|FRIDAY 10 JANUARY 2020||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: R Kelly's current girlfriends were involved in an altercation at his Chicago home on Wednesday that led to one of them being arrested and the other being taken to hospital. New allegations were also seemingly made against the musician himself during the argument, some of which was captured on Instagram Live... [READ MORE]|
New allegations made against R Kelly as his girlfriends fight on camera
Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary have both repeatedly defended their pop star boyfriend since the 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary was aired a year ago, and during the criminal investigations and prosecutions that followed.
Kelly himself, of course, is currently in jail awaiting multiple trials on numerous allegations of sexual assault, including against under-aged girls.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Savage allegedly attacked Clary during an argument at Kelly's Chicago home on Wednesday afternoon. Clary was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment to injuries to her face. Police were called to break up the altercation, after which Savage fled the scene, but she later handed herself in to the authorities.
Savage was subsequently charged with misdemeanour domestic battery. At a short court hearing yesterday she pleaded not guilty to the charges before being released on a bond.
The Savage family have long claimed that she is another of Kelly's victims, and that she and Clary are both being controlled by the musician.
In November, a Patreon account was set up in Savage's name which then published articles seemingly confirming those claims. But she subsequently posted a video statement stating the Patreon account was fake and that "I just want everyone to know, we still support [Kelly], and we would never betray him. Me and Azriel will forever love him".
Some of this week's bust up between the two women was captured on Instagram Live. According to the Tribune, at one point in one video Clary is heard declaring "the skeletons is coming out, period", adding that Kelly "has been lying to all of y'all, and that's the sad part about it ... And he had people like me lying for him".
As the argument becomes more heated, it isn't always easy to make out what is being said in the videos, but TMZ reports that other new allegations were made during the shouting match.
According to TMZ: "Azriel said she was looking out for herself, and then threatened to send Joycelyn to jail for the very thing Kelly's facing ... having sex with a minor. Azriel claimed she was a minor when she had sex with Joycelyn - perhaps in a threesome with Kelly - and said she'd report Joycelyn to cops".
TMZ also contacted Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg about the fight and the new allegations made during it. He told the gossip site: "I have a statement written by Azriel that she provided to me, voluntarily, after [R Kelly] was already in jail, that said she never had sex with him when she was underaged".
"As far as this little catfight", he added, "it is clear that it was staged to try and boost social media popularity".
Two US agents arrested over bogus Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars bookings
A court filing by an FBI investigator claims that Nancy Jean and Carissa Scott took and partly spent a $100,000 advance payment as part of their negotiations with organisers of a benefit concert that was due to take place in Texas last month.
The payment was supposedly a deposit to secure a booking with Justin Timberlake and then, later, Bruno Mars, but, it's alleged, neither Jean nor Scott had any contact with Timberlake or Mars or any of their respective representatives.
Having paid the $100,000 deposit, organisers got concerned as to why Timberlake hadn't posted about the concert on social media as had been promised. Jean and Scott then told them that Timberlake had decided that he needed to be paid $275,000 of his $500,000 fee to publicly announce the show.
In the subsequent back and forth, the defendants arranged for a man who claimed to be Timberlake's manager to call the organisers to reassure them a booking had been made; they then said that the pop star's fee had gone up to $800,000; before claiming that they could get Mars to play instead for a $600,000 fee, providing they received a $300,000 deposit payment up front.
At this point the benefit show's backers got suspicious and went to the FBI. The aforementioned FBI investigator then approached Jean and Scott claiming to be a new investor in the charity event who was also interested in possibly backing other concerts.
After asking for an update on the Timberlake and Mars bookings, he was told both artists were concerned that the proposed charity show was a joke and that they would therefore need their full deposits paid to publicly announce their involvement. Jean and Scott also added that they could alternatively book Drake, Flo Rida or Ed Sheeran for the show.
The FBI then checked in with Timberlake's management and the booking agency that reps both Timberlake and Mars.
