TODAY'S TOP STORY: Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint has died. The band's Liam Howlett confirmed to fans on social media yesterday that Flint had taken his own life... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES Keith Flint dies
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Subscription services account for more than 60% of recorded music revenues, as fans switch from ownership to access
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify already has a million subscribers in India
EDUCATION & EVENTS First 2019 finalists confirmed for Festival Republic's ReBalance programme
GIGS & FESTIVALS Kings Of Leon announce one-off show in Liverpool
Trevor Horn announces UK tour
ONE LINERS Tindersticks & Robert Pattinson, Morrissey, Julio Eglesias, more
AND FINALLY... Royal Trux disagree over whether or not they've split up again
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Keith Flint dies
Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint has died. The band's Liam Howlett confirmed to fans on social media yesterday that Flint had taken his own life.

News of Flint's death came yesterday morning, after Essex police confirmed that they had been called out due to "concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End". Their statement continued: "We attended and, sadly, a 49 year old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner".

In their own statement, The Prodigy said: "It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint. A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time".

On Instagram, Howlett added: "The news is true, I can't believe I'm saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend. I'm shell shocked, fuckin angry, confused and heart broken. RIP brother".

The Prodigy was founded in 1990, after Flint encouraged Howlett to put together a live show to perform tracks he had been working on in the studio. Flint and Leeroy Thornhill choreographed dance routines to the tracks, and the group was later joined by MC Maxim Reality.

Flint then provided vocals on four tracks for the band's third album, 'The Fat Of The Land', including first single 'Firestarter'. It was this track, and Flint's distinct, punk-influenced look in its video, which brought them to international fame. It also earned them some notoriety, the video being banned by the BBC, after complaints that Flint's performance in it had frightened children when it was shown on 'Top Of The Pops'.

The band's headline performance at Glastonbury in 1997 - making them the first dance act to top the festival's bill - and which took place just days before the release of 'The Fat Of The Land' - also cemented their credentials as a live act.

In 2003, Flint launched a side-project, named simply Flint. The band released one single, 'Asteroids', promoting an album which was eventually shelved before its planned release in June that year. The previous year, The Prodigy had released a standalone single, 'Baby's Got A Temper', which was written by Flint with Kieron Pepper and Tony Howlett, who were also members of the side project. The song was criticised for its references to date-rape drug Rohypnol and Liam Howlett later disowned it.

Although he remained a live member of the group, Flint did not appear on the band's long delayed fourth album, 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned', which was released in 2004. However, he returned on the 2008 follow-up 'Invaders Must Die', providing vocals on five tracks, which many saw as a creative return to form. It also scored the band their greatest commercial success since 'The Fat Of The Land'.

Flint then contributed vocals to most tracks on 2015's 'The Day Is My Enemy' and three on last year's 'No Tourists'.

The Prodigy completed an Australian tour in February and were set to play festival dates next month in Colombia and Austria, before heading out on US dates in May. Following the news of Flint's death, the US dates - which would have been the band's first headline tour in the country for more than a decade - were cancelled.

Announcements have not yet been made about upcoming festival dates, including the SW4 festival in August. Organisers of the event on London's Clapham Common, which The Prodigy are scheduled to headline, said in a statement: "We're processing the passing of one of the most important and iconic figures of the scene and we'll be providing an update as soon as we can".

Outside music, Flint also ran a pub for a time, and owned a motorcycle racing team, as well as competing as a motorcyclist himself.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, Mind offers information and support on this and other topics relating to mental wellbeing. You can also contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or music industry-specific helplines Music Support on 0800 030 6789 and Music Minds Matter on 0808 802 8008.


Subscription services account for more than 60% of recorded music revenues, as fans switch from ownership to access
With the shift to streams, recorded music in the UK has now followed games and video so that the majority of its revenue comes from access services rather than ownership.

In 2018, 62.1% of music revenues came from subscription services, as opposed to 37.9% from discs and downloads. The shift was driven by a 38% increase in revenues from paid subscription music services last year, bringing in just over £829 million. We know all this because of the latest stats pack - for 2018 - from the Entertainment Retailers Association.

"This is a significant moment", says ERA CEO Kim Bayley. "For the first time since the birth of the modern entertainment business in the late 1950s, more revenue is coming from payments for access rather than purchase in all three sectors - music, video and games. New digital services have created a 'Generation Rent' for whom access models seem natural. It is nothing less than a revolution in the entertainment business".

