TODAY'S TOP STORY: Emily Ratajkowski has revealed in a new book that Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her on the set of the video for his single 'Blurred Lines'. One of three models who appeared topless in the pop promo, she says that Thicke grabbed her breasts during the shoot... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Emily Ratajkowski reveals that Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her during Blurred Lines video shoot
LEGAL Bad Bunny sued for allegedly sampling pioneering reggaeton mixtapes without permission
DEALS Deezer buys into Driift
Warner partners with SMS mailing list service Community

MEDIA PopBuzz to launch Little Mix tenth anniversary podcast
ARTIST NEWS Britney Spears thanks #FreeBritney movement
ONE LINERS Katy B, Arca, Billie Eilish, more
AND FINALLY... DJ Envy agrees to drop Carchella name following legal action from Coachella
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Emily Ratajkowski reveals that Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her during Blurred Lines video shoot
Emily Ratajkowski has revealed in a new book that Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her on the set of the video for his single 'Blurred Lines'. One of three models who appeared topless in the pop promo, she says that Thicke grabbed her breasts during the shoot.

According to The Times, in her new book called 'My Body', Ratajkowski recalls how, while semi-naked on set filming the video, "suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger's hands cupping my bare breasts from behind. I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke".

"He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses", she adds. "My head turned to the darkness beyond the set".

The video's director, Diane Martel, witnessed this happen, and immediately asked if she was OK. Ratajkowski recalls how the incident made her feel "naked for the first time that day” but, "desperate to minimise" what had happened, she proceeded with the shoot. She adds: "I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body. I didn't react - not really, not like I should have".

The video was controversial when it was released in 2013 because of the nudity, and the contrast between the semi-naked female models and the fully dressed male performers on the track: Thicke, Pharrell Williams and TI.

However, Martel argued that her creative intent in the video was actually to subvert the traditional male/female power dynamic, because while the fully clothed men leered at the semi-naked women, the models in the video variously ignored and mocked them.

Of course, the intended message of the video might have worked better had it not been the official promo for what was basically a pop anthem celebrating date rape, set to a stolen Marvin Gaye melody and made super radio friendly - providing you didn't listen to the lyrics too closely - by the masterful pop production skills of Williams.

And then, of course, pushed out into the world in a blaze of publicity by a record industry so blind to everyday misogyny that it didn't seem to even realise that the lyrical content was somewhat suspect, and in complete conflict with Martel's creative vision for the video.

Meanwhile, on set, Thicke's assault of Ratajkowski meant that the making of the promo - despite it having an all-female production team - did little to challenge the traditional male/female power dynamic either.

Says Ratajkowski: "With that one gesture, Robin Thicke had reminded everyone on set that we women weren't actually in charge. I didn't have any real power as the naked girl dancing around in his music video. I was nothing more than the hired mannequin".

Martel also recalls the incident in the Times article. She says her initial response was: "What the fuck are you doing - that's it - the shoot is over". Thicke then "sheepishly apologised - as if he knew it was wrong without understanding how it might have felt for Emily".

The director says that she was initially serious about calling off the video shoot after the assault, but that ultimately Ratajkowski "was very professional and said we could go on".

Thicke is yet to respond to Ratajkowski's allegations.


Bad Bunny sued for allegedly sampling pioneering reggaeton mixtapes without permission
Bad Bunny has been sued over allegedly uncleared samples on his track 'Safaera', which appeared on his 2020 album 'YHLQMDLG'.

The lawsuit has been filed by BM Records, which was an early champion of the reggaeton genre as it was first emerging in Puerto Rico in the 1990s. Of particular note, it released a series of influential mixtapes by DJ Playero, from which it now argues Bad Bunny borrowed when making 'Safaera'.

In its lawsuit, BM Records notes how a Pitchfork review called 'Safaera' "a five-minute tribute to DJ Playero's genre defining mixtapes of the 1990s”, while another review dubbed it "a journey through DJ Playero style underground - complete with cut-and-paste sampling".

Yet, the label claims, while other samples used in the Bad Bunny track were seemingly licensed - although it did drop off Spotify for a short time in May 2020 because of another sample dispute - no such licences were acquired for those elements of the record that were directly lifted from DJ Playero's oeuvre.

