7 MAY 2013

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A lot seems to have happened since our last CMU podcast. As predicted in last month's edition, the sale of HMV to Hilco was confirmed shortly after it was published, bringing to an end a period of administration and drastically reducing the immediate uncertainty of the company's future. As well as that, in our latest podcast Chris and Andy discuss the first week of the Jacksons v AEG Live trial, Will.i.am's wandering musical hands, Margaret Thatcher's chart success, and Katy Perry's hair straightening disaster more>>
Hip hop beats, R&B vocals and doom metal guitars are not an obvious combination of sounds. Still, if you don't attempt anything you don't succeed in anything, so kudos to Slowolf for even thinking it might be a good idea. The work of producer Andreas Asingh, it's live where this project really comes to life, expanding up to a four-piece band with live bass, guitars played off two samplers, and Asingh on drums and vocals. Some tracks work better than others, but when it really works it's a joy to behold more>>

- Cable founder says Network Rail gave assurances club would not be closed
- Hill jailed over unpaid (now paid) taxes
- "There was nothing anatomically wrong with him": The Jacksons v AEG Live
- Bestival crash victim achieves posthumous chart position
- DJ Shadow to cover all basses at Fabric
- Danny Brown heading to Scala
- Youth Lagoon and Coco Rosie to share Barbican bill
- Hop Farm festival cancelled
- Festival line-up update: Brighton Pride, Kendal Calling, T In The Park and more
- Data & Discovery line-up confirmed for Great Escape
- Questions invited for TGE's political session
- CMU teams up with Essential for pre-TGE Shoreditch party
- Spotify buys Tunigo
- Late starts and a stage invasion: Bieber in Dubai
- Pink hits out at dissers after cancelled Birmingham gig

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[PIAS] Cooperative, a division of the [PIAS] Music Group, are looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable UK label manager. This is an ideal position for someone with experience in label management, marketing, retail, and production. The successful candidate will approach the business with an independent mind, ambition and drive.

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The founder of London nightclub Cable has issued a new statement on the repossession of the venue by landlord Network Rail last week.

As previously reported, bailiffs cut their way through the venue's metal shutters on Wednesday morning after obtaining a court order authorising entry. In its initial statement, the venue said that the repossession came after two years of legal battles to keep it open - in which time the two other venue spaces under London Bridge Station, Shunt and Debut (formerly SeOne), were both closed down to make way for station redevelopment.

On Friday morning, Network Rail told CMU: "Our plans for the station have long been in the public domain and we gave our tenant two years notice of the need to take back possession to enable us to start our work on this essential project".

However, Cable founder Euan Johnston (who also set up SeOne) said in a statement published later the same day that it was Network Rail which approached him in 2008 with a proposal to redevelop the space into a nightclub. He says he was given assurances that the new space would not be affected by other redevelopment work and so invested millions of pounds in developing the club, only for Network Rail to announce it needed it back two years after Cable's 2009 launch.

Johnston said in the statement: "We are totally shocked and devastated that this could have happened. We were assured when we moved in that we would not be affected by the redevelopment and Network Rail have simply changed their minds - the worst thing is there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We have invested a huge amount of time and energy developing the space and growing Cable as a brand, not to mention employing 70 staff who now face redundancy".

He continued: "The way Network Rail have treated us is a disgrace, we have been brushed aside by people from Network Rail at every level right up to Chief Executive Sir David Higgins. They simply don't care and are not interested in having any meaningful discussion at all, they are apparently the country's biggest small business landlord, but let this be a warning to other tenants of Network Rail that whatever agreement you have with them may mean nothing if they want to bulldoze you".

Although the decision to take back the venue space cannot now be reversed, Cable's owners say they will "continue the fight for justice". Network Rail declined to comment further.

Cable has also posted a video report on its official YouTube channel, and is also working on a documentary about its battle with Network Rail. Watch the report here.

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Lauryn Hill was yesterday sentenced to three months in jail and an additional three months confined to her home in relation to those previously reported unpaid taxes. The singer's lawyers had been pushing for a suspended sentence, noting that she had now paid $970,000 to settle her tax debts and that she had a large family to care for.

