TODAY'S TOP STORY: An initial autopsy has failed to determine what caused the death of rapper Juice Wrld, real name Jarad Higgins, at the weekend. However, police have confirmed that he was taken ill as officers searched the plane he had been travelling on for drugs and weapons... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Juice Wrld's cause of death undetermined after initial autopsy, police reveal further details
DEALS Hipgnosis acquires Kaiser Chiefs master rights
Dirty Hit expands deal with Ingrooves
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Merlin allies with Boomplay, as regional copyright hub predicts a "streaming boom" in African markets
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES ByteDance ramps up the testing of its music service Resso
ARTIST NEWS Roxette's Marie Fredriksson dies
ONE LINERS Marina Elderton, Warner Music, NME Awards, more
AND FINALLY... Popular Ed Sheeran spent the last ten years being popular, popularity checker confirms
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email or call 020 7099 9060.
As Advertising Executive you will be connecting labels, promoters and brands with their target audience in order to drive results for Rock Sound’s partners whilst maximising advertising and sponsorship revenues.

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Jon Child & Co seeks an experienced practice accountant, likely in the range from finalist up to five years newly qualified to join its accounting team, to contribute to the ongoing significant growth at this specialist music chartered accountancy practice.

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Stones Throw is seeking a Label Assistant. The ideal candidate will have held a relevant entry level position in the music industry. This position is ideal for someone early in their career looking to develop their skills.

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With a release roster that includes albums by Omar, Courtney Pine, Brian Auger, Speedometer, Kylie Auldist, Ginger Johnson, Lack of Afro, and the Craig Charles Funk and Soul series, Freestyle Records is currently looking for a Project / Label Manager.

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This is a rare opportunity to join fast-paced music advertising agency CMS Music Media. You will be working directly with client marketing teams, the candidate will be responsible for planning and buying advertising campaigns for artists, labels and promoters across all advertising channels.

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Juice Wrld's cause of death undetermined after initial autopsy, police reveal further details
An initial autopsy has failed to determine what caused the death of rapper Juice Wrld, real name Jarad Higgins, at the weekend. However, police have confirmed that he was taken ill as officers searched the plane he had been travelling on for drugs and weapons.

In a statement, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said that further "studies are required to establish the cause and manner of death for 21 year old Jarad A Higgins". It said that tests already conducted include "cardiac pathology, neuropathology, toxicology and histology" but that "the cause and manner of death are pending at this time".

The rapper had a seizure after disembarking from an aeroplane in a private hangar at Chicago's Midway Airport at around 2am on Sunday morning. He was treated at the scene and then taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police in Chicago have reiterated that they do not suspect foul play. However, they have released further details about the incident, which began before the rapper collapsed. Authorities where already searching luggage that had been taken off the plane when Higgins "began convulsing [and] going into a seizure", a police spokesperson said.

An FBI agent on the scene administered Narcan, a drug used to treat people thought to be overdosing on opioids. His girlfriend had seemingly told agents that the rapper had been taking Percocet, an opioid painkiller. TMZ reports that he may have swallowed several pills in order to avoid them being found by the authorities during their search.

Also according to TMZ, the rapper's flying arrangements have been of interest to the FBI since at least November, when another search of his and his entourage's luggage was carried out. It's not clear if anything was found on that occasion.

However, in their statement yesterday, police confirmed that, during this search, the group - consisting of Higgins and around twelve others - was found to be carrying 41 vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, a high-capacity ammunition magazine and metal-piercing bullets.

So far, the rapper's bodyguards - Christopher Long and Henry Dean - have been charged with weapons offences. Police said that they have not yet ascertained who the drugs belonged to.


Hipgnosis acquires Kaiser Chiefs master rights
This being a day with an "day" in its name, it's time for another Hipgnosis deal. But hey, this one's a bit different. After all those announcements of songwriters selling their song rights to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, here's a deal with a label involving recording rights.

Because this time it's the Kaiser Chiefs whose music is heading in a Hipgnosis direction. But their recordings, not the songs. The investment fund has acquired a 100% stake in the master rights of the band's first four albums, plus a greatest hits compilation and live record, all from their former label B-unique.

"The Kaiser Chiefs have been one of the most successful English bands of the last fifteen years and it's no secret that it's down to great songs, great albums and a terrific live show", says Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis of the latest addition to his growing portfolio of music rights. "They follow the very English tradition of The Who and Madness, and incredible hits like 'I Predict A Riot' and 'Ruby' just get better with time".

Mark Lewis of B-Unique adds: "We are delighted to be part of the Hipgnosis story. Merck managed the first band signed to B-unique, we know he is a proper music man".

