TODAY'S TOP STORY: R Kelly remained in custody over the weekend after facing new federal charges in the US last week over allegations relating to sex trafficking, images of child abuse and obstruction of justice. A judge will decide in the next day or so whether to grant the musician bail... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES New videos from former employees resulted in latest R Kelly arrest
LEGAL DJ Spinderella airs two decades of grievances in Salt-N-Pepa lawsuit
Slipknot business manager and ex-percussionist spar over ongoing lawsuit
DEALS Warner Music buys musicals label First Night Records
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Digital music set-up ROXi Music announces IPO plans
MEDIA Worldwide FM seeks to grow through Crowdcube funding round
ONE LINERS Krept & Konan, Jax Jones, Ed Sheeran, more
AND FINALLY... Kelly Clarkson tells Taylor Swift to screw over Scooter Braun by creating new masters
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New videos from former employees resulted in latest R Kelly arrest
R Kelly remained in custody over the weekend after facing new federal charges in the US last week over allegations relating to sex trafficking, images of child abuse and obstruction of justice. A judge will decide in the next day or so whether to grant the musician bail.

The star, of course, was already facing an assortment of charges in relation to allegations of sexual abuse, including against underage girls. The flurry of criminal action comes after the airing of that documentary at the start of the year, which put the spotlight back on numerous allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against Kelly over the years.

He continues to deny all the allegations made against him. And his lawyers will now seek bail so that the musician can continue to fight the various criminal actions from outside jail. However, according to the Associated Press, federal prosecutors have requested that bail be denied, arguing that Kelly is both dangerous and a flight risk.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that videos handed over to investigators by former employees of Kelly have aided the criminal proceedings against the star and likely led to last week's new charges. TMZ says that former members of Kelly's "inner circle" handed over more than 20 videos that show Kelly sexually abusing minors.

Citing lawyer Gerald Griggs, who is representing the family of one of Kelly's alleged victims, Joycelyn Savage, the gossip site says that "the tapes show multiple victims ... and prosecutors confirmed with multiple witnesses [that] the girls were underage".

It goes on: "Griggs says several of Kelly's enablers - past and present - flipped and turned over the tapes to investigators. He says those videos were exactly what the feds needed to secure indictments for sex crimes, including child pornography".

According to the AP, a case status hearing will take place in Chicago later today. A federal judge may then consider Kelly's application for bail as soon as tomorrow.


DJ Spinderella airs two decades of grievances in Salt-N-Pepa lawsuit
Spinderella litigate one time! Does that work? No, not really. But, you see, Salt-N-Pepa's long-time DJ Spinderella last week sued her former bandmates in a lawsuit that follows her sacking at the start of the year, but which includes grievances dating back two decades.

According to allegations contained in the legal papers that were filed in a Texas court, Salt (aka Cheryl James-Wray) and Pepa (aka Sandra Denton) have exploited and under-paid their DJ - real name Deidra Roper - ever since the end of the 1990s. So, in the years immediately before and ever since the outfit's hiatus in the early 2000s.

The grievances referenced in the lawsuit begin with the group's 1999 greatest hits album which, it states, Roper was not consulted on or properly paid for. She then complains that she was only ever invited onto VH1's 'Salt-N-Pepa Show' - which aired in 2007 and 2008 - as a low-paid guest. And for live performances in more recent years, she alleges, she was either not paid, underpaid or didn't receive payments she was originally promised.

Roper took part in Salt-N-Pepa's Las Vegas residency last year, but says she was forced to lower her fee by 50% half way through the venture. She agreed to lower that fee, she says, because of the promise of a higher rate being paid on future shows. But then, shortly after that, she received a letter from Salt-N-Pepa's lawyer sacking her from the outfit.

That meant Roper wouldn't participate in a planned US tour with New Kids On The Block. The DJ herself announced this to fans as that 'Mixtape' tour got underway in May, writing on Instagram: "I'm deeply saddened to share with all the #SaltnPepa and #Spinderella fans that I will not be performing on the #NKOTB Mixtape Tour".

