TODAY'S TOP STORY: Taylor Swift yesterday submitted a statement to a US court as part of the long-running song-theft legal battle over her 2014 hit 'Shake It Off', which songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler reckon rips off their 2001 song ‘Playas Gon Play’. Swift's statement explains how she came up with the lyrics for her track, while also insisting there was no way she could have been exposed to ‘Playas Gon Play’ before creating 'Shake It Off'... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Taylor Swift submits statement to court in ongoing Shake It Off song-theft legal battle
LEGAL Shetland man fined for singing along to Wu-Tang Clan n-word containing lyrics
Trump-branded hotel sued for bailing on music event

LABELS & PUBLISHERS New round of government funding for UK music export announced
MEDIA Paul O'Grady to leave Radio 2
ARTIST NEWS Olivia Newton-John dies
ONE LINERS Breland & Lady A, UTA, Okay Kaya, more
AND FINALLY... Kanye West uses Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson break up to mock Kid Cudi's Rolling Loud performance
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Taylor Swift submits statement to court in ongoing Shake It Off song-theft legal battle
Taylor Swift yesterday submitted a statement to a US court as part of the long-running song-theft legal battle over her 2014 hit 'Shake It Off', which songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler reckon rips off their 2001 song 'Playas Gon Play'. Swift's statement explains how she came up with the lyrics for her track, while also insisting there was no way she could have been exposed to 'Playas Gon Play' before creating 'Shake It Off'.

Hall and Butler first sued Swift in 2017. Their song, recorded by 3LW, included the lyric "the playas gon play/them haters gonna hate", while 'Shake It Off' famously includes the line "the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate".

The legal action has been rumbling on ever since. In 2018, judge Michael Fitzgerald actually dismissed the duo's lawsuit on the basis that the handful of lyrics the two songs have in common are not protected by copyright in isolation.

However, Hall and Butler successfully over-turned that ruling in the Ninth Circuit appeals court, where the appeal judges said that Fitzgerald had been too hasty to conclude that the lines about players playing and haters hating were not protected by copyright.

As a result, the whole matter was sent back to the lower court. Ever since, the Swift side has been trying to get the case dismissed for a second time, mainly on the basis that, well, the handful of lyrics the two songs have in common are not protected by copyright in isolation.

But Fitzgerald has so far declined to dismiss the case again, generally concluding that the Swift's sides arguments haven't really changed, so if he was to grant the more recent motions for dismissal, the Ninth Circuit would likely again conclude that he was being too hasty.

According to Pitchfork, in the new court documents, Swift states: "The lyrics to 'Shake It Off' were written entirely by me. Until learning about plaintiffs' claim in 2017, I had never heard the song 'Playas Gon Play' and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW".

So, her 'Shake It Off' lyrics could not have been influenced by the earlier song. Instead, she adds, those lyrics "drew partly on experiences in my life and, in particular, unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, 'clickbait' reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism which I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music".

"With 'Shake It Off'", she goes on, "I wanted to provide a comedic, empowering approach to helping people feel better about negative criticism through music, dance, and the personal independence enabling one to just shake off the negative criticism".

And, as for the two key phrases shared by 'Shake It Off' and 'Playas Gon Play', well, as her lawyers have repeatedly argued, they are pretty common phrases. And, Swift writes in the new court filing, she had previously heard both those phrases in multiple different places.

"Prior to writing 'Shake It Off', I had heard the phrases 'players gonna play' and 'haters gonna hate' uttered countless times to express the idea that one can or should shrug off negativity", she writes. "I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville".

"These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings", she reckons, "like 'don't hate the playa, hate the game', 'take a chill pill', and 'say it, don't spray it'. I drew on those commonly used player and hater phrases in creating the lyrics 'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate'".

Returning to the argument that she had never heard 'Playas Gon Play' until 2017, she adds that her parents controlled what media she consumed until her early teens, meaning she didn't watch things like MTV's 'TRL' show until "I was about thirteen years old", ie after the release of the 3LW track.