Echoing previous statements on the matter, Hill again stressed that she always intended to pay the taxes, relating to income from 2005 to 2007, but that circumstances resulted in the delay. She said yesterday: "I needed to be able to earn so I could pay my taxes, without compromising the health and welfare of my children, and I was being denied that".

As previously reported, Hill, who could have faced up to a year in jail for the tax offences, was in part able to repay her debts thanks to a new deal with Sony Music. Presumably as part of that arrangement, a new Hill track has appeared on iTunes, entitled 'Neurotic Society', though it's dubbed the 'Compulsory Mix', and the singer has said she'd not have made it public so quickly had it not been for her legal problems.

In a post on Tumblr, she said: "Here is a link to a piece that I was 'required' to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline. I love being able to reach people directly, but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music... but the message is still there. In light of Wednesday's tragic loss (of former label mate Chris Kelly), I am even more pressed to YELL this to a multitude that may not understand the cost of allowing today's unhealthy paradigms to remain unchecked!"

Listen to the track here.

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The first few days of the high profile Jacksons v AEG Live court case have continued to be dominated by evidence from detectives and medical experts.

In the main testimonies have paralleled those given at the start of the criminal trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for causing Michael Jackson's death through negligence in 2009. In the civil case, of course, the Jackson family are trying to prove that AEG should be held liable for the late king of pop's demise because the company, as promoter of the singer's ill-fated 'This Is It' shows, paid the medic's bills.

Jurors in the new case saw photos from the late popstar's autopsy, and heard from Dr Christopher Rogers, who conducted the post-mortem back in 2009. Throwing the spotlight on details the Jackson family would presumably have preferred to have gone unnoticed, jurors learned that Rogers' autopsy report stated that the singer's lips were tattooed pink, that his eyebrows were also a tattoo, and that the front of his scalp was tattooed black, seemingly to blend his hairline in with the wigs he wore.

The report also confirmed, as Jackson himself had long insisted, that the singer suffered from vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disease that, in Rogers words, meant "some areas of the skin appear light and others appear dark". This was a fact in the post-mortem report that the Jacksons' lawyers seemed more keen for the court to note, presumably as it backed up the singer's frequent response to critics who questioned why his skin became so much lighter as he aged.

In his report, Rogers concluded - as did the criminal courts - that it was Jackson's consumption of the surgical anaesthetic propofol, used by the singer to aid sleep, that caused his death, though other sedatives in the star's system at the time may have also been contributing factors. There was no sign the singer ever used 'street drugs', the autopsy document added, nor of any kind of wider illness, beyond addiction to prescription medication.

Indeed the doctor added that, despite Jackson often looking frail in his latter years, and despite an earlier testimony that said the singer looked like someone who had died after battling a long disease shortly after his passing, "there was no indication that there was anything anatomically wrong with [the singer] that would lead to premature death". That point could prove important if AEG is deemed liable for Murray's actions, because Jackson's life expectancy will be relevant when assessing damages.

Also giving evidence yesterday was the LA coroner's toxicologist Dan Anderson, who studied the drugs in Jackson's body after his death.

He told the court that the level of propofol found in Jackson's body was "consistent with major surgery anaesthesia", adding that the subsequent discovery of bottles of the drug in Jackson's home, ie outside of a hospital, was "highly unusual" and immediately raised "red flags" about the treatment the singer was receiving. It was no secret that the use of propofol could be dangerous in the wrong environment, he added, with the LA coroner's records recording six incidents in the last fourteen years where medical personnel used the drug to end their own lives through suicide.

Other prescription medications Anderson said were in Jackson's system at the time of his death, according to the LA Times, included the anti-anxiety drugs Valium and lorazepam, the short-term anaesthetic midazolam, and lidocaine, a numbing cream that paramedics sometimes use in resuscitation efforts. Meanwhile investigators found the antidepressant trazodone and the prostate drug Flomax at the singer's home. Most of these drugs had been prescribed by Murray.