'Generation Rent' is not generally a term used positively, of course, but whatever. Bayley continues: "Innovation and investment by digital services and retailers has literally proven a lifesaver for the video, games and music businesses, creating new business models and supporting jobs across the UK creative industries".

Physical formats still remain significant, with revenues of more than £505 million, although this side of music retail is in continued decline. CD albums remain the biggest source of income from physical music, with £289.1 million. Vinyl follows at £91.3 million.

ERA notes that declines in CD sales and the ongoing vinyl revival have had differing effects on different parts of the retail market.

The supermarkets, which became a dominant force in music retail in the early 2000s, mainly by undercutting other retailers on CD sales, are now struggling in this area - although they still account for a quarter of physical music sales. Independent stores, meanwhile, are seeing a resurgence with 425 shops now operating in the UK - the highest total for more than a decade.

Still, it's online where most of the money is coming in. Digital services account for over 76% of revenues, with sales of physical products through mail order operators like Amazon bringing the total up to 85%.

Although still seeing significantly smaller revenues than gaming and video overall, music subscription income helped to drive overall entertainment revenues from access models to over £4.5 billion. In total, UK entertainment retail revenues passed £7.5 billion last year - an all-time high, up 9.4% on 2017 - over £1.3 billion of which came from music.


Spotify already has a million subscribers in India
While getting busy testing the reach of the compulsory licences available under the country's copyright laws, Spotify also signed up a million users during its first few days streaming away in India.

The market-leading premium streaming firm finally went live in the world's second most populous country last week, of course. Although not without a last minute highly public spat with Warner Music.

The mini-major wouldn't license its Anglo-American songs catalogue to the steaming firm's Indian service. That would have impacted on Spotify's ability to stream recordings controlled by other labels that feature songs at least in part published by Warner/Chappell.

However, Spotify decided it could probably rely on some compulsory licences that are available under Indian copyright law to cover those song rights. Warner angrily disagreed, seeking a court order that would block the use of any compulsory licences by an on-demand streaming service in the country. That legal spat is ongoing.

Meanwhile, a million Indian consumers have joined the Spotify party. That includes both free and premium users, of course, with the steaming firm not willing to break down that stat by subscription type.

With countries as populous as India, big numbers are the norm, but a million subscribers within a week is impressive nevertheless. Though, of course, it remains to be seen whether those impressive growth rates can be maintained, while the labels will be more focused on long-term revenue potential than user acquisition stats.

Still, a million users in a week and a nice messy legal squabble with Warner. Good times!


First 2019 finalists confirmed for Festival Republic's ReBalance programme
Live Nation's Festival Republic has announced the first 2019 finalists for its ReBalance initiative.

The project, supported by the PRS Foundation, seeks to support up-and-coming female artists with a view to enabling a more diverse talent pipeline for the music industry, in part to help ensure that there is a diverse mix of artists coming through to populate the festival line-ups of the future.

Announcing the latest participants in the programme, ReBalance organisers cited recent BBC analysis of 2018 chart data which showed that the most popular music last year continued to be male dominated.

Just 30 female acts were credited on the Official Chart Company's top 100 most popular songs of 2018 compared to 91 men or all-male groups. When it came to song-writing credits, only thirteen of the most popular 100 songs of last year were wholly credited to female acts. Festival Republic says that these figures show that "ReBalance is needed more than ever".

But who are the three acts confirmed to be benefiting from free studio time, guaranteed festival slots and other industry support this year? Well, it's Luna, Lady Sanity, and Martha Hill, all very fine addictions to the programme indeed.


Approved: Shhe
A little over a year ago, Su Shaw brought her Panda Su project to an end, which - after two great EP releases - was a moment worth feeling deflated about. Although, that said, it had been some time since she'd released new music under that name, she seemingly being stuck in a creative rut for a number of years.

Thankfully, she promptly returned under the name Shhe, releasing her debut single 'Eye's Shut'. Now, newly signed to One Little Indian, she's back with a second track, 'Boy'.

With a more electronic sound than her previous work, and more sparsely layered arrangements, the Shhe project still allows Shaw's engaging and inventive songwriting to shine through. These new songs, more of which she's been airing live recently, find her back on a creative high.