"None of the CDs I listened to as a child, or after that, were by 3LW", she goes on. "I have never heard the song 'Playas Gon Play' on the radio, on television, or in any film". And if you think that maybe she was exposed to 3LW generally or 'Playas Gon Play' specifically because they appeared on the US versions of the Now! albums in the early 2000s, well, "I do not own and have never listened to the albums 'Now That's What I Call Music! 6' or 'Now That's What I Call Call Music! 7'".

So there you go! The case, as they say, continues.


Shetland man fined for singing along to Wu-Tang Clan n-word containing lyrics
A man on the Shetland Islands in Scotland has been fined £500 after being found guilty of a breach of the peace, mainly as a result of him singing along to a Wu-Tang Clan track that included the n-word in its lyrics.

Kyle Siegel admitted to the court that he conducted himself in a "disorderly manner" one night back in February during a birthday party at the Scalloway Boating Club, when he entered the club's female toilets and sang along to a TikTik video that featured Wu-Tang's 'Protect Ya Neck'.

That conduct could possibly have been considered disorderly whatever song he sang, but it was his reciting of the 'Protect Ya Neck' lyrics that include the n-word that escalated things on the night, with a mixed race women who was using one of the cubicles in the female toilets taking particular offence, resulting in an argument.

On one level, the case raises the interesting question of whether white people like Siegel using racial slurs when reciting lyrics written by black artists should be deemed as offensive as if those words were used in isolation.

And if such uses of those slurs are considered offensive - and therefore those lyrics should never be spoken aloud by white fans of those black artists - well, is that breaching the freedom of expression of the fan, or even the artist?

Yeah, debate that why don't you? Although maybe this presumably drunken altercation isn't an appropriate justification to instigate such a debate. The Sheriff Court in the Shetland town of Lerwick heard that Siegel accepted that "he crossed the line" during the February incident, but that he insisted that he didn't mean any harm.

And so he was fined £500 for the offence and ordered to pay an additional victim surcharge of £20.


Trump-branded hotel sued for bailing on music event
Just a few days before yesterday's raid by the feds on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, another Trump property in the US state - or, at least, one that has licensed the use of his name and brand - was sued by concert organiser 4U Promotions Inc.

The promotions company is suing the Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach near Miami over allegations it back-tracked on a commitment to host a multi-day event later this year.

Among other things, 4U Promotions - or 4UP for short - has in the past staged an annual rock n roll themed cruise. That hasn't been possible for the last couple of years because of the pandemic, so instead this year the company planned an event in Miami called the Decades Of Rock & Roll Cruise Reunion. And earlier this year 4UP reached out to the Trump-branded resort to discuss it hosting that event.

In a lawsuit filed last week, 4UP states: "In February 2022, 4UP contacted [the] Trump Resort to secure hotel rooms and performance space for the event. On or about 18 Feb, Penny Greene, the Sales And Marketing Director of 4UP, began working with Maria Daniel Espina, Director Of Sales for the Trump Resort, to reserve the rooms and performance space necessary for the event".

"On or before 31 Mar 2022, 4UP and the Trump Resort had agreed on the terms of a contract for the rooms and performance space for the event", it goes on. "In reliance on the agreed upon terms between 4UP and the Trump Resort, Ms Greene continued to market the event, and Ms Greene ceased any further efforts to find hotel performance space apart from the space agreed to by the Trump Resort".

Then, "on or about 1 Apr 2022, in reliance on the agreed upon terms between 4UP and the Trump Resort, 4UP began to promote the event, naming the Trump Resort as the hotel and venue for the event. On 1 Apr 2022, in reliance on the agreed upon terms between 4UP and the Trump Resort, 4UP began taking deposits for the rooms for the event at the Trump Resort".