The case continues.

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A song by one of the festival-goers killed in a coach crash as he returned from Bestival last September has charted, after getting support from the festival's sister record label Sunday Best Recordings.

Three people, including the driver, died when the coach carrying 50 music fans back from the Isle Of Wight festival to Merseyside crashed in Surrey last year. One of them, Michael Molloy, was a songwriter and musician, and his song 'Rise And Fall', featuring vocals by his friend and bandmate Alex Evans, was released last week, charting at number 38 on Sunday.

Commenting on the release last week, Molloy's mother Frances told reporters: "The release of Michael's single will represent a small step in the long and hard job of rebuilding our lives. We will always be thankful for the fact that he was the happiest eighteen year old alive at the time of his death. He was fulfilled and full of hopes and dreams. One of those dreams was for his talent to be recognised".

After hearing the song had charted on Sunday, she then told the Mirror: "I just broke down when they announced it on the radio. I wanted to scream with pride but also with pain. I sat with just Michael's brother as we wanted to be alone when they went through the charts. Joseph was so emotional. He's driven it all. I looked at him and thought 'he's done it'. Sunday afternoon was one of the proudest moments of my life".

Commenting on his role in the posthumous release, Bestival and Sunday Best boss Rob da Bank told CMU: "It's obvious to me that Michael was a young and rare talent and that music was an extremely important part of his life. I've heard he absolutely loved Bestival and had a great time at Bestival 2012 so I feel privileged to be able to help his family fulfil his and their ambition of getting Michael's music out there".

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That DJ Shadow will play an All Basses Covered show - a fairly self-explanatorily-titled set of mixed genres - at London's Fabric on 12 Jul. He shares a bill featuring take-overs by the Planet Mu and Hoya:Hoya labels, who between them willl present the likes of Ital Tek, Illum Sphere, Boxutter, Konx Om Pax and Krystal Klear.

Find details and tickets at this link and hear Shadow's 'Too Future' ABC variation via this player.

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Given recent incidents, one might think rapper Danny Brown would take a break from playing live for a while. But since R&R really isn't his style, he'll instead head to London's Scala on 11 Jun to do a (preferably) fellatio-free show.

Still on Danny Brown, this is the clip to go with 'Street Lights', his featured 'collab' with Paul White.

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Alt-pop luminaries Youth Lagoon and CocoRosie will share headlining credits at a show at London's Barbican on 20 Jul. Youth Lagoon, aka Idaho native Trevor Powers, will do so to promote his new LP 'Wondrous Bughouse', whilst CocoRosie have the same idea re their new disc, 'Tales Of A Grass Widow', which is released via City Slang on 27 May.

Click this link for info. And now, to avoid showing favouritism, why not watch Youth Lagoon's 'Mute' and CocoRosie's 'After The Afterlife' at the same time.

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Vince Power has announced the cancellation of this year's Hop Farm Festival, due to take place on 5-6 Jul, citing poor ticket sales as the reason for the decision.

As previously reported, Power salvaged the Hop Farm brand from the collapse of his festivals company Music Festivals plc last year. He announced its return in March, with dates planned for this July. However, as the return was announced, local paper Kent On Sunday reported that many Hop Farm Festival suppliers, including the local police force, were left a total of £4.8 million out of pocket when Music Festivals went under.

Power strongly denied that the levels of debt reported by the paper were correct, adding: "The local rag is supposed to be for the community. The Hop Farm Festival is loved by the people of Kent and there is no value in spreading inaccurate reports and doubt with regards to The Hop Farm Music Festival. In the words of Winston Churchill, 'Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts'".

But on Friday, Power issued a statement via the Hop Farm Festival website saying: "It's with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Hop Farm Music Festival 2013. We have worked very hard to try to make it work but it has proved too much a of mountain to climb and despite fighting hard, circumstances are such that based on poor ticket sales and the forecast selling rate substantial losses would be made".

Ticket holders should seek refunds at the point of purchase.

