TODAY'S TOP STORY: Police have questioned two women who, according to their families, are being held against their will by R Kelly. However, Jocelyn Savage and Azriel Clary reportedly denied that they are being held hostage and said that they were living with Kelly of their own free will... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES Police question two women over claims they are being held hostage by R Kelly
LEGAL UK music industry faces significant risks if May's Brexit deal passes, PM is warned
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Classical music saw a boom in listening last year
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING MMF announces first intake of managers on its Accelerator scheme
RELEASES Justin Bieber to release tenth anniversary compilation
AWARDS BRIT Awards nominations announced
ONE LINERS Bernard Butler, Fyre Festival, Rudimental, more
AND FINALLY... BTS label announces new boyband, TXT
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Police question two women over claims they are being held hostage by R Kelly
Police have questioned two women who, according to their families, are being held against their will by R Kelly. However, Jocelyn Savage and Azriel Clary reportedly denied that they are being held hostage and said that they were living with Kelly of their own free will.

According to TMZ, officers attended Kelly's apartment in the Chicago Trump Tower on Friday, where they questioned Savage and Clary while the musician was held in another room. Both women told officers that they were with Kelly voluntarily and police left without taking further action. The families of both women say that they are the victims of brainwashing by Kelly, while Savage's family also claim that they have been threatened by the star's manager.

The questioning comes in the wake of that new documentary series 'Surviving R Kelly', which aired on US TV earlier this month and which revisited various allegations of sexual abuse made against the musician over the years. After its broadcast. Kim Foxx - the State Attorney for Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago - launched an investigation into various claims made in the show and asked alleged victims to come forward.

Meanwhile, Kelly's attorney Steven Greenberg continues to defend his client, saying in a new statement on Friday: "The allegations aren't true because he never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone".

The lawyer admitted that neither he nor Kelly had seen 'Surviving R Kelly' in full, but said that the women featured in the programme who made allegations against his client were "disgruntled" that, having "come on to" Kelly, their own musical careers had not taken off. "Now, some producer went running around and solicited all these people, did a Jerry Springer-esqe show and there is all this uproar", he added. "It's disgusting".

Greenberg also said that he didn't think the latest round of accusations would harm Kelly's career - noting the recent spike in streams of his music. However, ongoing issues for Kelly being able to perform live do continue. Last week, a permit for a show later this year was denied in Illinois due to safety concerns.

Also last week, Phoenix became the latest former Kelly collaborators to denounce the R&B star following the airing of the new documentary. Kelly previously appeared on a remix of Phoenix's 2013 track 'Trying To Be Cool'. He also made a guest appearance during their set at Coachella the same year.

In a statement on Twitter last week, the band said: "We are deeply horrified by the stories of abuse surrounding R Kelly. We regret that we were not both more informed and more discerning when we worked with him previously. We fully support all victims of sexual abuse, and it's our hope that there will be a path to justice".

The band have not said if they will withdraw the 'Trying To Be Cool' remix from digital music services, as Lady Gaga has with her own 2013 Kelly collaboration, 'Do What U Want'.

Rapper French Montana has also backtracked on comments he made in support of Kelly, in which he suggested that his fellow musician should be left alone to enjoy his legacy.

"People don't let nobody have their legendary moments", he said in his original remarks to TMZ last week. "They did R Kelly like that. All the greats went down like that. Let somebody enjoy their legacy. Whatever happened, happened, man".

But following social media uproar about those comments, Montana clarified his position, tweeting: "Let me be clear. My heart is with the victims. I never thought the people I looked up to as a kid, who sang and danced and gave me hope to become a superstar would become drug addicts, child molesters and rapists. I am hoping we as a culture create better leaders. We need them".

Although there are now a number of new criminal investigations in the works, Kelly is yet to be charged let alone convicted of any wrongdoing. He has settled many civil claims brought against him out of court over the years, but the one time he was tried in a criminal court he was acquitted.


UK music industry faces significant risks if May's Brexit deal passes, PM is warned
Recently launched music industry pressure group Music4EU this weekend presented a petition to Prime Minister Theresa May, raising concerns over the Brexit deal Parliament is due to vote on tomorrow. Over 1200 representatives from across the UK music industry have added their names to the petition, including Spotify UK MD Tom Connaughton, Ed Sheeran manager Stuart Camp and reps from Beggars Group, AIM, BASCA and the FAC.