According to the lawsuit, after terms were agreed on 31 Mar, Espina said she would prepare a formal document setting everything out in writing. A couple of weeks later Greene chased that document, while also stressing to Espina that she was travelling on a regular basis, so any contract should be emailed rather than sent in physical form.

In mid-April, the lawsuit adds, Espina responded to Greene "thanking her for her patience, and reporting that she would prepare and send the agreement to Ms Greene within the next few days".

But no document ever materialised. "The parties did not communicate between 19 Apr 2022 and 25 Jul", the lawsuit goes on. "On or about 25 July 2022 at 1.52pm, Ms Greene sent an email to Ms Espina to report that Ms Greene had not received the agreement by either physical mail or by email".

And that's when it became clear there was a problem. "On or about 25 Jul 2022 at 4pm, Ms Espina sent an email to Ms Greene indicating that Ms Espina 'thought you [Ms Greene] had found another venue' and that the Trump Resort would not be honouring the 'dates of 6-10 Oct 2022'".

Insisting that "neither 4UP nor Ms Greene had ever suggested to either the Trump Resort or Ms Espina that 4UP had found another venue for the event", the events company reckons that that constitutes the Trump hotel back-tracking on what was agreed in March.

To that end 4UP is suing the resort - and specifically the company that operates it, 18001 Holdings LLC - for breach of contract and common law fraud, among other things.


New round of government funding for UK music export announced
Applications are being taken for the next round of the Music Export Growth Scheme, with two departments of the UK government - the Department For International Trade and the Department For Digital, Culture, Media & Sport - together committing £500,000 to support independent artists and labels who are looking to pursue opportunities in new markets.

MEGS has provided such funding for many years now, with the scheme administered by UK record industry trade group the BPI. Though, the BPI itself recently stressed, such government support for music export is now more important than ever before.

Because, while UK recorded music exports are growing as the worldwide recorded music market grows, at the same time British artists and labels are facing increased competition from music-makers in other countries when it comes to building global audiences.

Launching the latest round of MEGS funding, BPI boss Geoff Taylor says: "The global recorded music market is poised for sustained and rapid growth, but this growth is combined with intensifying global competition. MEGS continues to be a crucial resource for independent artists and labels to help them breakthrough in overseas markets".

"We are pleased that the government is committed to continuing to work in partnership with the music industry to maximise the UK's music exports potential", he continues. "MEGS not only delivers for the UK economy but has had supported some our best loved independent artists to achieve global success".

Meanwhile, Andrew Griffith MP, currently Minister For Exports at the Department For International Trade, adds: "The UK has a global reputation for creating, writing and producing amazing music. In 2020, the UK exported £2.3 billion of music around the world, creating jobs and growing our economy. Through the Music Export Growth Scheme, we're proud to help UK-owned independent labels and artists grow British music abroad".

The deadline for applications to this current round of MEGS funding is 2 Sep. Find out more here.


Paul O'Grady to leave Radio 2
Paul O'Grady has announced that he is leaving BBC Radio 2, where he has presented a Sunday afternoon show since 2009. This follows a decision by the BBC earlier this year to cut the number of shows presented by O'Grady annually from 40 to 26.

"I've loved doing my Sunday afternoon show for the last fourteen years and I'm going to miss my listeners as well as the fun I've had with my producer Malcolm Prince, but I feel that now is the right time to go", says O'Grady in a statement.

Head Of Radio 2, Helen Thomas, adds: "I'd like to thank Paul for so many years of his brilliant Sunday afternoon show. I'm sorry to see him go, but I wish Paul the very best of luck for the future and hope to work with him again as the door is always open to him here at Radio 2".

O'Grady initially joined Radio 2 in 2008 as an occasional stand-in for Elaine Paige. He was then given his weekly Sunday afternoon slot in April 2009. O'Grady took a three month break from the show in 2020 during the initial COVID-19 lockdown. His show then returned with a series of compilation editions, before O'Grady began pre-recording new programmes from his home.