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So, as you may have just read, Vincey P's Hop Farm festival was cancelled last Friday because of sub-par ticket sales, which is a real shame for it, and for the 'festival landscape' in general. But still, today's FLUU show must go on, and go on it does, alighting first at a happier occasion, Brighton's Pride festival.

Mutya Keisha Siobhan are going to be making their first major PA as a trio in ages at it, and say they're "SO excited" to have been added to a bill that also stars Paloma Faith, Ms Dynamite, Alison Moyet and Stooshe.

Pride programmer Dulcie Danger adds: "MKS will be performing some new material as well as some of the Sugababes biggest hits live on our fabulous main stage. I can't tell you how excited we are about it, they are truly an iconic pop act and are going to make a huge impact on the day".

Yay! And now, please have a seat and take in the following info on artist additions to York's Galtres festival, Kendal Calling, Manchester's Parklife, Radio 1's most big of Big Weekends, this year's still-acquisitive T In The Park and, last but not least, Wychwood:

BRIGHTON PRIDE, Preston Park, Brighton, 3-4 Aug: Mutya Keisha Siobhan. www.brightonpride.org

GALTRES, secret location, York, 23-25 Aug: Reef. www.galtresfestival.org.uk

KENDAL CALLING, Lowther Deer Park, Hackthorpe, East Cumbria, 26-28 Jul: Riot Jazz, Walk, Gentle Mystics, Dub Jazz Sound System, Noon, The Mouse Outfit, Chains, Sam C Lees & The Family Band, Neutronics, Solko, The Templebys, Age Of Glass, Too Much Love, Tantz, Extra Love, Alligator Gumbo, House of Trees, Rich Reason, Frameworks, Gypsies of Bohemia, From a Window, The Payroll Union, Partpanda, Flavia o Faas, Thingumabob and Thingamajigs, DJ Coops, Tommy Riot. www.kendalcalling.co.uk

PARKLIFE, Heaton Park, Manchester, 8-9 Jun: T Williams, Koreless, Dark Sky, Medlar, Pedestrian, Jolly Mare, 14th, Squarehead, Greg b2b Krysko, Alex Blaxx, Zutekh, Ninjury, Pedro, Hi Ku DJs, Butter Side Up DJs, Alex Lewis b2b Willow, Richard Rowell, Chris Bookless, Tenkicolor DJs, Dollop, Mono_Cult DJs, Selective Hearing, Jay Gregory, Dom Lev, Audio Farm, Oxymoron, No Curfew Events, Movement Mag, Lo Shea, A Hill & Harry Sheehan, Kathryn Dodds & Kristian Eustace, Sian Bennett, H2, Daniel Bennion, Chow Down Djs, T-Pot DJs, Mute! DJs, Content DJs, Departure DJs, Half Full DJs, Thick As Thieves, Idiosync, Adapt, Rikki Humphrey, Clayton, Itchy Feet DJs, Fresh Fridays, Vital Techniques, Dolce, Nanny Banton, Jam, Darka, Bane, BBC, Henry, COMPA, Electric Minds, Max Chapman, AJ Cristou, Cynt, Coen, Dan Mackinnon b2b Michael Fortune, Henry Bird, Deadexit, Pasquale, Lebreton, Andy H, Jus Jorge, Bass Face, Szajna, Caspar Stevens, Knee Deep DJs, Grrd, Exhibit DJs, Just William, Onefifteen DJs, De:Bug Sheffield, Works Unit DJs. www.parklife.uk.com

RADIO 1'S BIG WEEKEND, Ebrington Square, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 24-26 May: Calvin Harris, Biffy Clyro, Bruno Mars, Paramore, Olly Murs, Thirty Seconds To Mars, The Script, Chase & Status, The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club, Labrinth, Foals, Ellie Goulding, Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Disclosure, Bastille, Conor Maynard, The Saturdays, Jake Bugg, Rita Ora, A$AP Rocky, DJ Fresh, Kendrick Lamar, Alt-J, Everything Everything, Jessie Ware, Haim, Miles Kane, Bring Me The Horizon, The 1975, Iggy Azalea, J Cole, Wiley, Maverick Sabre, Katy B, AlunaGeorge, Angel Haze, Wretch 32, Little Mix, Rudimental, Pete Tong, B Traits, Zane Lowe, Danny Howard, Toddla T, Mistajam, Kodaline, Laura Mvula, Frightened Rabbit, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, We Are The Ocean. www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/bigweekend

