TUESDAY 5 APRIL 2022 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The YouTuber who was ordered to pay Cardi B $4 million after losing a defamation legal battle has agreed to remove various videos and social media posts that contain various statements deemed defamatory by the court... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES YouTuber who defamed Cardi B agrees to remove defamatory content
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LEGAL R Kelly prosecutors hit back at proposed postponement of sentencing pending separate Chicago trial
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DEALS Warner Music signs Central Cee collaborator Rondodasosa
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LIVE BUSINESS The Leadmill landlords have already begun registering the trademark for Electric Sheffield
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MEDIA New Louis Theroux series to feature Stormzy
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Kanye West bails on Coachella
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ONE LINERS AFEM, LIVE, Teenage Fanclub, Ezra Furman
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AND FINALLY... Flea's daughter discovered actual practical use for a Grammy award
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MATERIAL - PRODUCT MANAGER (HYBRID)
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We are seeking a full-time digital accounts coordinator to join our global marketing team. Based in our London office, the role will report to the Head of Streaming and will be responsible for the coordination of the label's streaming strategy and execution worldwide excluding North America.

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YouTuber who defamed Cardi B agrees to remove defamatory content
The YouTuber who was ordered to pay Cardi B $4 million after losing a defamation legal battle has agreed to remove various videos and social media posts that contain various statements deemed defamatory by the court.

The rapper - real name Belcalis Almanzar - sued YouTuber Latasha Kebe over various claims that had been made in videos she posted to her YouTube channel.

During a court hearing in January, Kebe admitted that she didn't fact-check any of the allegations made about Almanzar in her videos, but claimed that many of those allegations were mere opinion, while also questioning whether her content had caused the kind of emotional distress that the rapper claimed.

Meanwhile, Almanzar and her legal team told the court that the untrue allegations spread by Kebe had had a tangible negative impact on the rapper's mental health. Almanzar herself discussed how the widespread public speculation about her private life sparked by the rumours that were spread by Kebe made her depressed and suicidal.

The jury hearing the case quickly sided with Almanzar and ordered Kebe to pay the $4 million in damages. But there was also the issue of the videos containing the defamatory statements, some of which continued to be available via Kebe's channel.

Last month Almanzar returned to court seeking an injunction ordering that those videos be taken offline. Anticipating that Kebe might respond with First Amendment free speech objections, Almanzar's court filing stated: "Plaintiff is only seeking to require defendants to remove any videos and posts that contain the defamatory statements from their social media accounts and to enjoin defendants from republishing those same statements".

"In other words", it went on, "the proposed injunction will only affect speech that has been found defamatory and thus is not subject to First Amendment protection, which is consistent with the federal and state constitutions and the weight of authority on this issue".

But, it seems, the YouTuber - who is busy appealing the court's main ruling in this case and the $4 million in damages she was ordered to pay - isn't planning on fighting Almanzar on the injunction, despite previously resisting efforts to have her videos removed.

Ahead of a court hearing to discuss the rapper's motion for that injunction, it was confirmed that Kebe had reached an agreement with Almanzar's legal team regarding the removal of defamatory content.

Court papers summarising what has been agreed identify some specific YouTube videos and social media posts that Kebe will remove, but also outline various statements that the YouTuber must not include or feature in any future videos and posts, given the court's earlier conclusion that those statements are defamatory.

"It is ordered", the court papers read, "that defendants and all persons acting in concert or participation with them are each permanently enjoined from publishing or republishing on the internet or otherwise the following statements that were judged false and defamatory by the jury in this action".

That includes any statement to the effect that Almanzar "engaged in prostitution, has herpes, has HPV, uses or used cocaine, performed a debasing act with a beer bottle, and committed adultery"; or more specifically that she "is a prostitute" or "cokehead", "sold pussy", "has cold sores", or placed "beer bottles up her vagina".

Also off limits are any statements that claim Almanzar "committed adultery by 'fucking' or 'sleeping with' somebody other than her husband", "has a 'side peen'", or that "somebody other than plaintiff's husband is 'licking her pussy'". So, that's all pretty clear.

Kebe has agreed to not oppose any of those restrictions in the short term, but could seek to change them if she has any success on appeal.

The court papers conclude: "In the event the judgment is reversed in whole or in part as a result of the appeal, nothing herein shall prevent the defendants from seeking to modify or rescind this permanent injunction consistent with the decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court Of Appeals".