They all confirmed that they had never been approached by Jean and Scott, with Timberlake's manager saying that his client wasn't even available on the proposed concert date. Mars's agent added that there was no way that his client - or Timberlake for that matter - could have been booked to play the proposed benefit show without him being aware of it.
The FBI's investigation also showed that Jean and Scott had withdrawn cash and made payments from the bank account that the $100,000 deposit had been paid into, which had few funds in it other than the Timberlake advance.
The two women were arrested at JFK Airport in New York on Wednesday and are now facing charges of conspiracy to defraud. Neither they nor Canvas Media Group have as yet commented.
Saban Music Group allies with Universal on marketing and distribution
SMG was launched last year by US-based media mogul Haim Saban, who is best known for his many TV ventures and most commonly linked to the Power Rangers franchise. When launching the business last July, Saban said he was pumping $500 million into the venture, which would both sign new artists and buy-up existing music companies and catalogues.
The first acquisition actually pre-dated that announcement, Saban having already bought Latin music focused Talento Uno whose boss, Gustavo Lopez, is now heading up SMG. He previously spent two decades working for Universal, so the fact his new company has allied with the mega-major on distribution isn't surprising.
The new global deal is mainly with Universal's label services division Caroline, although SMG will also have access to other parts of the major in some territories.
Confirming the deal, Universal Music big cheese boss man Lucian Grainge said: "Haim has a proven track record of creating world-class entertainment. We're looking forward to working with his team at Saban Music to bring groundbreaking new artists and music to fans around the globe".
For his part, Saban said that Grainge had "built the number one music company in the world with an unprecedented streak of artist development", and therefore "there is no better home for our artists and their music".
Meanwhile Lopez chipped in: "It's exciting to once again work with UMG, my home for more than 20 years. We're looking forward to working with Sir Lucian's record-breaking and industry-leading teams".
Nigel Elderton reappointed as PRS Chair
"It's a true honour to be reappointed as PRS Chair and I look forward to continuing to serve the organisation on behalf of all PRS's songwriter, composer and publisher members", says he. "I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity to continue working closely with Andrea and my two Deputy Chairmen, Simon Darlow and Simon Platz, in leading the vital work PRS does in protecting and preserving the value of our members' music, both here in the UK and around the world".
The Andrea he mentions there is, of course, Andrea C Martin, chief exec of PRS For Music, who adds: "Nigel has done an exceptional job providing his expert knowledge and guidance as Chair over the past three years and I congratulate him on his reappointment. With over 45 years' experience in the music industry, Nigel's expertise will prove invaluable over the coming years and I look forward to working with him closely as we improve our offering to our members".
Elderton has been UK MD of independent music publisher Peermusic since 1992 and is also the company's European President.
See Tickets acquires Starticket
"I am delighted to welcome Starticket and its experienced management team into our group", says See Tickets CEO Rob Wilmshurt. "We have long admired Starticket as a stand out independent ticketing company in Switzerland and I know that together we will be able to further develop the quality and range of services to our clients and customers in the country".
Samuel Hügli of Starticket's now former owner TX Group adds: "With this acquisition by See Tickets, Starticket will become part of a leading international ticketing service provider that uses cutting-edge technology and has a huge network with numerous partnerships. This will strengthen Starticket in international competition and allow See Tickets to benefit from Starticket's many years of experience in the Swiss market".
See Tickets now has operations in nine European countries, as well as the USA.
The Neptunes reunite, working with Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Blink 182 and more
"I'm focussing on The Neptunes stuff, getting back on The Neptunes grind", Hugo tells Clash. "We're doing a couple of things. There's a videogame soundtrack that's in the works right now ... We just did some work with Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Blink 182, Lil Uzi Vert, Brandy, Ray-J, Snoh Alegra, G-Eazy".
He adds that the production duo have also done some tentative work with Dua Lipa, Kaytranda and Rex Orange County.
Williams and Hugo haven't been totally apart in recent years. The duo worked together on Justin Timberlake's 2018 album 'Man Of The Woods' and they released their most recent album as rock band NERD in 2017. Although Williams led on the latter project, with only one track a true co-production, and Hugo making small contributions to a handful of other tracks.