"Sometimes we're unwilling to let go and sometimes we're unable to", she says of the inspiration for 'Boy'. "Willingness and ability are different things. How do you give yourself completely to someone when parts of you still remain with someone else? How much of your identity do you lose in the process?"

As well as the new songs, Shaw is also developing a longer form piece titled 'Dýrafjörður', named after an Icelandic fjord. That piece began as she took part in the Westfjords Residency last year, and is now being built into a performance combining sound, moving image and visual art.

Having just completed a UK tour supporting Kathryn Joseph, be sure to watch out for further shows as soon as they're announced. Meanwhile, watch the video for 'Boy' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Kings Of Leon announce one-off show in Liverpool
Kings Of Leon are to headline a one-off show in Liverpool this summer, put together by the organisers of the city's Fusion Festival. The show actually takes place the day before the main Fusion event, although tickets will be sold separately, under the name Fusion Presents.

"Liverpool is an iconic city, entrenched in music heritage and we've wanted to launch a new event for the last couple of years", says event director Damien Sanders. "The biggest challenge has been finding the right artist for the job. We're over the moon that we were able to secure one of the world's most successful rock bands to launch Fusion Presents and we cannot wait to see them perform in our new home, Sefton Park".

The show will take place on 30 Aug, with support from Franz Ferdinand, Echo And The Bunnymen, Circa Waves and Sam Fender, with more names to be announced. Tickets are set to go on sale on Friday.

Details of this year's Fusion Festival, set to take place on 31 Aug and 1 Sep, are yet to be announced.

Elsewhere in Kings Of Leon news, the band have joined Irving Azoff's Full Stop Management. They've followed their longtime manager Andy Mendelsohn, who recently left Vector Management to join Full Stop.


Trevor Horn announces UK tour
Trevor Horn has announced a UK tour in support of recent album 'Trevor Horn Reimagines The 80s'. Matt Cardle, who performs on the album's cover of 'The Power Of Love', will appear at all shows, with further guests to be announced in due course.

"We have a great band, great songs and a great show", says Horn. "You will enjoy yourself".

You heard him. That's a Horn guarantee. Tickets for the shows will go on general sale this Friday. Here are all of the dates:

27 Jul: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
28 Jul: London, Royal Festival Hall
30 Jul: Birmingham, Symphony Hall
31 Jul: Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
3 Aug: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall


Tindersticks & Robert Pattinson, Morrissey, Julio Eglesias, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Tindersticks have released new single 'Willow', featuring vocals from Robert Pattinson. The track is taken from Tindersticks frontman Stuart A Staples' soundtrack for new film 'High Life', in which Pattinson also stars.

• Ama has released the video for her new single 'Slip'.

• Morrissey has announced a residency on Broadway in New York later this year. The former Smiths frontman will play seven nights at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in May. The run will precede the release of his new covers album 'California Son'.

• Julio Eglesias has announced that he will play Wembley Arena on 26 Jun, as part of a tour marking his 50th anniversary in the music business.

• Black Flag have announced their first UK tour for 35 years. Dates will kick off with a show at London's Electric Ballroom on 7 Oct. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

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


Royal Trux disagree over whether or not they've split up again
A little over a year ago, Royal Trux - Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema - announced that they had reformed and signed a new record deal with Fat Possum to release their first new album since 2000's 'Pound For Pound'. With that album, 'White Stuff', now out and tour dates imminent, Hagerty says he's quit the band, won't play upcoming tour dates, and hasn't even heard the new record.

"I'm out of the band", he tells The Guardian. "I'm not touring. She steamrollered right over me, man. I'm just doing this [interview] as a favour to Fat Possum. The album - I didn't approve of it. I have no idea what it is. I've heard like ten seconds of one song. I'm out, man".

Never the most stable of partnerships, it is true that Hagerty dropped out of recording sessions for the album, leaving Herrema to finish it without him. However, in a separate discussion she disputes that he's not part of the band anymore.

"I don't take him seriously at all at this point", she says. "He's done this on every tour. He always shows up, always does the tours. This is just more bullshit. But I'm not bothered by it because it's nothing bad".

So, who knows? US dates were already postponed earlier this year, purportedly because of issues surrounding an earlier arrest and legal issues for Herrera. Shows are now scheduled to begin in May, which I guess gives Hagerty a couple of months to change his mind.

Read the full Guardian interview in full here.


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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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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