Music4EU joins similar bodies in gaming and tech in calling for assurances that the UK's exit from the European Union won't damage their respective sectors. The group says that there are currently no measures to deal with a number of issues that will negatively impact on the livelihoods of musicians and those working behind the scenes in the music business. To that end, they are calling for a different better deal. And many in the music community would likely support a second referendum on the realities of Brexit.

Music4EU spokesperson Sammy Andrews says: "The current [Brexit] deal contains absolutely no assurances from the Prime Minister for the UK music industry, or any industry for that matter. That's something that is reflected in the amount of industry leaders from a diverse range of [music] sectors that signed our petition. We have record labels, trade bodies, touring crew and artist managers, as well as global superstar artists and up and coming acts, not to mention publishers and distributors".

"The government is in utter chaos right now, and the Prime Minister's deal would isolate UK artists and the teams that support them, ending their ability to tour freely and putting jobs across the industry at risk", she continues. "We'll see what happens this week but maybe it's time they let the people decide now that they understand the impact [Brexit] has on them?"

Her Music4EU colleague, lawyer Cliff Fluet, adds: "Under the slim pickings of Theresa May's deal, the UK's creative industries have every right to be worried. Our multi-billion-dollar industry not only creates jobs and opportunities for people across the UK, it is also a fundamental part of our culture and identity".

"And for fans", he goes on, "it means less gigs by your favourite European artists in the UK, and less touring and promotion for UK artists in Europe. It's a lose-lose situation for Britain and Europe, for artists and fans. Most MPs agree, and with the Brexit deal likely to be voted down on Tuesday, it's time for the government to take a different path".

The delayed 'meaningful vote' on May's Brexit deal in Parliament is set to take place tomorrow. The Prime Minister postponed the vote in December in the hopes that she could subsequently convince enough MPs to support it in order for it to be approved. Indications currently are that this has not worked in her favour and May is now warning MPs that if the deal is voted down, it risks Brexit not happening at all. Fingers crossed.


Classical music saw a boom in listening last year
Classical music fans in the UK are starting to get on board with streaming, contributing to something of a boom for the genre in 2018.

Record industry trade group BPI and the Official Charts Company have released figures showing that sales and streams of classical music grew by 10.2% in the UK last year, ahead of a 5.7% uplift for music as a whole. Streaming alone was up by 42%, so that streams now account for 25.2% of total classical consumption. CD sales also rose 6.9%, mainly because of fans seeking better audio quality and special edition boxsets, reckons the BPI. All of which offset a 13.6% decline in classical download sales.

Classical music consumption on streaming services is still well behind music overall, of course, where 63.6% of listening now takes place on subscription platforms. Aficionados of classical music have long been slow to get on board with digital music, in a large part because digital services have not been great at offering access in ways many would prefer. In particular, metadata for classical tracks is often messy and missing key information.

The BPI highlighted these issues in its stats pack, saying that without being able to search by 'composer', 'conductor', 'orchestra', or 'label', many classical fans will remain turned off by digital services. To that end, recognising different methods of consumption, rather than offering a one size fits all approach, could further boost classical listening.

"There is a tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth if the new digital platforms continue to improve the profile and searchability of classical music, while labels continue to nurture new talent and appeal to collectors through beautifully curated CDs and boxsets", says BPI boss Geoff Taylor.

"This is a dynamic moment in the history of Classical music", he adds, "with brilliant new artists such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Alexis Ffrench and Jess Gillam bursting through to accompany revered icons such as Andrea Bocelli, Yo-Yo Ma and Bryn Terfel. The popularity of soundtracks and new works by composers such as Ludovico Einaudi and Max Richter are broadening the appeal of classical among younger listeners on streaming services".

Co-Chair of BPI's Classical Committee, Ginny Cooper, chips in: "These figures reflect a very good year for classical music, underscoring a healthy rise in demand for the genre across key formats, which impressively outperformed the growth for the music market as a whole".

"It is encouraging to see CD and streams thrive alongside each other", she continues, "showing that collectability and discovery are simply different sides of the same coin, and wonderful too to witness an exciting new generation of diverse, music talent breaking through to pick up the baton and engage with younger audiences".

The most popular classical album of 2018 was 'Si', by Ed Sheeran fave Andrea Bocelli. On streaming services, the most popular artist was Ludovico Einaudi, who accounts for one in twelve of all classical streams.