The deal, he goes on, will allow B-Unique, the Kaisers and their management team to "keep this great catalogue growing". Bigging up those Kaisers directly, he then adds that he and business partner Martin Toher "shared such a commonality with the band, we both had a real underdog spirit, and the fact that they are still having top three albums and selling more tickets than ever is a testament to their continued hunger".

Confirming the band are also on board with the deal, manager James Sandom says: "It's great to be in business with Merck and Hipgnosis. We're excited by the potential and fresh focus on Kaiser Chiefs classic catalogue in this new chapter, Hipgnosis' modern thinking and resource will add value and presence to a catalogue that's engrained in British culture".

Hipgnosis aims to persuade investors to put their money into music rights rather than more traditional investment portfolios. The company reckons that it can provide reliable and significant returns, while bringing in a new source of investment for the music industry. Other catalogues it currently owns include those of The-Dream, Benny Blanco, The Chainsmokers, Dave Stewart and Bernard Edwards.


Dirty Hit expands deal with Ingrooves
The Dirty Hit record label - which boasts artists including The 1975, Wolf Alice and Beabadoobee on its roster - has signed a new global deal with Ingrooves, the digital distributor with which it has enjoyed a long relationship.

"We have had a long working relationship with Ingrooves, stretching back nearly a decade", confirms Dirty Hit CEO Jamie Oborne, who also manages some of the artists on the label. "[The team at] Ingrooves have built one of the most sophisticated distribution operations in the world and I'm excited about this new era for our two companies".

Ingrooves, of course, was fully acquired earlier this year by Universal Music, with whom Dirty Hit has also partnered on a number of releases in the past, as well as the new 1975 album, due out next year. Noting that, Oborne continues: "UMG's acquisition of Ingrooves is a perfect marriage of Dirty Hit's two core partners and so this deal with Ingrooves, whose footprint is expanding, feels like a natural evolution as we continue to grow".

Ingrooves CEO Bob Roback adds: "In Dirty Hit, Jamie has created an incredible launching pad for a new generation of artists. We have long been partners with Jamie on a variety of his releases and are THRILLED to be expanding our partnership as he looks to grow Dirty Hit around the world".

The 1975's new album, 'Notes On A Conditional Form', is due out on 21 Feb, despite the promotional campaign for the record already feeling like it began seventeen years ago. Beabadoobee, meanwhile, was one of the nominees for this year's BRITs Rising Star Award.


Merlin allies with Boomplay, as regional copyright hub predicts a "streaming boom" in African markets
African streaming service Boomplay has further increased its access to global catalogue by signing a licensing deal with indie-label repping Merlin. The deal will allow Merlin-allied labels and distributors around the world to make their music available to Boomplay's 62 million users across various African markets.

Confirming the deal, Boomplay's Director Of Content & Strategy Phil Choi said: "We are so excited to be working with Merlin and introducing the world's largest network of independent labels into Africa. Boomplay continues to be at the forefront of developing the African music industry and this partnership will enable a far greater range of international artists to access our market".

Meanwhile, Merlin's Chief Commercial Officer Charlie Lexton added: "Merlin is a globally-facing business, and I am delighted that our independent members will now be at the heart of Africa's exciting and fast-evolving music market. We look forward to working closely with Boomplay, to further developing this partnership, and building deep and lasting connections across the continent".

Elsewhere in the region, the South African collecting society CAPASSO has started talking up the new pan-African licensing hub that it has been developing for a while now.

Similar to initiatives like ICE, Armonia and Polaris in Europe, and the Digital One Stop Shop in Latin America, the Pan-African Licensing Hub represents the repertoires of multiple collecting societies when it comes to doing deals with multi-territory streaming services.

Seventeen African societies are already involved in the CAPASSO-led venture and the licensing hub has entered into deals with various global and regional streaming services, including Spotify, Apple and the aforementioned Boomplay.

Commenting on its pan-African licensing ventures, CAPASSO's Chief Operations Officer Wiseman Qinani Ngubo said this week: "We are of the belief that Africa is on the brink of a streaming boom. Our numbers indicate that streaming revenue across multiple territories in the region, excluding South Africa, has had an increase of over 62% year-on-year".

"This signals the readiness and the appetite for streaming", he added, "thus we as [collecting societies] must gear up to facilitate that access. This growth is directly attributable to the consolidation of rights and repertoire via the hub. Even in South Africa where there is positive penetration, there is still huge potential for growth".


