THURSDAY 9 JULY 2020 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Lady As are going legal. Lady A the band wants confirmation that they can continue to use that name without the risk of Lady A the singer suing them. To achieve this, they have sued Lady A the singer... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Lady A sues Lady A over the name Lady A
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LEGAL 6ix9ine sued for $5.3 million over cancelled show
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LIVE BUSINESS COVID-19 VAT break will apply to live music, culture minister confirms
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MEDIA Samantha Moy named head of BBC Radio 6 Music
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ARTIST NEWS Tom Meighan issues statement following assault conviction
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RELEASES Daniel Avery releases Love + Light visual album
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ONE LINERS Bobby Sessions, Songkick, James Blake, more
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AND FINALLY... Kanye details presidential policies: "I don't know if I would use the word policy"
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How record companies market their catalogues in the streaming age
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Lady A sues Lady A over the name Lady A
The Lady As are going legal. Lady A the band wants confirmation that they can continue to use that name without the risk of Lady A the singer suing them. To achieve this, they have sued Lady A the singer. Fun times!

Lady A the band were, of course, until last month officially known as Lady Antebellum. But they changed their name in the midst of the most recent round of Black Lives Matter protests. The antebellum era in the US was a period of rapid economic growth in the southern states during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, aided in large part by a reliance on slavery.

When announcing their big rebrand, the band said that they had originally decided to use the 'antebellum' word in their name during a very early photo shoot in a southern 'antebellum style' home. It wasn't intended as a celebration of that era in history at all, but they were now "regretful and embarrassed" by their moniker.

The band and their fans had used Lady A as an informal alternative name pretty much ever since the outfit formed in 2006. But following the official rebrand it emerged that a soul singer called Anita White had been performing under the name Lady A for more than two decades. And she wasn't happy with the other Lady A now being officially called Lady A.

She told Rolling Stone: "Lady A is my brand, I've used it for over 20 years, and I'm proud of what I've done ... [Changing their name is] an opportunity for them to pretend they're not racist or pretend [the Black Lives Matter movement] means something to them. If it did, they would've done some research. And I'm not happy about that. [Rolling Stone] found me on Spotify easily – why couldn't they?"

"I'm not about to stop using my name", she went on. "For them to not even reach out is pure privilege. I'm not going to lay down and let this happen to me. But now the burden of proof is on me to prove that my name is in fact mine, and I don't even know how much I'll have to spend to keep it".

Lady A the band quickly put out a statement saying that they were previously unaware of Lady A the singer, but that they had now reached out to White.

Both Lady As then posted a screengrab of an online meeting between all parties. Lady A the singer said she was "so glad to speak with these amazing young people", while the band said that they were all "moving forward with positive solutions and common ground". There was seemingly talk of both Lady As happily co-existing and even a Lady A featuring Lady A collaboration.

However, the "positive solutions" seemingly stalled once lawyers started trying to get that "common ground" down into writing. White told Newsday earlier this month that she wasn't happy with a draft agreement that she had been sent by Lady A the band. She seemingly then hired new legal representation who started making financial demands.

On 7 Jul, a lawsuit filed by Lady A the band says, "without any discussion or context", White's new lawyer "delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand, while maintaining the cooperation and collaboration obligations". It's thought the "exorbitant monetary demand" was $10 million.

Lady A the band "do not wish to prohibit White from performing under the name 'Lady A' or otherwise identifying herself as a musical performer named 'Lady A'", the lawsuits goes on, "nor do plaintiffs seek any monetary damages whatsoever. Rather, plaintiffs simply wish that the parties continue to co-exist".

Why do Lady A the band think they should be allowed to co-exist with Lady A the singer though? Well, firstly because - they argue - they have actually been using the Lady A name since 2006, even if their official brand was Lady Antebellum. The lawsuit provides examples of the band using the Lady A moniker online and media referring to them as Lady A in various reports.

Secondly, they say that both they and White can use the Lady A name without there being any confusion. After all, they argue, Spotify is already fine with there being two Lady As, hosting two Lady A profiles, one with the band's music, and one with White's music. (The former has seven million monthly listeners and the latter 166 monthly listeners, they also note, somewhat snarkily).

But most importantly of all, Lady A the band already own the US trademark in Lady A. They first filed a registration with the US trademark registry all the way back in 2010, and subsequently registered the mark in additional categories too.

"White did not oppose any of [the band's] applications for the Lady A mark", they state. "White has not sought to cancel any of the Lady A registrations. [And] prior to 2020, White did not challenge, in any way, plaintiffs' open, obvious and widespread nationwide and international use of the Lady A mark as a source indicator for plaintiffs' recorded, downloadable, and streaming music and videos, plaintiffs' live musical performances, or plaintiffs' sale of souvenir merchandise".