Says the lawsuit: "'Safaera' includes samples of various third-party compositions and sound recordings. On information and belief, defendants were well aware of the need to 'clear' the various third-party works sampled on 'Safaera' by obtaining licences to each, as demonstrated by the fact that, for example ... Missy Elliot is credited as a writer on 'Safaera' due to its sampling of her hit song 'Get Ur Freak On'".

However, it then adds, "at no point did defendants ever 'clear' the Playero works for use on 'Safaera'", even though - it reckons - there are four samples taken from three Playero works: 'Chocha Con Bicho', 'Besa Tu Cuerpo' and 'Sigan Bailando'.

The lawsuit - which targets Bad Bunny, his collaborators and their business partners - is seeking actual or statutory damages, legal costs and an injunction "prohibiting the continued infringement of the Playero works".

Bad Bunny is yet to respond to the lawsuit. Though 'YHLQMDLG' does stand for 'Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana' which basically means 'I Do Whatever I Want'. So maybe that will be his defence.


Deezer buys into Driift
The Deezer geezers are further expanding their involvement in the livestreaming game by buying a slice of Driift, the company that launched early on in the COVID lockdown to produce and promote livestreamed events.

Founded by artist managers Ric Salmon and Brian Message, Driift has staged livestreamed concerts with artists including Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Kylie Minogue, Biffy Clyro, Andrea Bocelli, Laura Marling, Dermot Kennedy, Courtney Barnett and Sheryl Crow.

Confirming that Deezer is now on board as an investor and partner, Salmon says: "We are delighted to have received investment from a global player such as Deezer. The investment highlights the value of Driift's offering and confirms that livestreaming will be a major new component of the music industry going forwards".

Driift, and presumably Deezer too, believe that - while it was COVID that created a surge in interest among both artists and fans for livestreaming - now that that has happened there are plenty of new opportunities in this space even as the real world live sector starts to get slowly but surely back to normal.

Adds Salmon: "What Driift has achieved artistically and commercially under lockdown conditions has really only scratched the surface. I believe that with Deezer, alongside our existing shareholders Beggars Group and ATC, we have the perfect partners to help us capitalise on new opportunities as the long-term potential of live streaming becomes more and more apparent".

Deezer previously also invested in live-streaming platform Dreamstage, which is headed up by former Sony Music exec Thomas Hesse. As part of its investment in Driift, the streaming firm says it will "leverage its technology and expertise to actively support Driift's future growth, including the roll-out of new products and offerings".

On the firm's latest deal in the livestreaming domain, Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira says: "Livestreaming is a rapidly growing industry that is redefining how fans engage with their favourite music. Companies like Driift help artists reach people all over the world to generate new revenue streams. Deezer has been a music industry innovator since the very beginning. Our investment in Driift is the next step in our expansion in this exciting and fast growing space".


Warner partners with SMS mailing list service Community
Warner Music has partnered with "innovative text messaging platform" Community, with "select" artists signed to the major label set to use it to promote their stuff.

What does Community do that is so innovative? Well, get this, it allows you to send text messages to people. I know, right? It's basically like an email mailing list system, except with text messages.

People can sign up to receive texts from whichever artists or celebrities are sending them. They can even text back, with hints that the artist doing the promoting will start personally chatting with some people. For the artists and their teams, the sell is that, unlike social media, when you're texting with your fans there is no pesky algorithm getting in the way.

So, long story short, some musicians are going to be assigned things called phone numbers, and then whoever does their marketing will have yet another thing to stay on top of.

"Community's model helps us cut through the noise and gives us an authentic, personal, and unique way to reach the superfans", claims Scott Cherkin, SVP Global Audience Strategy at Warner's services division WEA.

"The direct line helps our artists get to know their fans better", he goes on, "and opens up opportunities for them to plug their priorities – whether it be merch, concert tickets or a new single – knowing they have an engaged and eager audience on the receiving end. Some artists are already promoting their numbers at shows to really great reception and we're excited to offer Community to even more artists in the Warner Music family".

Making further assurances, David Ross, SVP Growth, Partnerships And Revenue at Community, adds: "Our partnership with Warner Music unlocks additional opportunities for artists to drive engaging conversations at scale with their fans. Deeper connections with fans ultimately results in increased sales, greater content consumption, deeper artist affinity and additional opportunities for Warner Music’s roster and brands".

Sure. Isn't this what Twitter was originally designed to do, before they realised there was no money in it and decided to monetise the downfall of society instead? Good times.