ByteDance ramps up the testing of its music service Resso
TikTok owner ByteDance has stepped up the testing of its new standalone music service - called Resso - in both India and Indonesia. According to Bloomberg, about 27,000 users have already installed the Resso app, with efforts to bring people into the beta test having seemingly increased towards the end of last month.

Needless to say, ByteDance is keen to distinguish its new service from the established global players in streaming like Spotify and Apple. It is seemingly doing this with more interactive elements, offering some of the social media features that are popular on services like NetEase Cloud Music in China, plus - like with sister app TikTok - by making it easy for users to sync music to video.

ByteDance has been busy of late negotiating licensing deals for both its video-sharing app and the new music service. With India a target market, it already has deals with key Indian labels T-Series and Times Music. However, it needs the majors on board to access the big Anglo-American recordings, and they are seemingly yet to sign on the dotted line for Resso.

Commenting on the testing of the standalone music product, a ByteDance rep told reporters: "Resso is currently in a beta testing phase. We are optimistic about its long-term prospects but we are still very early in the process and only in a limited number of developing markets".


CMU Insights at Eurosonic, Output and MENT
CMU Insights will be at a number of music industry conferences in early 2020 updating delegates on our recent research work on digital, distribution and education.

At Eurosonic in Groningen on 16 Jan CMU's Chris Cooke will talk delegates through the 'Song Royalties Guide' published by the MMF earlier this year. In a session called 'Where's My Damn Money?', he'll also talk to experts about what songwriters can do to ensure they are getting all the streaming royalties they are due.

At MENT in Ljubljana on 6 Feb we will help delegates navigate and understand the business of digital music, explaining how streaming works, and how royalties are calculated and paid each month. Plus we'll run delegates through some of the big ongoing debates.

And at Output in Belfast on 13 Feb the spotlight will fall on the 'Distribution Revolution' report we produced for the Association Of Independent Music and the 'Pathways Into Music' project that is mapping music careers, music education and local music industries. Both will be presented and discussed during the Output proceedings.

Click on the links above for more info about each of these conferences. Or click here for more info about all of CMU's conference sessions.

Roxette's Marie Fredriksson dies
Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson has died, aged 61, following a long-term illness.

"It is with great sadness that we have to announce that one of our biggest and most beloved artists is gone", said her family in a statement. "Marie Fredriksson died on the morning of 9 Dec".

Fredriksson collapsed in her bathroom in 2002, fracturing her skull and having a seizure. Scans in hospital revealed that she had a brain tumour, which was later successfully removed. However, it took a number of years to recover from the surgery and she lost sight in one eye. But she continued to write and record music and in 2009 began touring again.

In 2016, on the recommendation of doctors due to continued ill health, she retired from touring, shortly after Roxette released their tenth album 'Good Karma'. Subsequently, she also released three solo singles - most recently 2018's 'Sing Me A Song' - all of which had been recorded several years previously.

Her Roxette partner Per Gessle said in a statement posted on Facebook: "Time goes by so quickly. It's not that long ago we spent days and nights in my tiny apartment in Halmstad, listening to music we loved, sharing impossible dreams. And what a dream we eventually got to share! Thank you Marie, thanks for everything".

"You were an outstanding musician", he went on, "a master of the voice, an amazing performer. Thanks for painting my black and white songs with the most beautiful colours. You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years. I'm proud, honoured and happy to have been able to share so much of your time, talent, warmth, generosity and your sense of humour. All my love goes out to you and your family. Things will never be the same".

Already successful musicians in Sweden, Fredricksson and Gessle formed Roxette in 1986, becoming internationally successful with their second album, 'Look Sharp!', in 1988. Singles from that LP included 'Dressed For Success', 'The Look' and 'Listen To Your Heart'. The follow-up, 1991's 'Joyride', was also very successful worldwide, and the same year they had a hit with 'It Must Have Been Love', from the soundtrack of the movie 'Pretty Woman'.

Although later albums failed to have the same chart success in the US, with chart positions also dropping in the UK by the turn of the century, the band remained popular in many countries throughout their career - in particular in Sweden, where Fredricksson also maintained the solo career she began before forming Roxette.



Independent music publisher BDi Music has signed Marina Elderton - who composes for film, TV, theatre and brands - to a worldwide deal. Elderton also releases music as a solo artist under the name UV.



Warner Music has announced a new alliance with private equity outfit Providence Equity Partners. They will together launch Tempo Music Investments which will get itself busy in the fun task of buying up song and recording copyrights, such rights buying being very much in vogue of late. Warner will then handle the administration and distribution of any songs or recordings the new venture acquires. What could possibly go wrong?