So, there you have it. The band's argument is basically that, while White may have been performing under the Lady A name the longest, they have been using the name for more than a decade and control the relevant trademarks in the brand.

They also insist that they have only gone legal because of correspondence from White's lawyers that suggested they were also considering litigation.

The band want the court to confirm that their Lady A trademarks are "valid, subsisting, and incontestable", and to rule that "plaintiffs' use of the Lady A mark does not and would not infringe upon or otherwise violate any of White's claimed rights in 'Lady A', including any trade names or common law rights".

Lady A have spoken. We now await a response from Lady A.

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6ix9ine sued for $5.3 million over cancelled show
If he's getting bored of planning sneaky chart strategies from home while on COVID-lockdown-cum-house-arrest, 6ix9ine could apply his strategic mind to how he might go about defeating some litigation in the civil courts.

The rapper has been sued by the promoter of a cancelled 2018 show in Washington DC. He is accused of breach of contract for bailing on the concert at the very last minute and of defamation for comments he made after the show was canned.

The concert was due to take place at Washington's Echostage venue on 28 Oct 2018. The lawsuit filed by promoters Hits Before Fame and After Hours explains how there had been a number of false starts to getting the show off the ground, but that a deal was ultimately done with reps of the rapper, and the vast majority of his $60,000 fee was paid upfront.

There were concerns in the run up to the show because 6ix9ine had failed to promote it via his social channels, although he had recorded a promotional video for the promoters and ticket sales had been going OK. The real concerns started on the day of the gig, because the rapper's people hadn't provided any schedule for his arrival and soundcheck.

The lawsuit runs through a series of increasingly stressful calls and text messages between the promoter and the rapper's reps as crowds started to gather at the venue and there was no word on when 6ix9ine would arrive. It later transpired that, as fans started to queue outside Echostage, he was still at home doing an Instagram interview with website The Shaderoom. He then later appeared at an event in Newark, New Jersey, 220 miles away.

In the wake of the cancellation, 6ix9ine told fans via Instagram that he hadn't been paid the pre-agreed deposit by the promoters of the Washington show and that the people Hits Before Fame and After Hours had been liaising with didn't actually work for him. These comments, the lawsuit says, were not only untrue, but they intensified an online backlash that had already begun against the promoters.

With all that in mind, Hits Before Fame and After Hours say that - not only did they incur a direct financial hit from the cancelled show, given they'd already laid out for the venue, support acts and marketing, as well as the rapper's fee - but their businesses have been negatively impacted ever since. And so now they are suing for $5.3 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The cancelled show lawsuit follows another back in March in which clothing brand Fashion Nova accused the rapper of taking a $225,000 advance in 2018 to do some Instagram promo despite having no intention of ever doing so.

So, there's plenty of legal wrangling for 6ix9ine to be thinking about, if and when working out how the play the Billboard 100 chart rules gets tiresome.

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COVID-19 VAT break will apply to live music, culture minister confirms
UK culture minister Oliver Dowden has confirmed that a VAT cut announced by the Chancellor Of The Exchequer yesterday will apply to gigs and concerts.

The sales tax cut was among a number of new measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday as part of efforts to help the British economy recover as the COVID-19 shutdown slowly comes to an end. He said that VAT paid on the sale of "hospitality and leisure services" would be reduced from the usual 20% to 5% from next week.

Companies who qualify for the cut can decide whether to pass the saving on to customers - in a bid to lure them back in post-shutdown - or to pocket the difference to help overcome losses they have incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Or a bit of both.

A VAT cut of this kind is one of the things the live music industry has been calling for, alongside sector-specific financial support. However, following Sunak's announcement yesterday, it wasn't entirely clear what was covered by "hospitality and leisure services".

Dowden subsequently posted on Twitter: "Pleased to confirm VAT cut from 20% to 5% for 'attractions' announced by Rishi Sunak includes: shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas and exhibitions".

The VAT cut is currently set to run for six months. Which arguably makes it less useful for the live sector than bars and restaurants, as it's still not clear to what extent live music will be able to return in the months ahead.

That said, the VAT is charged as a ticket is sold, so providing there are plenty of ticket sales in the next six months, promoters and venues will feel the benefit.

With the VAT cut coming just days after ministers committed to £1.57 billion of sector-specific financial support for the cultural and heritage industries, things have moved on quite a lot in the last week in terms of government helping the creative sector weather the COVID-19 storm.

Though the significant challenges faced by the creative sector, including the music industry, are by no means over. Only the live side of the music industry will benefit from the VAT cut and it remains very unclear how the £1.57 billion will be shared out.

Meanwhile, criticism remains that the government is refusing to extend the general COVID-19 support programmes - including the furlough and freelancer schemes - even though some sectors, like live music, could be in some form of shutdown until the end of the year.