MMF announces first intake of managers on its Accelerator scheme
The Music Managers Forum has announced the first participants in its new funding and talent development programme for early career artist managers, who among them represent artists including Tālā, Declan Walsh, Lyra, Ider, Puma Blue, Moses Boyd and more.

In the first year of the trade group's new Accelerator scheme, a total of 24 recipients will receive grants of up to £15,000 over twelve months, plus educational support from CMU Insights and Music Ally. The fund is backed by YouTube Music, Arts Council England and the Scottish Music Industry Association.

Comments MMF General Manager Fiona McGugan: "With the help of YouTube Music, Arts Council England and the SMIA, I am absolutely delighted that Accelerator has taken off so quickly and will immediately benefit 24 accomplished individuals who represent such a wide and diverse range of talent. More so than ever, music managers play a linchpin role in the careers of artists, songwriters, producers and musicians, and our aim is for Accelerator to empower their businesses and make a significant and lasting impact".

The full list of recipients with the artists they currently manage is as follows:

Ben Skerritt (Poppy Ajudha)
Callum Reece (Brawther, Subculture Sage, Joe Rolét)
Charlie Murdoch (Jordan MacKampa, Matt Ingram, Million Miles)
Charlotte Caleb (Raphi, Eloïse, Tālā)
Chris Chadwick (Puma Blue, Guy Sigsworth)
Christopher Hunte (Culan, Kill Miami)
Dave Rowett (Tender, Laands)
Georgia Strawson (Ider)
Grant Brydon (Murkage Dave)
Ian Tunstall (Amindi K Fro$t, Brookes Brothers)
Jen Long (Mammüt, Aaron Porter, Para Alta)
Jessica Slater (Stardom)
Koyejo Oloko (Moses Boyd)
Loretta Andrews (Guvna B, Joshua Luke Smith)
Louie John Lowis (Be Charlotte, VanIves)
Lulu Davis (Voyager)
Nick Myers (Jay Pryor, Maths Time Joy, Rrotik)
Nike Durosaro (Shakka)
Rachel Miller (Shabaka Hutchings)
Rian Zoll-Khan, RNR Management (Sami Switch, Effie)
Sam Meghan (Spinn)
Stephen Archibald (Declan Walsh and The Decadent West, Barrie-James, Cara Rose)
Tom Hutton (Polar, Woes)
Victoria Becks (Lyra, Jonny Hockings, Humn)


20 Years Of CMU - The Music Industry v YouTube
This week’s episode of Setlist is another marking CMU’s 20th birthday, the tenth in a series of special editions reviewing the 20 biggest stories CMU has covered over the last two decades.

In this edition we look back at the rapid rise and subsequent evolution of YouTube and the music industry’s love hate love hate relationship with it. Setlist is sponsored by 7digital.

Listen to this edition of Setlist.

You can also subscribe to receive each edition of the show automatically at any of the following services:

Acast | Apple Podcasts | audioBoom | Deezer | Google Play | iHeart | Mixcloud | RSS | SoundCloud | Spotify | Spreaker | Stitcher | TuneIn

Justin Bieber to release tenth anniversary compilation
Justin Bieber is preparing to release a best of compilation to mark his tenth anniversary in this good old music business.

Can it be possible that he's been around for that long already? Yes, it can. I just had a quick look back through the CMU archives and found our first report on him. He really did start out strong. His first mention in CMU came after Island Def Jam VP James Roppo was arrested for the previously unheard of crime of refusing to send out a tweet telling all the Beliebers to go away, when too many turned up for an appearance by their then new hero in a shopping centre.

Anyway, Universal Music Japan announced on Instagram over the weekend plans to release a new Bieber compilation called 'The Best' next month. Details of the release in other countries are yet to be confirmed. While you're waiting, here's a classic video of Bieber walking into a door. Also, marvel at how helmet-like his hair was back then, which may account for why this happened so frequently.


BRIT Awards nominations announced
The BRIT Award nominations were announced on Saturday via an ITV show that I'm certain every single one of you watched. In case you forgot, the leaders this year are Dua Lip and Anne-Marie, with four nominations each. The Best British Male category also reawakens the bitter two decade rivalry between Aphex Twin and Craig David.

"These nominations illustrate what an incredible year it has been for British talent and remind us what a great time it is to be a music fan, both in the UK and beyond", booms BRITs Chair Jason Iley. "I'm delighted to see the nominations representing talent across a wide variety of genres - from returning artists to some incredibly exciting new talent, who are set to become the stars of the future. With such a strong list of nominees, we are certain of a fiercely contested and exciting night at the awards show in February".

