TODAY'S TOP STORY: Tributes came in from across the music industry last night after it was announced that Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey had died. He was 67. Announcing his death, a statement said that "Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia". A founder... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Way back in the mists of time (2013) we featured in this very column a band called Eye Emma Jedi. They were a very good band, but one, you might have noticed - three years later - you haven't heard of in a while. Well, that's because they don't exist anymore. Don't start blubbing just yet though, because now there is Lovespeake instead. With some of the same... [READ MORE]
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including David Bowie, Universal finally doing a licensing deal with SoundCloud, Spotify's mechanical royalty disputes in the US, and Songkick suing Live Nation. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES The Eagles' Glenn Frey dies
DEALS BMG acquires majority stake in ARC Music rock n roll catalogue
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Music videos subtly promote cigarettes and alcohol to teens, says research
Communion to launch singles club
ARTIST NEWS Japanese boyband SMAP deny split, apologise for causing "great concern"
K-pop management firm denies forcing star to apologise over Taiwanese flag controversy
Mott The Hoople drummer Dale Griffin dies
RELEASES Kanye West releases new music
ONE LINERS Rick Ross, Adam Lambert, Warner Music, more
AND FINALLY... Coldplay named NME's Godlike Geniuses
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We are looking for an experienced Marketing Co-ordinator to oversee key singles and compilation projects on the Cr2 Records schedule along-side label management. This will be a temporary position covering for our Marketing Manager whilst away on sabbatical for the period of start of February to the end of April 2016.

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A guide to upcoming events from and involving CMU, including seminars, masterclasses and conference sessions from CMU Insights and workshops from CMU:DIY, plus other events where CMU journalists are speaking or moderating.
25 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
26 Jan 2016 CMU Insights @ Music 4.5: The YouTube Paradox
1 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
8 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
10 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Key Developments In Music Rights
15 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Live Sector, Brand Partnerships & Fan Services
17 Feb 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
22 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
29 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
6 Mar 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
16 Mar 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
13 Apr 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
6 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016
19-20 May 2016 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2016

The Eagles' Glenn Frey dies
Tributes came in from across the music industry last night after it was announced that Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey had died. He was 67.

Announcing his death, a statement said that "Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia".

A founder member of The Eagles, Frey sang lead vocals on songs including 'Tequila Sunrise' and 'Take It Easy'. He also had a successful solo career, best known for 1984 hit 'The Heat Is On'', from the 'Beverley Hills Cop' soundtrack. He also appeared on film too, starring in 1986 film 'Let's Get Harry', and taking smaller roles in movies like Cameron Crowe's 'Jerry Maguire', as well as a number of TV projects.

In a statement, Frey's Eagles co-founder Don Henley said: "He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the fourteen years that the Eagles were dissolved".

He concluded: "I'm not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life".

Speaking to Billboard, longtime Eagles manager Irving Azoff added: "I can't believe he's gone. I can't believe everything we accomplished. It was a staggering body of work and just an amazing run. I don't think there will ever be another American band [that's] as successful".

The Eagles completed their two year 'History Of The Eagles' tour in July last year, which began off the back of a documentary of the same name.

In November it was announced that Frey required surgery due to ongoing intestinal issues, putting any further Eagles plans on hold. Azoff told The Wrap that side effects of medication he was using to treat his arthritis subsequently contributed to a decline in his health, saying: "The colitis and pneumonia were side effects from all the meds. He died from complications of ulcer and colitis after being treated with drugs for his rheumatoid arthritis which he had for over fifteen years".

According to Azoff, plans for a memorial in LA are currently in the works.

BMG acquires majority stake in ARC Music rock n roll catalogue
I think BMG and Concord Bicycle might be in some sort of race to announce the most catalogue acquisitions this year. Concord Bicycle has the advantage of course. It's got a bicycle. And Concorde. But it's BMG easing ahead today, with the music rights firm having taken a majority stake in the ARC Music catalogue, it being the publishing firm that span off from the famous Chess Records label, and which controls a stack of classic blues and rock n roll songs made famous by the likes of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker.

The deal is with ARC Music's most recent owner, the Fuji Music Group, with which BMG already has a partnership. FMG's affiliate Fujipacific Music reps BMG's catalogue in Japan and Southeast Asia, while BMG administers FMG's catalogue in the rest of the world. And that two-way arrangement will continue under the new deal, with a commitment to explore other partnership opportunities, mainly with a view to building a portfolio of "evergreen copyrights".