And, of course, ministers continue to ignore the huge number of self-employed people - including many in the music industry - who have so far fallen through the gaps and received no government support at all.

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Samantha Moy named head of BBC Radio 6 Music
The BBC has announced Samantha Moy as the new Head Of Station at BBC Radio 6 Music. She is the latest station-specific boss to be appointed as part of Controller Of Pop Lorna Clarke's big shake-up of management across the Beeb's network of pop channels.

"Using her wide range of experience in broadcast production, Sam will continue to evolve this exciting radio station that means so much to music lovers", says Clarke.

"I'm privileged and honoured to be appointed to lead BBC Radio 6 Music - a radio station made for and made by music lovers", adds Moy. "The relationship with our audience has gone from strength to strength, as our brilliant presenters, supported by our talented production teams, have provided the perfect combination of music, conversation and connection during these challenging times".

"I'm proud to lead this fantastically creative and inspiring team", she goes on, "who I know feel as passionately about 6 Music as I do".

Moy began her career at Kiss 100 and subsequently joined production company Somethin Else, where she produced shows for a number of BBC stations. She joined the BBC itself in 2002, initially at Radio 1. Her most recent role was 6 Music's Head Of Content Commissioning. She will officially take up her new position on 17 Aug.

In recent months, Aled Haydn Jones has been announced as head of Radio 1, Helen Thomas as head of Radio 2 and Ahmed Hussain as head of the Asian Network. The final appointment, expected in the coming weeks, is for the head of Radio 1Xtra.

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Approved: Ava Lily
Ava Lily got her start in the music business when she was discovered by Naughty Boy through covers she posted online.

Under his guidance, she got work as a songwriter working with a number of big artists, co-writing Zayn Malik's 'Common' in the process, as well as releasing her own debut single, 'Painkiller'. She's now independently released the first of a number of new singles planned in 2020, 'Blameless'.

Short and with sparse production, placing all emphasis on her voice and the emotion it imparts, the new track is a quick taste of what's to come.

"For me 'Blameless' feels empowering", she says. "I wrote it in the most real way. I literally woke up in the night to loads of texts from an ex and was overwhelmed by this feeling of comfort just being alone".

"It was the first time I didn't need him, or anyone", she adds. "It was a beautiful realisation. It felt like it was the first time I had a choice... like yeah, I could go back there but it kinda feels nicer to not fuck myself over again this time. I'm making friends with myself. It was a powerful moment".

Listen to 'Blameless' here.

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

Tom Meighan issues statement following assault conviction
Tom Meighan has issued a response to his conviction earlier this week for assaulting his partner Vikki Ager. He also addressed a disparaging statement that was issued by his former Kasabian bandmates after the conviction.

In his statement, Meighan admits to struggling with alcohol addiction and says that he has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. "I am very sorry and deeply regret my behaviour", he says. "In no way am I trying to condone my actions or make excuses. I am completely to blame and accept all responsibility".

In court on Tuesday, ahead of sentencing, the judge said that police had been called to Meighan and Ager's address on more than one occasion and that there was "evidence of previous abusive behaviour". However, Meighan insists that the incident over which he was convicted "was an isolated one" that was "completely out of character".

He adds that, following the attack on Ager, he has attended a rehabilitation programme for alcoholism, saying: "It's been well documented that I've undergone treatment before, but in truth I've never actually been completely sober. This time has been different ... This time I actually really want to do it, not just for those I care about, but also for myself".

Following his conviction on Tuesday, Kasabian put out a statement condemning Meighan's actions. They also explained that their earlier announcement, confirming Meighan had left the band, didn't go into any details about their former bandmate's crime because they had been led to believe he would explain the situation in his own follow-on statement.

However, he did not do this, saying only that he was "in a good place", which some have argued misled the band's fans about the real situation.

Acknowledging this, he says now: "I only wanted to assure everyone that I was in a good place mentally, compared to where I had been. At which point I wasn't able to acknowledge the pending case. I would never knowingly mislead fans and appreciate them greatly".

Meighan carried out what was described as a "sustained attack" on Ager at their home in April, only halted after a child at the house raised the alarm by calling 999. He was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work on Tuesday and told that he had narrowly avoided a jail sentence.

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Daniel Avery releases Love + Light visual album
Having surprise-released lockdown album 'Love + Light' last month, Daniel Avery has now put out a visual version of the record. Which I think is also a surprise. I wasn't expecting it, anyway. Maybe you were. But I bet you just sit there waiting for everyone to release a visual version of their latest album so you can say "I told you so" when one person does. That'd be just like you.