The first tangible indication of a proper reunion came late last year, when The Neptunes were credited as producers on Williams' song for Netflix documentary 'The Black Godfather', titled 'Letter To My Godfather'. That song is now tipped to be nominated for an Oscar.
Concord Music Group has promoted Jim Selby from Chief Revenue Officer to Chief Operating Officer. "I am extremely proud to be a part of Concord and would like to thank Scott [Pacucci, CEO] and the rest of the executive team for this opportunity", he says.
Bauer Media has appointed Rebecca Frank as Content Director of its Kiss brand. "This is quite simply my dream job", she says. So much so, to take on the role she's travelling all the way back to the UK from New Zealand, where she has been Head Of Development at media company Mediaworks.
Khalid has released new single 'Eleven'. It features some additional warbling by Craig David.
Celeste is celebrating her BBC Sound Of 2020 win with the release of new single 'Stop This Flame'. "In essence, 'Stop This Flame' is a song about seeing it through to the end", she says. "Whether it's about not letting go of love, not letting go of a dream or stridently coming through some form of adversity. The song has always evoked those feelings within me".
Easy Life are celebrating their silver medal in the BBC Sound Of 2020 poll with the release of the video for 'Dead Celebrities'. Their new mixtape, 'Junk Food', is out today too. Thinking about it, it's possible the video release is more to do with that.
Hailee Steinfeld has released the video for new single 'Wrong Direction'.
Of Montreal have released new single 'You've Had Me Everywhere'. Their new album, 'UR Fun', is out next week on Polyvinyl.
Black Lips have released new single 'Rumbler'. "This is a song I wrote about a GI Joe doll, code-named Rumbler, that I am almost certain is based on my great uncle and war hero Bobby Earl Swilley", says the band's Jared Swilley, which I'm sure you'd all already guessed from the title. "The cadence of the song is kind of based on a bear hunting poem that my granddaddy, Bobby Earl's brother, used to recite to me. This is an ode to my elders". The band's new album, 'Sing In A World Falling Apart', is out on 24 Jan.
Scandal have released new single 'AMDKJ', from their upcoming album 'Kiss From The Darkness'.
J-pop artist Sumire Uesaka has announced that she will release her new album, 'Neo Propanganda', internationally through JPU Records on 7 Feb. From it, this is 'Neo Tokyo Singing'.
OOIOO have released new single 'Jibun' on Thrill Jockey.
GIGS & TOURS
Yves Tumor is going to play Electric Brixton in London on 20 May. More info-style content here.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Coldplay now see themselves as "a service"
Speaking to Q, Martin explains that following the release of their 2015 album 'A Head Full Of Dreams', the band toured the world, headlined Glastonbury for the fourth time and played the Super Bowl half time show. At which point they realised that there wasn't much left for them to do.
"It was like, 'OK, we've got to that place, we've got to that job description, now what are we going to do with it?' And I hadn't felt that we'd got there until the end of that tour. Nothing is left in terms of career aspirations".
"Our job [now] is to translate the songs that we receive and get out there and be of use to people if they want it", he goes on. "We've got to be a service, like a TV station. Or a tap".
Of course, you can turn off a TV or a tap.
The fact that the band are now just going through the motions, and therefore have no real urge to get on stage, presumably made it easier for them to declare late last year that they will not now tour in any significant way until they can make it "actively beneficial" to the environment.
Without the usual two year touring schedule ahead of them, but with the band still a going concern, what is left? Well, they're just sitting around "receiving" those songs from the ether. Which means that they'll soon be heading straight back to the studio to work on the follow-up to the recently released 'Everyday Life' album.
"We knew this would probably be over by Christmas so we're keen to get on with the next thing", says drummer Will Champion of the promo for 'Everyday Life'. "We've got songs ready to go and recording sessions earmarked. We're really excited to move on".
Which means that everyday life from now on is basically a near constant stream of new Coldplay albums. The tap is broken, it just won't turn off.