In February this year, it was announced that the BBC had decided to almost halve the number of shows presented by O'Grady each year, and that he would take another three month break from presenting. He returned in May for a thirteen week series, which is due to come to an end this Sunday.

From 21 Aug, comedian Rob Beckett will take over for his own thirteen week run of shows, as had already been planned. It has not yet been announced who will take on the slot after that series comes to an end in November.


Edinburgh Festival Interviews: The iDiOT Circus
The Edinburgh Festival is now underway with three weeks of great theatre, comedy, cabaret, music, musicals, opera, dance, physical theatre, film, visual art, talks, debates and spoken word.

CMU's sister media ThreeWeeks is covering it all and here in the CMU Daily we'll pick out some highlights from this year's coverage.

Today, we put the spotlight on The iDiOT Circus - a theatrical four piece band who specialise in the darkly comic, the macabre, the murderous and the ridiculous - and their Fringe show 'Death Is Coming'.

We spoke to the band's Nick Court to find out more about the show and the songs it features. Click here to read the interview.

Olivia Newton-John dies
Olivia Newton-John has died, aged 73. In a statement on her official Facebook page, her husband John Easterling wrote that she had "passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California … surrounded by family and friends".

Born in the UK in 1948, her family emigrated to Australia in 1954, where she began her career in music as a teenager. In 1965, she won a TV talent contest, the prize from which was a trip to the UK. It was there that she properly began her pop career, releasing her debut single, 'Till You Say You'll Be Mine', for Decca in 1966.

After two short-lived collaborative projects - the duo Pat And Olivia, with Pat Carroll, and the group Toomorrow, with whom she starred in the musical film of the same name - she released her debut solo album, 'Olivia Newton-John', in 1971. She also went on to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, coming fourth with the song 'Long Live Love' at the edition of the competition won by Abba with 'Waterloo'.

Initially achieving success in the UK and Australia, she also found fame in the US. Although her country-pop sound proved controversial in some quarters, with some people in the country music industry angry about a foreigner achieving sales and awards success in the genre. In fact, a new trade body, the Association Of Country Entertainers, briefly formed in protest after she was named Female Vocalist Of The Year by the Country Music Association in 1974.

Newton-John is probably most remembered for playing Sandy Olsson in the 1978 film 'Grease', however. Both the film and its soundtrack were a huge hit, leading to her becoming the second woman in US chart history to have two songs in the Billboard top five simultaneously - 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' and 'Summer Nights'.

Following this success, she shifted to more of a pop sound, and in 1981 released her most successful solo album, 'Physical', which spawned her best-known song of the same name. An early advocate of music videos, promos were filmed for all of the album's singles, which presented a narrative running throughout them.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John become an advocate for cancer research and awareness throughout the remainder of her life. In 2017, she announced that her cancer had returned and spread to her bones.

Her final album, 'Friends For Christmas', was a collaboration with John Farnham, which reached number one in Australia and was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association.



Talent agency UTA has appointed Robert Gibbs as co-Head of its Atlanta office. "Robert's experience in the industry, combined with his enthusiasm to help us build in Atlanta, made him the perfect choice to join UTA and our leadership team there", says CEO Jeremy Zimmer.



Breland has released new single 'Told You I Could Drink', featuring Lady A. "Anytime we have a chance to collaborate with Breland, you can be sure that we'll be there", says Lady A's Hillary Scott. "When I first heard this song it immediately took me back to high school after a bad break up, getting lost in an R&B groove".

Okay Kaya has released new single 'Spinal Tap'. Her new album, 'Sap', will be out on 4 Nov.

Ela Minus and DJ Python have teamed up for new EP '♡', which will be out on 16 Sep. "We literally didn't talk about how the tracks should sound", Python says of the collaboration. "I sent her instrumentals and she sent them back with perfect vocals. It was this unspoken communication, a process to know the self and the other endlessly". Watch the video for new single 'Pájaros en Verano' here.