The NME Awards will return in February, it has been confirmed. The music mag didn't stage an awards event this year after becoming an online-only publication in 2018. But, with new owners since May, the dishing out of awards is seemingly back on the agenda. It all takes place at the Brixton Academy on 12 Feb. Fun times!



Kaytranda has announced that he will release new album 'Bubba' next flippin week. The album includes guest appearances from artists including Pharrell Williams, Mick Jenkins, Tinashe, Estelle, Charlotte Day Wilson and - on new single '10%' - Kali Uchis.

Brian Eno has released a new track damning the Conservative government as the UK prepares to vote in a General Election tomorrow. 'Everything's On The Up With The Tories' criticises the party for "selling off the NHS to cowboys" and setting us up for "a few more years of Brexit purgatory", among other things.

Lizzo has released the video for 'Good As Hell', from her 'Cuz I Love You' album.

Stone Sour have released a live video for 'Whiplash Pants'. The band will release a live album, 'Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno', on 13 Dec.

Not3s has released new single 'Princ3'.

The Big Moon have released a cover of Mykola Leontovych's festive song 'Carol Of The Bell'. Their new album, 'Walking Like We Do', will be out on 10 Jan.

Yorkston/Thorne/Khan have shared new song 'The Shearing's Not For You'. Their third album together, 'Navarasa: Nine Emotions', is out on 24 Jan. They'll also be touring the UK in March.



Thundercat has announced that he will play shows in London and Manchester next April. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

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


Popular Ed Sheeran spent the last ten years being popular, popularity checker confirms
The Official Charts Company has crowned Ed Sheeran the UK's Official Number 1 Artist Of The Decade. It's always good to have a reminder that he's quite popular. He also becomes the latest recipient of an Official Chart Record Breaker Award.

If you're thinking that this is just an excuse to lay down a load of stats, well, I mean obviously that's what this is. More than a musician, Ed Sheeran is a stat creator, and in ten years he's generated so many he has very nearly run out of numbers.

Over the course of the 2010s, no other artist as had as many top fives, top tens or top 20s as our Ed. Nor spent as long in the top 40 as a whole. The time each of his charting singles have spent in the top 40 collectively totals 572 weeks. And that stretches to 1002 weeks if you look at the top 75. Told you. Numbers.

That Official Chart Record Breaker Award is for two specific stats - for having the most number ones across the official singles and albums chart between 2010-2019 (that being twelve), and the most weeks at number one across the official singles and albums chart in the same time period (that being 79 weeks).

He joins the two previous winners of the award, Justin Bieber (the first act in history to hold all top three positions in the Official Singles Chart simultaneously) and Paul McCartney (22 number ones across his career).

"Ed truly has dominated this decade and is a worthy recipient of this amazing new award", says OCC boss Martin Talbot. "At the start of the decade, he was a little known - albeit highly rated - young eighteen year old lad from Suffolk - but his catalogue of achievements since then are genuinely remarkable. Today, he is firmly established among the highest level of global music superstars".

Sheeran himself comments: "Thank you to everyone who's supported me over the past ten years, especially my amazing fans. Here's to the next ten!"

Nice of him to do a shout out for the people who supported him who weren't also fans. Those people are so often forgotten.

Anyway, what about everyone else? Surely other people achieved things in the last ten years? You're damn right they did. And for those people the Official Charts Company has put together some, well, charts. Obviously. If you want, you can peruse the top 100 best selling singles of the decade here and the top 100 albums here.

But if you'd rather just know the ten-year top tens for singles and albums, you can check those out below. There's ten in each. But not ten artists, because, well, Ed Sheeran. Oh, and Adele. Adele did alright too. Have a look here:

Official UK Singles Chart 2010 - 2019
1. Ed Sheeran - Shape Of You
2. Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk
3. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
4. Luis Fonsi feat Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber - Despacito (Remix)
5. Ed Sheeran - Perfect
6. Drake feat Wizkid and Kyla - One Dance
7. Pharrell Williams - Happy
8. John Legend - All Of Me
9. Justin Bieber - Sorry
10. Clean Bandit - Rather Be

Official UK Albums Chart 2010-2019
1. Adele - 21
2. Adele - 25
3. Ed Sheeran - Multiply
4. Ed Sheeran - Divide
5. Michael Buble - Christmas
6. Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
7. Ed Sheeran - Plus
8. Emeli Sandé Our Version Of Events
9. Take That - Progress
10. Various Artists - The Greatest Showman OST


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column. (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights and CMU Pathways consultancy units and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited. (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY. or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
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