at Work & Pensions. Miller's background is advertising and PR, so not completely removed from the media, sport and content industries she will be working with moving forward, though quite how she will respond to the issues that concern the music industry - which of course vary across the music community - remains to be seen.

Though some have questioned the decision to give Miller the second role of Minister For Women & Equalities. If the creative industries are as important to the British economy as senior ministers keep saying they are (albeit mainly at gatherings of the creative industries), surely they should have a minister able to focus fully on them - especially given that the culture, media and sport industries are already a pretty diverse bunch. Or perhaps its women and equalities that will be given only passing concern under the reshuffled ConDem regime.

Of course Cameron might argue that Miller will not have the wide-ranging Olympics brief of her predecessor, and with capable junior ministers able to handle more routine matters with sectors like the music business (as they did under Hunt), it's not too much of a stretch to give Miller a second area of responsibility. Although Lib Dem culture spokesman Don Foster has expressed concerns about that decision, telling reporters: "She will have to find a way of dealing with the dual responsibility for culture and equalities at a department that may not be big by Whitehall standards, but touches on issues that people care passionately about, from sport to libraries".

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Self-styled rock n roll valley girls Deap Vally, aka "bad ass" blues-pop twosome Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards, have signed a split deal with Universal's Island Records and London indie Communion Records.

Both labels will be in equal parts involved in the release of any new Deap Vally singles, EPs and/or LPs, the first of which is anticipated in the autumn.

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Flying Lotus has a collaboration with Beck "just fucking sat there on my hard drive waiting for when the time is right". So that's good to know, isn't it?

The LA soundsmith, real name Steven Ellison, spoke in brief about the duet to Drowned In Sound, saying: "He hit me up after the last record and wanted to do something. It sounds like Can but fucked up. It's really quite dark".

Flying Lotus isn't yet sure when the time will be right to release the Beck single, but is certain he'll release his new solo LP, 'Until The Quiet Comes', via Warp on 1 Oct.

If you haven't seen it, or even if you have, here's the video for an Erykah Badu-featuring track taken from it, as is titled 'See Thru To U'.

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Perpetual stylish-kid-in-the-riot Carl Barat has said that his new solo LP, the successor to 2010's 'Carl Barat', will take part of its theme from the recent protests and unrest in the UK. In particular it'll touch on the phenomenon of 'kettling', or so says Carl, who spills thus to the Daily Star: "It's not a protest album, but it does discuss kettling - you can't not write about that really".

The Star also reports Barat is co-writing the as-yet untitled long player with singer-songwriter peers Ed Harcourt and Joseph Arthur. Though Carl doesn't mention rehab escapee Pete Doherty, despite the latter claiming last month the two had a mind to make music together in Paris. Shame, that.

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The Rolling Stones have at last unveiled one of the many mysterious ways in which they'll mark their 50th anniversary as a band, namely by releasing a 50-80 track greatest hits compilation titled 'GRRR'. Well, quel surprise.

The collection will also feature the two tracks that Jagger, Richards et al recorded in a Parisian studio last month, 'Gloom And Doom' and 'One Last Shot', which represent their first brand new material since 2005.

'GRRR' will be available from 12 Nov, either as a triple disc 50 track version or a four CD super deluxe 80 track version, the choice is yours. Oh, or a twelve-inch vinyl boxset, if you're in an extravagant mood. All CD sleeves will be of a special three-dimensional variety thanks to a thing scientists are calling '3D Augmented Reality'. Basically, it means Walton Ford's cover art, aka this lip-smacking gorilla, will appear as an animated image (or something) if viewed through 3D glasses or a custom app. Clever, no? No?

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Thanks to a premature posting by HMV Japan, Kanye West and GOOD Music's increasingly unseasonal new LP, 'Cruel Summer' (18 Sep), now has what looks like an authentic tracklisting.

Whilst it features too many guests to mention them all just now, the record would seem to feature surprise cameos from R Kelly and Jay-Z, plus less revelatory GOOD mainstays like Kid Cudi, Big Sean, Common, Pusha-T and John Legend. Odd Future's Frank Ocean, who had been a rumoured to be part of the project, in fact isn't, it seems.

As if to (sort of) corroborate the leaked tracklist, Kanye West yesterday tweeted this image of the cover artwork for first 'Cruel Summer' single 'Clique', whose guest info corresponds to that on the HMV Japan 'exclusive'.