Princess Chelsea will release new album 'Everything Is Going To Be Alright' on 7 Oct. Out now is new single 'The Forest'. "The song is about overcoming adversity, preparing yourself to mentally get through a hard situation", she says. "People often go to nature, perhaps for a run or exercise, as a form of therapy - 'The Forest' is a metaphor for whatever you need to do to get through. For me it's often a literal forest".

Tropical Fuck Storm have released a cover of The Stooges' 'Ann', taken from a new EP 'Moonburn', which is set for release on 26 Aug.

Jade Imagine have released 'Cold Memory', the title track of their new album, which is set for release on 21 Oct. "'Cold Memory' was written in Killarney after a freezing cold mid-winter swim in the southern ocean", say the band. "It was inspired by the coastal bumpy drive we took to the beach and the rush of adrenaline after swimming, and then being completely ruined by march flies that were waiting to bite us on the beach after swimming".

Pariis Opera House are back with their first new studio track for five years, 'U I'. "The track", they explain, "explores the cycle of technological allure, reliance, and danger that dictates modern living, as human interactions and experiences are gradually sculpted by data points and algorithms".

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


Kanye West uses Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson break up to mock Kid Cudi's Rolling Loud performance
So, apparently Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson broke up. Kardashian's estranged husband Kanye West wasted no time in gloating, posting to social media a mocked up New York Times front page with the headline 'Skete Davidson dead at 28'. Skete being West's very clever nickname for Davidson. But we're uninterested in such tittle tattle. We want to talk about a little aside to all this that furthers the fallout between West and his former collaborator Kid Cudi.

Below that attention-grabbing and obviously somewhat distasteful headline was a tiny standfirst announcing: "Kid Cudi meant to play funeral but fearful of bottle throwers".

That is seemingly a reference to Cudi's appearance at last month's Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. The rapper had stepped in to headline the Friday night of the event after West, who was meant to be headlining, pulled out at the last minute. Some fans were not happy with that turn of events and pelted Cudi with bottles as he began his performance. Four songs in, he stopped and told the audience that he would "walk off this stage if you all throw one more fucking thing up here".

Can you guess what happened next? Yeah, a bottle almost immediately landed on the stage, so he walked off and that was the end of the show.

West clearly found all that rather funny - and is seemingly still amused by what happened. Though that's probably no surprise given the current West v Cudi beef. The two rappers were, of course, until recently, frequent collaborators, even forming a duo together - Kids See Ghosts - back in 2016. Although they did start that project after another falling out.

The latest bad blood seems to have arisen due to Cudi's friendship with the aforementioned Davidson, who West has been harassing ever since he started a relationship with Kardashian last year.

Indeed, West said as much earlier this year, when he announced on Instagram that Cudi would not appear on his 'Donda 2' album because of his former collaborator's supposed friendship with the comedian. "Just so everyone knows", West said in a handwritten note, "Cudi will not be on 'Donda' because he's friends with you know who".

Cudi responded on Twitter saying: "We talked weeks ago about this. You're whack for flipping the script and posting this lie just for a look on the internet. You ain't no friend. BYE".

He also posted a comment under West's original post, saying: "Too bad I don't wanna be on your album you fuckin dinosaur hahaha. Everyone knows I've been the best thing about your albums since I met you".

When new Pusha T track 'Rock N Roll' - featuring both West and Cudi - turned up on his latest album 'It's Almost Dry' in April, there was some hope that this meant that the two rappers had resolved their differences. But Cudi was keen to quickly clarify the situation and dash all that hope.

He tweeted: "Hey! So I know some of you heard about the song I got with Pusha. I did this song a year ago when I was still cool with Kanye. I am not cool with that man [now]. He's not my friend and I only cleared the song for Pusha cuz that's my guy. This is the last song you will hear me on with Kanye".

West's inclusion of Cudi in his latest dig against Davidson doesn't go any way towards remedying that decision, presumably. But who knows, maybe they will eventually make up and we'll get a second Kids See Ghosts album as a result.


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.
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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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