The visual album was created by designer Greg Hodson (the visual part of it, at least), who says: "I've always found Daniel Avery's music to be explorative and adventurous. You can tell he's more interested in exploring unknown realms in real time with his sound than hunting for some sort of mathematical musical precision".

"I've embraced that way of thinking while producing this series of videos", he goes on. "I hunkered down in my darkened studio with my chain of analogue video gear and old CRT monitors and approached the whole project in a live improvised way".

"Every track has begun with a feedback loop using my trusty old VHS camera pointing at an old television screen from the 80s with the signal being sent in an infinite loop between camera and screen", he explains. "Inserted into this loop is my chain of analogue video gear, each with its own character and ability to shape the signal that flows through it".

You can watch the whole thing here.

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DEALS

Sony/ATV has signed rapper and songwriter Bobby Sessions to a global co-publishing deal. Among his credits is a co-writer stamp on Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce's 'Savage Remix'. "Bobby is a gifted young songwriter with a bright future ahead of him. We're proud to support his career, and I'm confident we will have major success together as a team", says Sony/ATV CEO Jon Platt.

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APPOINTMENTS

Beggars Group's Matador Records has announced "a reorganisation of its staff" in its New York, London and Los Angeles offices "to better offer coordinated global services to its artists". Rian Fossett is now Creative Director and Malcolm Donaldson is Senior Manager, Label Operations and Social Channels. Noam Klar and Aaron Leitko now lead a new global publicity department, with Klar also promoted to Head Of Publicity. Emily Zaremba joins the publicity department as Publicity Coordinator.

Warner Music's Songkick has named Alexey Blinov its new VP Technology, taking over from Aaron Randall who has left the company. "My team is working hard to help build a virtual live business that'll help artists make up some of the income they're losing in the absence of shows and festivals", says Blinov. "It's vital work for the future of the artist community, and the wider music business".

Warner Music's Artist Partner Group in the US - which is definitely a real thing, I checked - has hired Corey Calder to be SVP Marketing & Brands. "Corey's a proven marketing mind and passionate music fan who brings a broad range of experience and strong relationships with key brands across industries", says EVP Elyse Rogers. The company has also promoted Edgar Machuca, Olly Sheppard and Devon Libran to VP roles.

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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES

Spotify has announced it is putting live hundreds more songwriter pages on its platform, and just in time for its launch in Russia next week! Yes, after many false starts in Russia, various sources are now saying Spotify will finally arrive there next week. Meanwhile, all the new songwriter pages, making it easier for users to navigate the Spotify catalogue by songwriter, are official. Look, here's a blog post all about them.

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RELEASES

James Blake has released new track 'Are You Even Real?'

Gerard Way has released new solo single 'Here Comes The End', featuring Judith Hill.

HER has released new single 'Do To Me'.

Tiga and Hudson Mohawke have released a new track together, titled 'Love Minus Zero'. "I like the idea of bizarre semi random things getting thrown together", says Tiga. "That's already part of how me and HudMo work. I bring things and he brings things, and those things normally not might mix. There's an odd-couple aspect about us, but that's the best part of it".

Throwing Snow has announced a new EP - under the alias Snowing Throw - called 'The Follow Of Pangloss'. Out on 15 Jul, the producer says: "These tracks an unashamedly built for the summer. Simple, cut-up samples and bounce. As they are a big departure from my previous and forthcoming releases, I've embraced their tongue in cheek nature and I'm releasing them as Snowing Throw". Here's the title track.

Baby Queen has released new single 'Buzzkill'. "'Buzzkill' is still my favourite song I've ever written to date", she says. "I feel like I spend my life trying to out-write it".

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

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Kanye details presidential policies: "I don't know if I would use the word policy"
Kanye West is still insisting that he is going to run for US President in this year's elections, despite missing the deadline to stand in at least some states. Yesterday Forbes published an interview in which the rapper outlined some of his political plans - noting that he is currently being advised on such matters by his wife, Kim Kardashian-West, and Elon Musk.

Here are ten things he says in the interview:

"I am taking the red hat off".

"Trump is the closest president we've had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation".

"We need to stop doing things that make God mad".

"They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can't cross the gates of Heaven".

"The Pope, I hope, can only be scared by God".

"It hit me to say, 'you're going to run for president', and I started laughing hysterically".

"I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can't be sicker than me!"

"I don't know if I would use the word 'policy' for the way I would approach things".

"One of my to-do lists is to end police brutality".

"Clean up the chemicals. In our deodorant, in our toothpaste, there are chemicals that affect our ability to be of service to God".

Actually, one of those wasn't a Kanye quote, it was a Donald Trump quote. If you can guess which one, then you win the opportunity to be the first person to say "well, of course, we all thought Trump was a joke candidate" when West wins in November.

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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.
andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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.
chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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.
sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk 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.
caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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