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 12-14 Jul: Green Velvet, Maceo Plex, Maya Jane Coles, H Foundation, Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, Anja Schneider. www.tinthepark.com

WYCHWOOD, Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, 31 May - 2 Jun: Skinny Lister, Johnny Kowalski & The Sexy Weirdos, The Delray Rockets, Brassick, Dogs Of Santorini, Jimmy Heartbreak, George Barnett, Becky Rose, This Wicked Tongue, Sier Pin Sky, Sweet William, My Grey Horse, Grudle Bay, Dallas Don't, Empty White Circles, Vienna Ditto, The Goggenheim, Jake Watson, Guy Challenger, Ryan Francis Martin, Kitten and Bear, Canary Swing, The Feddens, Stereo Influence, Welcome To Marathon, Dan Owen. www.wychwood.co.uk

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The full line-up is now out for The Great Escape's Focus On Data & Discovery, the digital strand that will take place on day one of the UK's premiere music business convention next week (Thursday 16 May), looking at the ways the digital music sector is developing new discovery tools, and at how the wider music industry should be capitalising on all the data now available to it.

The focus on discovery will come first, led by CMU's Sam Taylor. He will ask Omnifone's Alex Vlassopulos, Songdrop's Brittney Bean, Beggars' Ruth Barlow and The 405's Will Cook if and why discovery is important, to the digital sector, but also to the music media and the music industry at large. Deezer's James Foley, This Is My Jam's Matt Ogle, Rdio's Stefan Baumschlager and Xfm and The Music Machine founder Sammy Jacob will then consider how discovery services can be best achieved, while Vevo's Nic Jones will discuss how his platform uses data to drive discovery with the Sunday Times' Serena Kutchinsky.

In the afternoon, sessions will explore all the data now available to the music business, and how it can be used to inform commercial, creative and business development decisions. Vevo's Eric Mackay will question AEI Media's Craig Haynes, Juice 107.2's Daniel Nathan, Sony Music's Fred Bolza and Shazam's Jon Davies on the topic. Meanwhile Songkick co-founder Ian Hogarth will discuss his company's Detour venture. A number of Pechu Kucha case study presentations will round off the day at The Old Courtroom, before the Digital Pitch Party kicks off as Mesmerist, showcasing some great new digital start ups.

Great Escape delegates get full access to the whole Data & Discovery strand, alongside all the other panels, parties and networking events, plus the TGE festival of course. A very small number of delegate passes are still available.

For those in the digital space, a small number of stand-alone tickets are also available to the Data & Discovery programme for £37.50, with the option to bundle a ticket to the Everything Everything show at the Brighton Dome for £53.50 (plus booking fees). Click here to book.

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Louder Than War boss John Robb will return to The Great Escape this year to host the third edition of his Pop Question Time, the politically themed session that has become a TGE institution. And this year is set to be the biggest edition yet with Billy Bragg, fresh from his Great Escape show at the Brighton Dome, taking part.

Robb tells CMU: "Pop Question Time is all about debating the key political issues that affect musicians, and the music that affects politics. Expect an hour of fierce debate, opinion and solutions to problems from a varied, very opinionated and very experienced panel. I look forward to leading the proceedings".

Joining Robb and Bragg for the debate from the music side will be Brighton local Damian Harris, aka Midfield General and the boss of Skint Records, while from the political domain The Pirate Party's Loz Kaye and Kerry McCarthy MP will take part.