She added: "Despite my participation in promoting the tour and being highly publicised as one of the acts, in January 2019 I received a 'termination' email from #SaltnPepa excluding me from performances with the group. It was my expectation, after making that decision, that they would also take responsibility for sharing the news with the public and other affected parties. It has been months now with no mention".

In her lawsuit, Roper says that by continuing to use her image in promotional materials for the shows that she was excluded from, Salt-N-Pepa's company S&C Productions Inc is liable for trademark infringement and the misappropriation of her persona and identity.

According to Law 360, the lawsuit says that, after sending Roper's termination notice, "S&C Productions Inc ... continued to commercially exploit the identity, persona and brand of Roper without her permission or any compensation ... resulting in a massive public hoax and scam ... The defendants' fraudulent activity has continued throughout 2019 to the present, and throughout the currently ongoing nationwide Mixtape Tour".

On top of all that, there is one final dispute over royalties collected by US society SoundExchange for the use of Salt-N-Pepa recordings by American satellite and online radio services. Roper alleges that her former bandmates have been collecting all the artist royalties that SoundExchange administers, even though - she claims - that money should have been shared with here. That, she alleges, has deprived her of more than $600,000.

The lawsuit goes on: "Roper has performed on numerous SNP audio and audio-visual recordings, including 'Whatta Man' and 'Let's Talk About Sex', as a member of the legendary SNP group. As a result of Roper's extensive recording activities with SNP, Roper was entitled to an equitable share of the featured performer digital royalties collected by SoundExchange as authorised under federal law".

Legal reps for James-Wray, Denton and S&C Productions Inc are yet to respond.


Slipknot business manager and ex-percussionist spar over ongoing lawsuit
Ex-Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn has asked a judge to keep the band's business manager listed as a defendant on the lawsuit he is pursuing against his former bandmates.

Fehn, who had been a member of Slipknot since 1998, sued the band earlier this year. He claims that he previously believed that all of the band's touring and merch income was channelled through one company and then divided up among band members.

However, he says, he more recently discovered that some of his bandmates -including frontman Corey Taylor and fellow percussionist Shawn Crahan - have set up other companies to receive some of this money, which he believes he is due a cut of.

Among the defendants on the lawsuit is Slipknot's business manager Robert Shore. He recently filed a motion to dismiss, seeking to have himself removed from the litigation.

But, Fehn has argued in a new legal filing, Shore and his company had fiduciary obligations to him personally, which the manager allegedly failed to meet when setting up systems that favoured other members of the band, depriving him of his share of all the money.

For his part, Shore quickly submitted his own new legal filing with the court, arguing that Fehn hadn't responded to any of the arguments in his motion to dismiss, instead just re-presenting his original claims. Therefore, the manager reckons, his motion to dismiss should be allowed to proceed unhindered.

With Shore's motion, Fehn's response to that motion, and Shore's response to Fehn's response, now all filed, the judge hearing the case needs to decide how to proceed.

Though, it is worth noting, the motion to dismiss only relates to Shore's direct involvement in the lawsuit, and not Fehn's claims against his former bandmates. So even if the judge does remove Shore from the case, the wider litigation will still proceed.

So, plenty of Slipknot-style litigious funtimes are still ahead.


Warner Music buys musicals label First Night Records
Warner Music has bought First Night Records, the London-based independent label that specialises in West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings, and which is particularly known for its long-term partnership with theatre mogul Cameron Mackintosh. You know, the musicals man. You know, the musicals man behind 'Les Misérables'. You know, that Susan Boyle jukebox musical. I think. I possibly got that wrong.

Anyway, following the takeover, First Night will sit under Warner's Arts Music division. The indie label's co-founder John Craig will then consult for Arts Music on a multi-year basis to identify and record new musical theatre productions here in the UK.

Maybe the actual Susan Boyle jukebox musical. Which you've think I've just made up. But no, that exists. There was even talk of a movie version at one point. Musical theatre really is shit, isn't it? No, sorry, musicals are great. As my Spotify stats will testify, I love musicals. Stop dissing musicals.

Anyway, the boss of Arts Music, that'll be that there Kevin Gore, has said of the First Night deal: "I've known John Craig for more than two decades and I've long admired him personally, the business he's built and the fantastic reputation he's developed over his 35 years running First Night Records. He's recorded some of musical theatre's most iconic shows, we've already collaborated on four new cast recordings over the last eighteen months, and I look forward to our continued partnership for years to come. To also have the support of Sir Cameron Mackintosh means the world to me".