What the hell does BMG boss Hartwig Masuch think about all this? That's what you're all thinking right about now. Well, "the Chess brothers and their successors brought blues and rock n roll to the world", he muses, alluding to Chess Records' eponymous founders, Leonard and Phil. "The artists and songwriters they discovered still resonate through the decades. Both culturally and commercially, the acquisition of this majority stake in ARC is one of the most significant acquisitions in the development of BMG so far".

Hmm, significant. "FMG and BMG share the same philosophies in maximising exposure for music", adds Fuji Music Group President Hico Koike. I don't know about that. They definitely share two letters in their name though, and that's a start. "With our combined global resources we look forward to expanded business opportunities for the catalogue".

Yeah, take that Concord Bicycle. I think you're going need a bigger bike. Because that's not even how you spell Concorde.

Music videos subtly promote cigarettes and alcohol to teens, says research
Hey, music video makers, will you stop exposing teenagers to positive depictions of smoking and booze, because you're killing our future generations.

Where would we be without our future generations? I mean, the kids might only watch your videos on YouTube, and with ad-blocking software installed so that you earn nothing, but how are you ever going to score enough viewing metrics to engage a strategic brand partner when everyone's smoked and drunk themselves to death? Although, once everyone's dead, you wouldn't have to keep monitoring YouTube for unapproved uploads of your music I suppose. So it's swings and roundabouts then.

Research conducted by the University Of Nottingham, and published last week by the
Journal Of Epidemiology And Community Health, reviewed the videos - as posted on YouTube - of 32 tracks that charted between November 2013 and January 2014, looking for the number of "impressions" - so any verbal or visual reference - to consuming alcohol or tobacco products.

The videos for Jason Derulo's 'Trumpets' and John Newman's 'Love Me Again', and the pop promo from that pesky Robin Thicke with his 'Blurred Lines', all scored high on tobacco references, while Pitbull's 'Timber' and Beyonce's 'Drunk In Love' had the highest impressions of alcohol.

Having counted up the number of impressions across her sample set of videos, and then done some maths, researcher Dr Jo Cranwell said: "If these levels of exposure were typical, then in one year, music videos would be expected to deliver over four billion impressions of alcohol, and nearly one billion of tobacco, in Britain alone. Further, the number of impressions has been calculated on the basis of one viewing only [of each video], however, many of the videos had been watched multiple times, so this number is likely to be much bigger".

Why does this matter? Well, Cranwell cites YouGov research that shows that teenagers are much more likely to be watching these videos than adults. And, she goes on, "it is well established that young people exposed to depictions of tobacco and alcohol content in films are more likely to start smoking or to consume alcohol". Which is why smoking and drinking in films, and advertising for those products, is regulated. "But", Cranwell concludes, "the effect of imagery in other media, including new online media such as YouTube music videos, has received relatively little attention".

Videos posted to YouTube and Vevo are now being regulated to an extent in the UK, of course, as a result of a partnership between the majors and the British Board Of Film Classification to help parents control what content children see online. Though the new research says that the prevalence of positive references to smoking and drinking in some videos poses a "significant health hazard that requires appropriate regulatory control".


Communion to launch singles club
Communion has announced the launch of a new singles club, which it has called the Communion Singles Club. Certainly seems to do the job, as names go. Four singles will be released by different bands through the club this year, the first being Viola Beach.

Says Communion boss Jamie Emsell: "In the early days of the label, Communion was entirely focused on putting out seven-inch singles and ten-inch EPs. Like most new labels, that was out of necessity - albums are expensive to make and release! - but we also loved the immediacy of putting music out that reflected a moment in time; one great day in the studio, or one short productive burst of songwriting. With the Communion Singles Club we hope to echo some of that magic, releasing brilliant songs by mostly new artists who we think have something to say".

On the first act to appear in the series, he adds: "Viola Beach are one of the UK's most exciting new bands, and 'Boys That Sing' is perhaps the perfect debut single - which makes it and them the perfect way to introduce the new Communion Singles Club".

Viola Beach will headline a BBC Introducing curated Club NME at Koko in London on 29 Jan, before supporting Blossoms on their UK tour in February and March.