PopBuzz to launch Little Mix tenth anniversary podcast
Global Radio's PopBuzz website has announced the launch of a new podcast celebrating the tenth anniversary of Little Mix's formation on 'The X Factor'. Yeah, that was ten years ago.

'The Power Of Little Mix' will be presented by Popbuzz Content Editor Sam Prance. Each of the five episodes in the series will focus on a two year period of the band's career. It will also feature interviews with Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards. Not Jesy Nelson though. So don't even ask. Fans will also be able to contribute their own memories.

"It's been so fun to relive our Little Mix journey with PopBuzz on this podcast, so much has happened in the last decade", says Little Mix in a statement. "We hope everyone enjoys listening to it as much as we did recording it".

Prance adds: "It's ten years since Little Mix burst onto the scene, breaking the 'X Factor' girl band curse, and I am proud to say that I have been a Mixer from day one. Each episode will delve into a different era of Little Mix's career and take you behind the scenes of how they've written so many of their iconic anthems".

The show will be available exclusively on Global Player, with the first episode going live on 11 Oct.


Approved: Leak
For rising quintet Leak - or [LEAK], if you like - a tendency towards the dramatic results in sweeping, cinematic soundscapes, densely layered and heavy on the bass. Each track packs a heavy punch, with sharp percussion and roaring guitars sandwiching the electronic base of their music.

The band - who are set to release their debut album 'Ghost' next month - have become a mainstay of European showcase festivals (livestreamed and, you know, in actual real life) over the course of this year. The first single from the album, 'Queendom', was released last month, and is now followed by 'Wall', which boasts a soaring monster of a chorus.

One more single, 'Screaming Underwater', is set for release at the end of this month before the album drops on 26 Nov. Watch the video for 'Wall' here.

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Britney Spears thanks #FreeBritney movement
Britney Spears has thanked the #FreeBritney movement after her father was removed from his position overseeing her conservatorship last week, ahead of the planned termination of the entire legal arrangement after thirteen years.

"#FreeBritney movement - I have no words", she wrote on Twitter. "Because of you guys and your constant resilience in freeing me from my conservatorship - my life is now [moving] in that direction! I cried last night for two hours cause my fans are the best and I know it".

Spears' father Jamie played a key role in running his daughter's music business and personal life through the conservatorship ever since it was created by the courts back in 2008.

Legal wrangling over the running of the conservatorship began after Jamie temporarily stood down due to ill-health. On his return, it was argued that Britney no longer wanted her father involved as a conservator. It was during the subsequent legal back and forth that the fan-led #FreeBritney movement really started to gain momentum.

Following a court testimony earlier this year in which Britney criticised the conservatorship - and her father in particular - various people involved in the arrangement resigned, including Britney’s court-appointed lawyer. The attorney who replaced him, Matthew Rosengart, quickly got to work pulling the conservatorship apart, in particular demanding that Jamie be removed from his role as conservator of his client's estate with immediate effect.

Jamie initially resisted calls for him to resign, but then said he would step down from the conservatorship when the time was right, insisting a smooth transfer was required to any new conservator. But then, last month, he suddenly filed new legal papers calling for the entire conservatorship to be terminated.

While dubbing that development a "victory" for Britney, Rosengart continued to argue for Jamie's immediate removal, saying that his client's father was only calling for an end to the conservatorship now in an effort to hide his "evident and ongoing" mismanagement of his daughter's finances.

Last week, Judge Brenda Penny agreed to replace Jamie with a temporary conservator, and also indicated that she now plans to begin the process to completely terminate the arrangement. Jamie later criticised the decision, with his attorney Vivian Thoreen denying all the claims that have been made against her client.

"Mr Spears loves his daughter Britney unconditionally", she said. "For thirteen years, he has tried to do what is in her best interests, whether as a conservator or her father. This started with agreeing to serve as her conservator when she voluntarily entered into the conservatorship. This included helping her revive her career and re-establish a relationship with her children".

Calling last week's court decision "a loss for Britney", she said: "Respectfully, the court was wrong to suspend Mr Spears, put a stranger in his place to manage Britney's estate, and extend the very conservatorship that Britney begged the court to terminate earlier this summer".

Rosengart has said that he will be pushing for the conservatorship to end this autumn - earlier than had been expected after Jamie moved to terminate the arrangement.