Hang on, what's all this about Cameron Mackintosh and his "support"? Has Gore had a Cameron Mackintosh teddy bear made up complete with special sound-chip so that a Cameron Mackintosh sound-a-like shouts out "I support you Kev!" whenever you squeeze its tummy?

No. Not at all. "John Craig was the only record producer to see the potential of the 'Les Misérables' score when it first opened at the Barbican Theatre in London 34 years ago", said the real Cameron Mackintosh this morning. "Every other label turned the show down, partly because, at the time, there was no guarantee the show would even transfer to the West End. The record he made, at considerable risk, became an instant classic and established First Night Records as a major player in recording cast albums".

Which is a nice story, but we were promised firm support for this here deal. "John has served the musical theatre brilliantly and tirelessly promoting new talents through his association with the Brit School and many other charities". Still no support Mac. "It is great news for both our industry and me personally that he has now sold his company to Warner Music, and will continue to contribute artistically to the running of that company alongside Kevin Gore". Aha! There it is! Support! "We are already working on three new projects together, details of which will be announced shortly".

That was all rather hard work wasn't it? But we made it through people. And as a prize, First Night are going to record and send over a full unedited performance of 'I Dreamed A Dream - The Susan Boyle Musical'. No, not really. Your prize is a quote from the much lauded John Craig. Here it is. Enjoy it while it lasts, because there'll be no encore.

"First Night Records is not just a record company, it represents almost all of my working life. I am pleased that the catalogue is going to WMG, who in the last few years have shown they want to be in the cast recording business. It will be nice to see some of our iconic recordings given a new lease of life through WMG's aggressive marketing. Kevin Gore is a real record man, someone who has come up through the ranks and embraced the new media and all its benefits. I think it will be a wonderful partnership".

With the deal now done and all those monologues delivered, we can all sleep soundly fully assured that we'll be able to hear the people sing for at least one day more. That's a 'Les Mis' reference. You got that right? I'm not saying that this whole venture is going to collapse after just one day. There'll be many days more, I'm sure.


Digital music set-up ROXi Music announces IPO plans
ROXi Music, the London-based digital music company that grew out of that Electric Jukebox, has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market. And why not? Sounds like fun. Float away, say I! Except we tend to say "IPO" these days, don't we? So, to be precise, I should say that ROXi Music is IPOing on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market. I prefer the days when we floated.

"ROXi Music's unique music entertainment console is a hit with consumers", reckons the firm's Rob Lewis, "offering a wide range of fun music entertainment from our own fully licensed unlimited music catalogue of over 35 million songs, to karaoke, and from music games, to audio visual experiences for yoga and meditation, all at an exceptionally low price".

Bigging up the firm's British credentials and global ambitions, Lewis goes on: "As the sole UK company offering full catalogue music streaming services, an IPO on AIM will enable ROXi Music to scale up the business and take our successful product international, ensuring the UK's place in the next stage of the digital music revolution".

ROXi Music is a TV-set-centric streaming music service that, it says, appeals to a different more mainstream, family-orientated market than the more conventional digital music services. The stockbrokers at Arden Partners will lead on the stock market listing.


Worldwide FM seeks to grow through Crowdcube funding round
The Gilles Peterson-founded online radio station Worldwide FM has launched a funding round on Crowdcube. Members of the project's "core community" have been able to put money in for two weeks now, so as the campaign goes public more than half the £500,000 being raised has already been committed.

On its Crowdcube page, the radio venture states: "The concept behind Worldwide FM is simple yet we see it as difficult to replicate: an international radio station, broadcasting authentic, cutting-edge music from an array of different locations and trusted curators all over the world. Our experience shows a strong audience appetite for a borderless, curated experience beyond algorithms. A lifetime of building the most credible, high profile connections in underground music has led us to this point".

It then adds that, "having grown through early investment from WeTransfer, further investment will allow the station to build listenership and grow revenue streams".