  Approved: Lovespeake
Way back in the mists of time (2013) we featured in this very column a band called Eye Emma Jedi. They were a very good band, but one, you might have noticed - three years later - you haven't heard of in a while. Well, that's because they don't exist anymore. Don't start blubbing just yet though, because now there is Lovespeake instead. With some of the same people, see.

Hotly tipped by Norwegian music industry types (the band are from Norway, I should probably have mentioned that), Lovespeake are set to release their debut album this spring. For now they've released a debut single, 'DNA', which you'll be pleased to know maintains the high quality control of Eye Emma Jedi. More laidback, electronic and funky than their former outfit, it's a slick and infectious track and suggests that those Norwegians might know what they're talking about.

Listen to 'DNA' here.

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Japanese boyband SMAP deny split, apologise for causing "great concern"
Longstanding Japanese boyband SMAP have denied that they are going to split, though admitted that there had been a dispute with their management company Johnny & Associates, when discussing recent events on their weekly TV show yesterday.

As previously reported, four of the group's five members reportedly threatened to leave the management firm after their direct manager, who has been with them throughout their almost three decade career, was forced to resign. Johnny's had previously acknowledged in a statement that there were "negotiations taking place" with the group's members, but gave no further details.

On the first edition, since the controversy, of 'SMAP x SMAP', the TV show the group have fronted since 1996, all five members appeared together to deliver a scripted speech denying that they were splitting up.

According to The Japan Times, they apologised for causing "great concern" and admitted that they had been close to breaking up, but made no direct reference to the news stories surrounding the rumours of their battle with Johnny & Associates.

However, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi did acknowledge that Takuya Kimura - the single member of the group who did not threaten to leave the management agency - "made it possible for us to apologise" to Johnny & Associates boss Johnny Kitagawa.

Although Kimura said that the five members of the group will "keep moving forward, no matter what", it was not entirely clear at the end of their speech what the future holds. The Japan Times notes that although Shingo Katori said that "starting today, we, once again, want to make you smile", none of them actually smiled while delivering their apology.

And despite them being back for good, a 25th anniversary SMAP tour due to begin in November has reportedly been cancelled.


K-pop management firm denies forcing star to apologise over Taiwanese flag controversy
South Korean artist management firm JYP Entertainment has denied forcing one of its artists to issue an apology after she was seen holding a Taiwanese flag.

Chou Tzu-yu, a member of the girl group Twice - who were created by a TV talent show last year - appeared holding a Taiwanese flag in an online broadcast by the group. The sixteen year old is Taiwanese herself, but the incident drew angry criticism from Chinese fans, who accused her of pushing a pro-Taiwanese independence agenda. The political and legal status of Taiwan is a long-running controversy, of course, and a major point of contention in the country's politics, and in its relations with China.

In a statement last week, JYP said: "Chou was born in Taiwan and her relations with Taiwan are unbreakable. However, not all Taiwanese are pro-independence activists. Tzu-yu has never made any remarks in support of Taiwan independence and online rumours that she supports Taiwan independence are groundless. She understands the 'one China' principle and respects it".

The matter is particularly controversial, as it occurred in the run up to elections in Taiwan. On the day of the vote, a video featuring Chou herself emerged, in which she said: "There is only one China. China and Taiwan are one piece. I'm proud to be Chinese. I sincerely apologise for my misbehaviour".

Voters subsequently elected Tsai Ing-wen, a pro-independence politician and the country's first female president. Many commentators have now speculated that anger around the controversy, and particularly the theory that Chou had been forced to apologise and speak of there being "only one China", could have swung the election.

Attempting to distance itself from the continued controversy, JYP yesterday issued a new statement saying that it had not been involved with Chou's apology, adding: "An individual's conviction cannot [and] must not be forced by a company, and such a thing did not happen. After Tzu-yu's parents came to South Korea and discussed [the matter] with Tzu-yu, they made a final decision and went ahead with announcing her position".

Nevertheless, South Korean civil rights organisation The Centre For Multi-Cultural Korea has stated that it will request that the country's government investigates whether or not the apology was coerced.