Most categories are voted for by a panel of over 1000 music industry types, media people and the previous year's nominees. Although, as ever, the Best Video category will be selected through a public vote on social media, where there will be the usual bitter arguments over cinematography and lighting before people make their final decisions.

There will also be a public vote for British Breakthrough Act, with Radio 1 listeners making their selection from a top five decided by the industry voting panel. Elsewhere, Sam Fender has already won the Critics' Choice prize and Producer Of The Year was given to Ed Sheeran producer Steve Mac on Saturday.

If you want to know who the nominees are, then you can look at this list here, which would be the easiest way to do it as you're already reading this article:

British Male Solo Artist: Aphex Twin, Craig David, George Ezra, Giggs, Sam Smith

British Female Solo Artist: Florence And The Machine, Jess Glynne, Jorja Smith, Lily Allen

British Group: The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Little Mix, Years & Years

British Breakthrough Act: Ella Mai, Idles, Jorja Smith, Mabel, Tom Walker

British Album Of The Year: The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, Anne-Marie - Speak Your Mind, Florence And The Machine - High As Hope, George Ezra - Staying At Tamara's

British Single: Anne-Marie - 2002, Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa - One Kiss, Clean Bandit - Solo (feat Demi Lovato), Dua Lipa - IDGAF, George Ezra - Shotgun, Jess Glynne - I'll Be There, Rudimental - These Days (feat Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen), Sigala & Paloma Faith - Lullaby, Tom Walker - Leave A Light On

British Artist Video Of The Year: Anne-Marie - 2002, Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa - One Kiss, Clean Bandit - Solo (feat Demi Lovato), Dua Lipa - IDGAF, Jax Jones - Breathe (feat Ina Wroldsen), Jonas Blue - Rise (feat Jack & Jack), Liam Payne & Rita Ora - For You, Little Mix - Woman Like Me (feat Nicki Minaj), Rita Ora - Let You Love Me, Rudimental - These Days (feat Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen)

International Male Solo Artist: Drake, Eminem, Kamasi Washington, Shawn Mendes, Travis Scott

International Female Solo Artist: Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Christine & The Queens, Janelle Monáe

International Group: Brockhampton, The Carters, First Aid Kit, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Twenty One Pilots

The annual British Record Industry Trust Awards prize giving ceremony will take place on 20 Feb at the O2 Arena in London.


Bernard Butler, Fyre Festival, Rudimental, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Suede guitarist and human in his own right Bernard Butler has signed a new publishing deal with Warner/Chappell. "We met and talked for a very long time", says Butler.

• Netflix has released the trailer for upcoming documentary 'Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened'.

• Rudimental have released new single 'Scared Of Love', featuring Ray BLK and Stefflon Don.

• Gesaffelstein has released new track 'Lost In The Fire' featuring The Weeknd.

• The Killers' Dave Keuning has released the video for his latest solo single, 'Boat Accident'.

• Pond have announced that they will release new album, 'Tasmania', on 1 Mar. Here's new single, 'Daisy'.

• Dream Theater have released new track 'Fall Into The Light', from upcoming new album 'Distance Over Time'.

• Kid Koala has released another collaboration with Trixie Whitley, from his upcoming new album 'Music To Draw To: Io'. This is 'Hera's Song'.

• Entirely excellent punk quartet Otoboke Beaver have announced that they will release new album 'Iketomi Hits!' on 26 Apr. From it, this is 'Anata Watashi Daita Ato Yome No Meshi'.

• James Blake will be playing live shows in Apr, like the pro that he is. Catch him at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on 7 Apr, Bristol Academy on 9 Apr and the Hammersmith Apollo on 18 Apr.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


BTS label announces new boyband, TXT
Is the massive international success of BTS an anomaly or part of a trend for K-pop? We may be about to find out. The band's label, Big Hit, has announced the launch of a new boyband.

The new group is to be called TXT - which stands for Tomorrow By Together - and over the weekend Big Hit revealed its first two members, Yeonjun and Soobin, in two YouTube videos.

In a statement, the label said: "Tomorrow X Together is a bright and youthful boyband where each member is different from one another, shining in their own way to create a synergy. Just as how their name suggests, the different members have all come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow".

Beyond the videos, there is very little information on TXT or when they will actually debut properly. Though the BTS fanbase has already gone into overdrive proclaiming them to be the second greatest band of all time, obviously.


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.
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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.
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