Live Nation UK has hired Ryan Cornall as a promoter. Moving over from independent company Surprise! You're Dead, among other things, he'll now work on Live Nation's Download festival. "I'm incredibly honoured to be starting at Live Nation and to have the chance to be on the Download team", he says. "Working on my favourite festival with such a high calibre of bands is a dream come true".

Warner Music UK has hired Myn Jazeel as SVP of Rhino UK. Joining from Amazon Music, he will officially take up his new role on 29 Nov. "I've worked with Warner Music, and indeed Rhino, in many ways throughout my career", he says. "No matter the role, I've always been struck by Rhino's unwavering commitment to delivering the very best campaigns for its artists – it's an honour".



Kylie Minogue loves albums. We all know that. She's recorded, like, 40 of them, or something. Maybe more. Or maybe it's less. Let's just agree it's "lots". But would she be willing to publicly say such an uncool thing as "I love albums" in 2021? Heck yes she would. She's recently been announced as an ambassador for National Album Day on 16 Oct. And to put your money where her mouth is, she's also reissuing her 2001 album "Fever'.



Katy B is back with another new single - after 'Under My Skin', which came out in August. 'Open Wound' features Jaz Karis. It'll appear on her new EP, 'Peace & Offerings', which is out on 29 Oct. And, while we're on the subject, she's set to play Village Underground in London on 15 Nov.

Arca will release her new album 'Kick ii' on 3 Dec. From it, this is 'Born Yesterday', featuring Sia.

Asbjørn has released a new version of his 2020 Who Killed Bambi collaboration 'Be Human'. The track will appear on his new album, 'Boyology', which is set for release on 28 Jan.

Crabs have released new single 'I Gentrify', featuring Jorja Chalmers.



Billie Eilish has been announced as the first headliner for next year's Glastonbury, making her the festival's youngest ever solo headliner. It'll also be the first time she's headlined a UK festival.

Following the release of their second single, 'Wet Dream', last week, Wet Leg have announced a new run of UK tour dates in April next year. They are currently touring with Inhaler and have dates with Shame and Willie J Healey upcoming, as well as their own sold out headline shows later this month.



Elton John and David Furnish will receive the Artist & Manager Partnership award at this year's Artist & Manager Awards - Furnish in his role as CEO of Rocket Management. Says MMF Chair Paul Craig: "Elton has been a major musical inspiration throughout my life, as well as an enormous influence professionally. Alongside his artistic brilliance, I'm delighted we can also recognise the immense role played by David Furnish and all the team at Rocket Entertainment".

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


DJ Envy agrees to drop Carchella name following legal action from Coachella
DJ Envy has agreed to stop hosting car exhibition events called Carchella, after organisers of the Coachella festival said he was infringing on their trademarks. So that's nice of him. I mean, the restraining order Coachella was granted probably helped. That was only temporary though, and this commitment from DJ Envy himself is permanent. Maybe.

Coachella went legal against Carchella last week, after a cease and desist letter was ignored. Organised by US radio presenter DJ Envy – real name RaaShaun Casey – two Carchella events have already been held this year in Atlanta and Atlantic City. The third is set to take place later this month in Detroit, followed by another in Miami in December.

The lawsuit stated that the Carchella events employed not only a similar name to Coachella, but also used similar logos, and their mix of car exhibitions and hip hop music has significant crossover with the festival too – Coachella having hosted a BMW exhibition in 2017 and Hyundai shows in 2011 and 2012. This was resulting in "confusion, mistake and deception" to the public, who could easily assume some affiliation between the two events, the music festival claimed.

The day after the lawsuit was filed, the two sides held a meeting over Zoom, during which DJ Envy and his legal team said that they would not stop using the Carchella name. As a result, Coachella filed for a temporary restraining order, which was granted on Friday, pending a final court decision on the case.

However, according to Law360, now DJ Envy has agreed to stop using the name altogether. Or at least for the time being. It's not entirely clear if this decision draws the case to a close. Neither side has yet commented.

On social media, what was Carchella Detroit is now being billed as DJ Envy's Drive Your Dreams Car Show. That's bit of a mouthful though. Hopefully he can come up with something as snappy as Carchella for future events. Carstonbury, maybe. Or Carapalooza. BonnCARoo?


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 consultancy unit 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 Insights 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.
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