Mott The Hoople drummer Dale Griffin dies
Mott The Hoople drummer Dale Griffin has died, aged 67. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

In a statement, Peter Purnell from Angel Air Records, who was also Griffin's manager, said of the musician: "[He was] one of the nicest, [most] friendly and talented men I have ever known. All he ever wanted was for his beloved Mott The Hoople to reform and it was his determination that achieved that very feat in 2009. Sadly by then he was too ill to perform at the five sold out dates, though he did join the band for encores. Dale died peacefully in his sleep".

Mott The Hoople formed in the late 1960s, and were best known for their song 'All The Young Dudes', written and produced for them in 1972 by David Bowie. Despite a relatively short initial career, the band managed to release seven albums between 1969 and 1974.

Kanye West releases new music
Kanye West has released a new track called 'No More Parties In LA'. A six minute stream of consciousness that features Kendrick Lamar for a bit, it's not a classic. But it's new, and maybe that's all the matters.

More new music from West had been expected last Friday, after the rapper's wife and spokesperson Kim Kardashian hinted that he was bringing back his GOOD Fridays weekly giveaway. But apparently that wasn't possible because West had to sort some stuff out with the latest additions to his Yeezy fashion line.

"I soooo didn't mean to lie to you guys about GOOD Fridays coming back", she tweeted. "Kanye flew to Italy for a Yeezy Season 3 fitting".

She added: "He flew [producer] Noah [Goldstein] out with him so he could finish 'No More Parties In LA' and wrote 90 bars on the plane there!"

Which might explain why the track is a load of meandering nonsense that goes nowhere. Still, have a listen to 'No More Parties In LA' here.

Rick Ross, Adam Lambert, Warner Music, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Rick Ross signed to Sony's Epic US label last week. The deal sees him end a decade long relationship with Universal's Def Jam. Given that Warner handles distribution for the rapper's Maybach Music Group label, he's now worked with all three majors. I think that means he gets a free whisky tumbler.

• Did we mention that Adam Lambert has signed up to play Eddie in Fox's TV remake of the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'? Which means he'll show up, sing a song and get murdered. Which, now I think about it, is a spoiler. I just hope Lambert et al don't murder 'RHPS'.

• Warner Music has made Steve Waxman VP of its Canadian division. He's been with the major for flippin ages, so about time too I say.

• Prolifica Management has gone and got itself a new writer/producer division which will be headed up by Adam Parulak, with Emma Jay Marsh and Lauren Clifford also on board.

• Tidal accidentally charged some ex-subscribers another month's subscription this weekend, according to The Verge. But don't worry, it refunded everyone. And while it took crappy old 320kbps cash out of those accounts, it refunded with top quality FLAC dollars. So, all's well that ends well.

Coldplay named NME's Godlike Geniuses
The NME has announced that the winner of its Godlike Genius Award for 2016 is the band Coldplay. Yeah, you may say that you thought the NME Awards were set up specifically to mock that sort of thing. But how do you know this isn't some sort of very clever satire?

Though if it is, Chris Martin looks very silly giving this gushing statement: "We're extremely grateful to the NME for giving us this award. It's a huge honour and it means everything to us as Coldplay would be nothing without the NME. Appearing in the magazine for the first time in 1998 - in the smallest font - was the biggest thing that ever happened to us, and their love and support changed our world. Thank you so much NME".

In on the joke, NME Editor-in-chief Mike Williams chuckled: "Coldplay first attended the NME Awards over a decade ago, and since then have gone on to be the biggest band on the planet, so it's an honour to invite them back as this year's Godlike Genius. NME were there for the band right at the beginning - our early coverage was instrumental in setting them on their way - and we've had a thrilling relationship in the fifteen years since. As Coldplay gear up for their biggest year yet - from the Super Bowl to Wembley Stadium - it's fitting that they join the likes of The Cure, Dave Grohl, Blondie and Noel Gallagher in being named NME's Godlike Genius".

Now, you'll notice the references to Coldplay's many appearances in the NME since the very start of their career. So perhaps you cynics should actually be praising the publication for sticking by an act, even though they might have lost the respect of the magazine's core readership. Who even knows who the NME's core readers are anymore though? So let's just stick with the satire theory. After all, The NME Awards 2016 With Austin, Texas is already satirising sponsorship.

You'll be able to laugh along with everyone, as Coldplay turn up to accept their 'award' and then play a set featuring some of their greatest hits at the Brixton Academy on 17 Feb.

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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