Anyway, here's the tracklisting. Or at least, what HMV Japan thinks is it:

To The World (feat Kanye West & R Kelly)
Clique (feat Kanye West, Jay-Z & Big Sean)
Mercy (feat Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz)
New God Flow (feat Kanye West, Pusha T & Ghostface Killah)
The Morning (feat Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, CyHi The Prynce, Kid Cudi & D'Banj)
Cold (feat Kanye West & DJ Khaled)
Higher (feat The-Dream, Pusha T & Ma$e)
Sin City (feat John Legend, Travi$ Scott, Teyana Taylor, CyHi The Prynce Malik Yusef)
The One (feat Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz & Marsha Ambrosius)
Creepers (feat Kid Cudi)
Bliss (feat John Legend & Teyana Taylor)
I Don't Like (feat. Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean & Jadakiss)

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It's been rumoured that Chris Martin has persuaded Jay-Z to perform alongside his (Jay-Z's, not Chris Martin's) Roc Nation protégée Rihanna at the Paralympics closing ceremony, which takes place this Saturday (9 Sep).

Despite neither Rihanna nor Z having been officially added to the ceremony's live music roster, as so far stars Coldplay, the Daily Mirror has quoted a slightly suspect-sounding "show source" as saying: "Jay-Z and Chris Martin are close friends so he helped to get the rapper on board. They are putting together a spectacular set list - one likely to include a duet".

The "source" continues: "The Paralympics has exceeded all expectation and, like the rest of the world, Jay-Z has been blown away by [the athletes'] bravery and athleticism. This will be a concert like no other and a fantastic end to what has been the most successful Paralympics ever".

If we decide to believe Rihanna is playing the show this weekend, then have this other bit of gossip that she might also collaborate live with Coldplay on their 'Mylo Xyloto' duet 'Princess Of China'. The R&B 'diva' did conclude that Chris Martin et al "fuckin rule" after making an on-stage cameo with the band in Paris over the weekend, so this isn't perhaps that ridiculous a rumour. Unlike that thing Ed Sheeran said about Stephane Grappelli.

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Lest anyone be allowed to overlook the fact that The Killers are back (back, BACK!) with a new LP in the impending 'Battle Born', they've reinforced its campaign with word of a new arena tour. It comprises eleven dates in all, the number eleven representing a mere fraction of the many "styles" featuring on 'Battle Born', which is released on 17 Sep.

Tour dates:

26 Oct: Glasgow, SECC
27 Oct: Aberdeen, AECC
31 Oct: Birmingham, LG Arena
3 Nov: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
4 Nov: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
5 Nov: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
8 Nov: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
9 Nov: Liverpool, Echo Arena
13 Nov: Manchester Arena
16 Nov: London, O2 Arena
17 Nov: London, O2 Arena

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Tenacious pop-ette Charli XCX will be playing sounds from her "dark, magical mystical" music trove (that quote supplied via this "spaced out" FACT interview) across a variety of new solo dates. She's also billed to play Grimes' headlining show at Bristol's In Motion on 13 Nov.

Her CMU approved first official single 'You're The One', meanwhile, is out 16 Sep.

And the above mentioned dates are:

5 Nov: Leeds, Nation of Shopkeepers
6 Nov: Glasgow, Hug & Pint
8 Nov: Birmingham, Temple Rooms
9 Nov: Liverpool, Shipping Forecast
10 Nov: Nottingham, Bodega
11 Nov: Manchester, Deaf Institute
14 Nov: Brighton, Green Door Store
15 Nov: London, XOYO

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Last seen almost eclipsing headliner M83 at an open-air concert at London's Somerset House, Norway's most acclaimed avant-pop soloist Susanne Sundfør has just booked a further live date.

She'll play the 7 Oct edition of Communion Records' famed night at Notting Hill Arts Club, this being a timely move to promote her forthcoming LP 'The Silicone Veil', which is out on 15 Oct. Buy your tickets for that right here.

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Soft-spoken singing-songwriting ingénue Lucy Rose, whose voice you may've heard featured on various Bombay Bicycle Club LPs, is soon to release her own solo debut, 'Like I Used To'. Set for release via Sony's Columbia on 24 Sep, it's heralded by a new single titled 'Bikes' on 16 Sep.

Here's the video for that very track.