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R Kelly prosecutors hit back at proposed postponement of sentencing pending separate Chicago trial
Prosecutors have hit out at a request by R Kelly to push back the sentencing relating to his conviction in the New York courts last year so that it takes place after his separate trial before the courts in Illinois.

At the trial in New York last September, Kelly was found guilty of building and running a criminal enterprise that allowed him to prolifically groom and abuse young people, often teenagers. He was convicted of all the charges against him and faces ten years to life in prison.

However, Kelly faces charges relating to allegations of sexual abuse in multiple states, and the criminal case against him in his home city of Chicago, Illinois is due to reach court in August. Meanwhile sentencing relating to the New York conviction is due to take place on 4 May.

The musician's new lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, has raised concerns about the New York sentencing taking place before the Chicago trial, arguing that her client has the right to make statements in a bid to mitigate his sentence in the former case without fearing that anything he says might be used against him in the latter.

But, according to Rolling Stone, prosecutors have urged the court to knock back a request to delay the sentencing to overcome those concerns, arguing that any mitigation report produced as part of the sentencing proceedings could be kept confidential until after the Chicago trial is completed.

"As proven at trial, the defendant engaged in wide-ranging and extensive criminal conduct, involving multiple victims, with impunity for decades", Assistant US Attorneys Elizabeth A Geddes, Nadia I Shihata and Maria Cruz Melendez wrote in a letter to the court.

"His victims have waited years to see the defendant held to account and sentenced for his crimes", they added. "Moreover, in reliance on the date set by the court in September 2021, many victims have cleared their schedules to travel from other states to New York to attend and be heard at the 4 May sentencing hearing".

They then argued that, given Kelly has denied every allegation made against him throughout the criminal proceedings, it seems unlikely he will now make statements to a mitigation expert in the preparation of any mitigation report that could impact on the Chicago case. However, any "speculative concern" can nevertheless be addressed by keeping that report confidential.

They concluded: "The undersigned Assistant US Attorneys, who constitute a separate prosecution team from those prosecuting the [Illinois] case, will not share any such mitigation report with anyone involved in the [Illinois] prosecution and, to the extent there is any concern in this regard, would welcome a court order further prohibiting any such disclosure. Such a procedure would entirely eliminate any risk that the defendant's 'words might be used against him in some manner'".

We now await a decision from the judge regarding the 4 May hearing.

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Warner Music signs Central Cee collaborator Rondodasosa
Warner Music has signed Italian drill rapper Rondodasosa, who recently appeared on Central Cee's pan-European collaboration 'Eurovision'.

Confirming the deal, Warner Music Italy CEO Marco Alboni says: "It's great to welcome Rondodasosa to the Warner Music family. He is a stand out talent who has already built a huge following and I know we can help him take his career to the next level. Artists can't wait to work with him and we're already talking about some super exciting projects".

That following has been built via tracks like 'Free Samy', 'Slatt' and Vale Pain collaboration 'Louboutin' - as well as that tie up with Central Cee.

Rondodasosa says about his Warner deal: "I'm really happy to sign with Warner Music. The team in Milan have been behind the careers of some of the biggest rappers here in Italy, but they're also plugged into a global network that'll help connect me with new audiences worldwide".

Also acknowledging his Central Cee collaboration, he adds: "My recent collab with Cench shows drill is becoming more global than ever and the opportunities are almost limitless".

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The Leadmill landlords have already begun registering the trademark for Electric Sheffield
Sheffield venue The Leadmill could potentially be rebranded as Electric Sheffield once new management take over there next year, with the NME spotting that the company that owns the building began the process of registering the trademark in that brand back in February.

The current management team at The Leadmill - which has been running as a venue for more than four decades - confirmed last week that they had been told by their landlord that their current lease on the building will not be renewed, meaning they will have to vacate the premises next year.

The landlord is the Electric Group, which already runs venues in London and Bristol, with a third due to open in Newcastle later this year. That company intends to keep The Leadmill operating as a venue, but with its own management team in place.

The current management team have hit out at those plans, saying in a statement on Friday: "[The Electric Group] intend to profit from the goodwill and reputation built up over … 40 plus years. It is a cheap, shabby, sly and underhand way of doing business, by forcing companies to cease trading".

Electric Group boss Dominic Madden spoke the the Sheffield Star last week defending his company's decision to put its own management team in place at the venue, insisting that the firm plans to invest in the building and secure its long-term future.