And this year, for the first time, readers of CMU and Louder Than War are being invited to pose their own questions for the musical and political pundits to answer, two of which Robb will pose on the day, with a summary of the ensuing debate recorded here in the CMU Daily. Questions can be sent to popquestiontime@escapegreat.com.

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Before the music industry moves on mass to Brighton for this year's Great Escape next week, CMU has teamed up with Essential for a special pre-TGE party in Shoreditch, which will also celebrate the London-based distribution and marketing company's upcoming tenth birthday.

The festivities will take place on Tuesday, 14 May, from 7pm, and CMU has a small number of guest list spaces available for Daily readers. If you are interested in joining us for a pre-TGE drink, email rsvp@unlimitedmedia.co.uk. And look out for an interview with Essential founder Mike Chadwick ahead of the event.

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After Twitter's acquisition of music discovery start-up We Are Hunted, now Spotify has bought Tunigo, makers of another discovery app. Terms of the deal are not known, but according to All Things D the Swedish discovery company's 20 employees will move over to Spotify's offices in Stockholm and New York.

The Tunigo apps for Spotify and the iPhone will keep running, though some wonder if the acquisition is a sign that the streaming music company is looking to develop more sophisticated discovery tools within its own main platform.

Certainly many of Spotify's competitors are looking to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded market place by offering better ways to help users navigate their catalogues, something that will analysed in more detail on day one of this year's CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, in the Focus On Data & Discovery strand.

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Justin Bieber had a little scare on stage in Dubai on Sunday night when an audience member ran on stage and grabbed the star. In the ensuing scramble between the stage invader and Bieber's security, the pop teen's grand piano fell over in a rather spectacular fashion.

Ever the pro, the Bieber carried on regardless, which won the singer a little bit of kudos and may or may not make up for his late arrival on stage at his Saturday show in the UAE city.

Some reports suggest the singer was two hours late starting that particular concert, mirroring his late arrival at one of his London gigs. And while this show was on a Saturday rather than Monday night, the weekend in Dubai is Friday/Saturday, making Sunday a school day. Hence plenty of upset Beliebers and angry parents.

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Pink has hit out at critics amongst her fanbase who have been dissing the singer over a cancelled concert in Birmingham last month. The 22 Apr show was pulled at the last minute after Pink was diagnosed with an inner ear and respiratory infection.

In a new post on her website addressed to "all of the fans/friends/people/ticket buyers from the Birmingham show that I had to cancel", she says: "I sincerely apologise, AGAIN, for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Sincerely. I actually rode by the venue, and saw some of you in line, and there was not a fucking thing I could do about any of it. Except cry. My heart was absolutely broken".

Stressing that she really "had" to cancel the show, she adds: "I say 'had' because I had absolutely no choice in the matter, no control over the circumstances, and physically could not get my sick ass on stage, because of an ear infection and chest infection all at the same time, and even a doctor told me I could not go on stage whether I wanted to or not".

Revealing that she'd got "a lot of hate mail from some of you" in relation to the cancellation, she urged said fans to check her track record when it comes to cancelling shows which, she says, she hardly ever does.

Insisting she never took her fans' support for granted, she continued: "That's why I never phone it in. I go on stage and pour my fucking heart and body out on that stage. I ruin my body and my vocal chords, make myself sicker, come hell or high water. I don't lip sync, I don't rely on dancers to do my work for me. I try to put the best show on that I can, that any human being can, and I don't stop until I know you're happy".

But, she says, sometimes she gets ill, and there's nothing she can do about that. "The fact that I don't get the benefit of the doubt from you saddens me. There is no way I can make up this date. There isn't a way. And for any of you that believe in me, please know we did everything we could to try to make it happen. Everything. It's a logistical nightmare that is again, out of my control".

She went on: "The next time I schedule dates I'll have to say to myself, 'If, God forbid, I have to cancel one show, those fans will turn on me like rabid dogs and question the moral fabric of my character'". Before concluding: "For the loyal and understanding fans - I am so so sorry if I've hurt you in any way. For the rest of you - kindly kiss my entire almost back to healthy ass".

So, take note dissers. And start kissing.

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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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