She'll promote the above by means of a lengthy live jaunt, details of which are as here listed:

20 Oct: Oxford, East Oxford Centre
21 Oct: Nottingham, Bodega
22 Oct: Cambridge, Junction 1
23 Oct: High Wycombe, Bucks University
25 Oct: Manchester, Deaf Institute
26 Oct: Birmingham, The Temple
28 Oct: Sheffield, Plug
29 Oct: Leeds, Brudenell
30 Oct: Newcastle, Academy 2
1 Nov: Glasgow, The Arches
2 Nov: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
3 Nov: Belfast, Auntie Annie's
4 Nov: Dublin, Whelan's
6 Nov: Liverpool, Kazimier
7 Nov: Hull, Fruit
8 Nov: Leicester, Scholars Bar
10 Nov: Coventry, Kasbah Club
11 Nov: Norwich, Arts Centre
12 Nov: Brighton, Coalition
14 Nov: Southampton, Joiners
15 Nov: Bristol, Fleece
16 Nov: Cardiff, The Gate
17 Nov: Reading, Minster Church
19 Nov: Winchester, Railway Inn
20 Nov: Guildford, Boiler Room
22 Nov: London, Electric Brixton

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The music retail sector has again said that the record companies should spread out their big releases more over the year, rather than having a big flurry of new artist releases in September and October followed by a load of pop and catalogue releases in the run up to Christmas.

The bunching of big artist releases in the final four months of the year is a pain for high street retailers in particular, who rely on customers coming in to buy one specific album, and then buying a load of other stuff while they are there. If three big albums are released in one week, then that's only one stint of impulse buying, not three. The retailers argue that the labels also lose out, because when multiple major artists all release records in the same week, one or two of those artists will probably sell fewer units as a result.

Speaking to the BBC, Kim Bayley of the Entertainment Retailers Association said: "Cramming all the key releases in the fourth quarter is problematic both for consumers and retailers. The first half of 2012 has seen one of the weakest release schedules retailers can remember in both music and video games. It is very difficult for retailers to sustain their year-round investment in staff and rent when sales are crammed into such a short window".

Responding, Universal Music's Brian Rose said: "August is not a great month to release a big new record because most people aren't buying music at that point. [But] we don't put all our hopes into an autumn release period. We are very much a 52-weeks-of-the-year business, though there are solid business reasons to release a lot of them in the autumn. In December we'll sell 20% of all the albums we'll sell in a year, so it's still a big opportunity".

Although the bunching of big record releases is nothing new - and nor is retailers moaning about it - a report in The Independent earlier this summer quoted retailers as saying the tendency was getting worse. A particularly disappointing August in terms of record sales will only have added to concerns in the retail space.

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Nokia has announced the launch of a new music streaming service, which will be free to access via the company's Lumia 900 and 710 handsets in the US.

Calling itself Nokia Music, the services also launches with over 150 playlists, which are, according to the press release, "curated and kept up to date by an expert team of US-based musicologists". Users can also create their own playlists, cache playlists for offline listening, locate gigs nearby and buy MP3s via the service - though Nokia is not specific about the size of its catalogue beyond having "millions of songs".

This is not, of course, Nokia's first attempt to launch a digital music service. In 2008 it launched Comes With Music, an all-you-can-eat download service which proved pretty unpopular (not least because it locked all downloads to the handset the year long subscription came with). It was closed in most territories at the beginning of last year.

Announcing the new service yesterday, Nokia's VP of Entertainment, Jyrki Rosenberg said: "The USA is the most vibrant and competitive digital music market in the world - by a wide margin. We have worked extra hard to ensure our service meets the expectations of the demanding, active and inspired music fans in the USA. I would like to challenge everyone to try Nokia Music and see just how easy and enjoyable the service is to use".

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German-owned publisher Bauer, whose UK division publishes music titles like Kerrang! and Q, as well as other magazines like FHM, Heat and Grazia, saw profits slip 9.5% last year, to £57 million, after revenues declined 7.2% year-on-year, from £246m to £228m. The full impact of that revenue decline was overcome slightly by reducing overheads, even though staff numbers reportedly increased slightly.

The publishing group also saw an income of £3.1 million from its stake in the Box TV company, the joint venture with Channel 4 that operates various music television services, most using other Bauer or Channel 4 brands.

These figures were released as the Hamburg-based media firm expanded again by acquiring Australian magazine company ACP, which, among other things, publishes the Aussie editions of Rolling Stone, Empire and Zoo.

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Hello male music producers, Grimes would like it to be known that she doesn't need your help with anything. The singer/producer tweeted yesterday that men offering to create backing tracks for her is getting a bit tedious.

She wrote: "I am a producer. I find it insulting when guys constantly ask to produce for me. I think I do my job fine, thanks".

In which case, maybe she should start offering her services to some other artists, because, according to the BBC, she's a very rare breed.

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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 or

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