He also told the local newspaper that he hoped the venue would continue to operate as The Leadmill once his team is in charge, because it's a "music institution". However, he added, he was taking legal advice on whether that would be possible.

But, in their statement on Friday, the current management team at the venue were pretty adamant that it would not be possible. "The Leadmill brand and name is owned by us and only us", they said, "without us there is no Leadmill. Mr Madden, stop using the Leadmill's name to further your miserable mean ambitions".

But, it seems, the Electric Group possibly has a contingency plan regarding the venue's name if it can't continue to operate as The Leadmill for legal or even PR reasons.

The company takes its name from the first venue it launched, that being Electric Brixton in London. And although the company hasn't sought to extend that 'Electric' brand to the venues it has since acquired in Bristol and Newcastle, it might do in Sheffield.

As NME spotted, the group filed an application with the UK trademark registry in February for the name Electric Sheffield, which it seeks to register in the entertainment and hospitality categories. Which possibly means the Electric Group's first choice would be to keep The Leadmill name, but if that's not possible it could relaunch under the Electric Sheffield brand.

Of course, a campaign is under way to try to persuade the Electric Group to change its mind and allow the current management team to stay in place at the Sheffield venue.

But if that doesn't succeed - and Madden didn't seem in any mood to change his mind when he spoke to The Star last week - then it would be interesting to see if that current team would seek to take The Leadmill brand to another space in the city.

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New Louis Theroux series to feature Stormzy
The BBC has announced that the first in a new six part series of programmes by Louis Theroux will see the film-maker interview Stormzy - both at home and on tour - in what the broadcaster describes as "an in depth and personally revealing encounter which will bring viewers up close to one of the biggest stars in the UK today".

And if you're wondering why Stormzy has been picked by a documentary maker best known for interviewing people working in unusual or controversial professions, or who have had unusual or controversial lives, well, this new series is all about Theroux getting to meet and follow a bunch of people he genuinely admires.

Explains Theroux: "I'm so excited to be embarking on this new series - something very different to the kind of TV I normally make. This will be a chance to meet and spend time with people I admire, getting to know them, having long form and revealing conversations, with honesty, emotion, and humour. To be kicking off with the genius that is Stormzy is proper pinch-me stuff. I can't wait to get going".

Meanwhile the Beeb's Head Of Commissioning, Documentaries, History And Religion, Clare Sillery, adds: "Louis is one of the most distinctive voices in broadcasting and his unique interview style, warmth and curiosity help bring out incredible life stories from those he meets. I am pleased to see him returning with a series that I'm sure will deliver insightful and memorable conversations and bring viewers closer to some of the most exciting names who are shaping culture in Britain today and across the world".

The other admirable people due to interviewed on this new series are still to be announced.

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Approved: Alissic
Originally from Brazil, now based in Sheffield, Alissic recently released her first single of 2022, 'Superstitious', extending her "Britney meets Tim Burton" sonic world.

Like last year's 'Piano' and 'Like', the song is co-written with her husband, Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon. It has the most overtly Latin influence of any of her music to date, and is the first track to include a portion of lyrics in her native Portuguese.

"It makes me feel warm and like home with its Latin American influence", she says of the song. "The super-spacey and lush sound in the pre-chorus gives it a really ethereal vibe. It feels like you are crafting a spell, when you talk about female intuition it means you are in tune with yourself and the universe, and I wanted to reflect that in the sound".

Alissic is set to perform at The Great Escape festival in May. Watch the video for 'Superstitious' here.

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

Kanye West bails on Coachella
Kanye West has pulled out of this month's Coachella festival because, well, who knows, it's Kanye after all. The rapper was due to perform headline sets at on 17 and 24 Apr at the Californian festival, which takes place over two weekends.

West previously threatened to cancel his Coachella performances in protest at comments made by fellow headliner Billie Eilish, which he interpreted as being a dig at Travis Scott.

Those offending comments were made when Eilish paused a recent show after she noticed a fan in distress in the audience, with the musician stating at the time: "We're taking care of our people. I'm waiting for people to be OK until I keep going".

Despite that being an entirely logical thing to say given the circumstances, some reckoned it was a coded diss at Scott, referring to the tragedy that occurred at his Astroworld festival last year.

Scott has been criticised, of course, for not stopping his Astroworld set as a deadly crowd surge unfolded before him. Many have defended Scott in relation to that criticism, insisting that the rapper did not know what was happening on the ground at the festival as he performed. But either way, Scott still faces plenty of criticism - not to mention a stack of litigation - in relation to that tragedy.