The station's CEO, Simon Goffe, adds: "Myself and the rest of the team here at Worldwide FM are excited to launch this Crowdcube, which will allow us to build and develop the Worldwide FM platform for the future. We have already built it to the level where we have 365,000 listeners per month and we feel that with this increased investment the opportunity exists to become one of the leading global music platforms".

Full information about the funding round is here. You can tune into Worldwide FM via this website here.


Setlist: Live Nation, Woodstock, Ja Rule
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last seven days, including UK competition regulator concerns about the takeover of Irish concert promoter MCD Productions by Live Nation, the latest roadblock in the story of the surely doomed Woodstock 50 festival, and how Ja Rule wormed his way out of an ongoing Fyre Festival lawsuit. Setlist is sponsored by 7digital.

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Krept & Konan have released new single 'I Spy', featuring K Trap and Headie One, and taken from their forthcoming second album.

Jax Jones has released new single 'Harder', featuring Bebe Rexha.

Ed Sheeran has released the video for his Travis Scott collaboration, 'Antisocial'.

Ghost have released the video for 'Faith', taken from their 2018 album 'Prequelle'.

Sofi Tukker have announced that they will release new EP 'RIP Shame Part 1' on 20 Sep. Here's first single 'Swimg'.

Asking Alexandria have released new single 'The Violence'. "Thematically the song is about the way mainstream media and politicians manipulate and spread mistruth amongst the people to encourage and create anger, fear, division, and conflict in their quest to control and acquire power", says frontman Danny Worsnop. "As the history books have shown, this only goes so far before the people stand up and say enough is enough".

Scouting For Girls have announced that they will release new album 'The Trouble With Boys' on 20 Sep. From it, this is first single 'Grown Up'. There will be tour dates in November and December.

Will Joseph Cook is back with new single 'Hey Brother', the first track from his still to be announced second album. "This album is about my life from the last year and a bit and 'Hey Brother' chronologically is the start of it", he says. "It made sense to release it first thematically because it's kind of about days blurring into one another and not knowing how to find fulfilment in music and creativity. But it's also very optimistic in the face of that".

Ava have released the video for new single 'In Motion', taken from their 'Waves' album.

Fionn Regan has released the video for new single 'Collar Of Fur'.



Loyle Carner has announced UK tour dates for later this year, culminating in a show at Alexandra Palace in London on 15 Nov.

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


Kelly Clarkson tells Taylor Swift to screw over Scooter Braun by creating new masters
Kelly Clarkson is the latest celeb to intervene in the Taylor Swift v Scooter Braun feud, with a relatively late-in-the-day tweet proposing a sneaky trick to overcome the problem of Braun acquiring all of Swift's master tapes.

Swift, of course, hit out big time when it was recently revealed that artist manager Braun's Ithaca Holdings had acquired record label Big Machine, which controls the recording rights in all of her albums to date. Braun taking ownership of her recordings was the "worst case scenario", said Swift, who left Big Machine last year and will work with Universal Music on her future releases.

But worry not, said Clarkson in her tweet this weekend. Yes, Braun's got all your old master recordings. But why not make some new master recordings? You know, of the same songs. And screw over your former label and its new overlord!

Clarkson wrote: "@taylorswift13 just a thought, you should go in and re-record all the songs that you don't own the masters on exactly how you did them, but put brand new art and some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions".

"I'd buy all of the new versions just to prove a point", Clarkson added. What a sneaky little trick that sneaky little one-time American Idol has come up with!

Of course, few sneaky tricks in the music industry are new. And, as a result, many record contracts include re-record restrictions, specifically designed to stop artists doing exactly what Clarkson is proposing. Those restrictions commonly prevent artists from making new recordings of old songs without the label's permission for a set time.

Also, many artists find that, if they do re-record - either because there were no limitations in their original label deal or the time period in which restrictions apply is up - that it's actually very hard to recreate the sound and vibe of the originals.

Some artists just make re-records for the purposes of sync deals, where the new version doesn't have to be 100% the same and often the whole track will never be used anyway. But for a full commercial release, it can be more tricky, even if there are no legal restrictions.

Still, while Clarkson's idea probably won't work, top marks for sneakiness! It's just a shame the record industry's lawyers got there first.


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
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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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