Now, it seems unlikely Eilish was contributing to that criticism at her show. As she noted on Instagram, "[I] literally never said a thing about Travis - [I] was just helping a fan". But either way, West reckoned she was dissing his friend and - with him planning on having Scott guest during his Coachella set - he demanded a formal apology.

In a post on Instagram, West wrote: "Come On Billie, we love you, please apologise to Trav and to the families of people who lost their lives. No one intended this to happen. Trav didn't have any idea of what was happening when he was one stage and was very hurt by what happened. Yes, Trav will be with me at Coachella, but now I need Billie to apologise before I perform".

Whether any of that is actually related to West's decision to bail on Coachella isn't clear, though very possibly not. Given West's erratic behaviour of late - which is at times amusing, but also at times perplexing and concerning - the relatively last minute cancellation is not especially surprising.

Indeed, Variety notes, the Coachella festival poster already had Swedish House Mafia listed in the same point size as the headliners, but without being allocated to a specific day. So many now assume they were always intended as a contingency plan headliner and will now take over West's slot. Although that is yet to be confirmed.

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APPOINTMENTS

Sony Music's global podcast division has appointed Serita Wesley to the newly created role of Head Of US Entertainment Podcasts. She has previously worked on and for various podcasts and podcasting companies, including co-founding travel and lifestyle podcast On She Goes.

Silvia Montello has been appointed as CEO of the Association For Electronic Music, basically taking over from Greg Marshall, who has been General Manager of the organisation since 2018. "AFEM has already achieved so much in its first ten years", she says "and I thank Greg and the team for their incredible work laying the foundations for the association to further extend its reach, efficacy and voice for the global community".

UK live music industry trade body LIVE - which launched as the sector dealt with the challenges of the COVID pandemic - has appointed a new CEO in the form of Jon Collins, who has previously run trade organisations for the hospitality and related industries. He takes over from Greg Parmley, who previously headed up the live music group within UK Music and then oversaw the establishment of a standalone organisation for the wider live sector.

Ben Todd, who was formerly a Senior Vice President and Head Of Media for the UK and Europe at Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment business, has joined crisis management agency Alder where he will be expanding the company's unit providing crisis communication and PR services to the entertainment industry.

Kobalt has promoted Nuno Guerreiro to the role of Chief Technology Officer, taking over from Rian Liebenberg. The company's outgoing CTO "helped Kobalt embrace new technologies and continue to be innovative and a leader in music", says the firm's CEO Laurent Hubert", who adds: "Nuno has been alongside him almost every step of the way, and [this] is fitting for a natural next step for him".

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RELEASES

Teenage Fanclub have posted a new song called 'I Left A Light On' ahead of a European tour which kicks off in Glasgow tomorrow. You can check the video for it here.

There's a new Ezra Furman track online called 'Book Of Our Names' which is, she says, a song "about what it feels like to live together under an empire that doesn't value your lives. I sing it as a jew and as a trans woman, knowing well the stakes and consequences of being part of a hated population. But it is a protest song intended for use by any movement for collective survival and freedom". Check the lyric video here.

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

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Flea's daughter discovered actual practical use for a Grammy award
Flea off of the Red Hot Chili Peppers has revealed how his daughter found an actual practical use for the first Grammy award he won. Bearing in mind this was in the 1990s, so long before people could subtly display such awards on a shelf that's conveniently in view whenever you do a home-based Zoom call.

And what is that actual practical use? Well, it turns out, the gramophone design of the Grammy trophy makes it a perfectly good implement for doing some digging in the garden. And now we know that, I hope all of Sunday night's winners are putting their trophies to good use in their respective back yards.

This practical advice came up during an interview with Flea on LA radio station KROQ, in which the musician recalled what happened to the Grammy he won in the early 1990s for the RHCP track 'Give It Away', which he received when his daughter was just five.

"I'm grateful to win a Grammy - Grammys are awesome", he told the radio station, "but after we won our first Grammy, like three years later, my mom said, 'Michael, where's your Grammy?', and I was like, 'I don't know, mom, I put it somewhere'".

"Months after that", he went on, "my gardener came out of the backyard, in the garden, and you know how the Grammy looks like an old record player with the horn on it? My daughter had unscrewed it and was using it as a shovel for the garden. It had been out there in the dirt for the whole winter".

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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 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.
caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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