TODAY'S TOP STORY: The legal back and forth between Megan Thee Stallion and her label 1501 Certified Entertainment continues, with the rapper - real name Megan Pete - securing a restraining order to stop the label from interfering in her efforts to capitalise on this weekend's American Music Awards... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Megan Thee Stallion secures restraining order against her label ahead of this weekend's AMAs
LEGAL Apple and Epic back in court in App Store rules dispute
MEDIA Bauer adds new stations to its Absolute and Kiss premium offerings
ARTIST NEWS UK musicians concerned that they will have to leave the music industry due to rising costs
Robert Smith denies that The Cure will play Qatar World Cup opening ceremony

GIGS & FESTIVALS Blur announce Wembley Stadium show
ONE LINERS Morrissey, Harry Nilsson, Roddy Ricch, more
AND FINALLY... Billy McFarland's Bahamas treasure hunt in the balance after country says he's not welcome
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Megan Thee Stallion secures restraining order against her label ahead of this weekend's AMAs
The legal back and forth between Megan Thee Stallion and her label 1501 Certified Entertainment continues, with the rapper - real name Megan Pete - securing a restraining order to stop the label from interfering in her efforts to capitalise on this weekend's American Music Awards.

There has been plenty of legal wrangling between Pete and 1501 in recent years. She originally claimed that her deal with the label did not follow music industry conventions and was unfairly skewed in 1501's favour. After she went legal on the matter, 1501 agreed to amend elements of that deal, resulting in Pete's lawsuit being dismissed.

But then a new dispute began over the three albums Pete is obliged to deliver to 1501 and, in particular, whether last year's 'Something For Thee Hotties' counts as one of them. She reckons that it does, but 1501 argues that that record, which was basically a compilation of freestyles and archive tracks, does not fulfil the definition of album under the terms of her record contract.

Following the release of Pete's recent album 'Traumazine' in August, the rapper asked the court to confirm that she had now fulfilled the terms of her record contract, even though that would require counting 'Something For Thee Hotties' as album number two of three. She also claimed that she was owed at least a million dollars in royalties by the label and posited that 1501 might have been behind a pre-release leak of 'Traumazine'.

The following month 1501 responded via its own legal filing again insisting that 'Something For Thee Hotties' does not qualify as one of the albums she is obliged to deliver to the label. It also rejected Pete's royalties claim, arguing that she actually owes 1501 millions from other elements of its wide-ranging deal with the rapper. Meanwhile, it added, Pete had failed to provide any evidence regarding the album leak allegation.

It's not entirely clear what the new AMA-related spat between Pete and 1501 is all about. But, according to Billboard, she claimed that the label had "unlawfully" taken steps "to block or interfere with Pete exploiting, licensing or publishing her music" ahead of this weekend's AMA bash, where the rapper is nominated for Favourite Female Hip Hop Artist.

With voting for the awards closing last night and the AMA show itself taking place on Sunday, the court seemingly issued a speedy ex parte order against 1501, which basically is an injunction issued even before the targeted party has had a chance to respond, because it is deemed by the court that urgent action is required to stop any alleged harm.

Or, in the words of the court, "because there [is] not enough time to give notice to defendants, hold a hearing, and issue a restraining order before the irreparable injury, loss, or damage would occur". The ex parte order says that 1501 and its distribution partner 300 are restricted from "preventing or blocking the use and exploitation" of Pete's music in promotional content connected to the AMAs.

A hearing to properly consider Pete's allegations will then take place after the awards on 22 Nov.


Apple and Epic back in court in App Store rules dispute
Apple and Epic Games were both back in court in California yesterday over their dispute in relation to the former's App Store rules.

Fortnite maker Epic sued Apple in 2020 arguing that the tech giant's App Store rules are anti-competitive. The main rules that Epic - like many app makers, including Spotify - don't like are those that say that all in-app payments on iOS devices must be processed via Apple's commission charging transactions system, and that no other payment platforms elsewhere on the internet can be sign-posted within an app.

Epic, Spotify and others have hit out at those rules - and the similar if slightly less draconian rules on Google's Android platform - in multiple countries. Spotify has mainly sent its lobbyists out to call for law-makers to force Apple and Google to change their respective app store rule books, while Epic has gone the litigation route in multiple courts.

The legal battle in California has got by far the most attention. The judge hearing that case, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, last year basically sided with Apple, concluding that its App Store rules did not really violate US competition law. However, she did order Apple to allow app makers to sign-post alternative payment options outside of an app, which means getting rid of its current 'anti-steering' rule.

Following that ruling, Epic launched an appeal in the Ninth Circuit appeals court, while Apple is appealing the decision around the 'anti-steering' provision, having got the judge's order regarding that specific rule put on hold.

Ninth Circuit judges yesterday heard arguments from both sides, as well as the US Department Of Justice. The legal rep for Epic urged the appeal judges to overturn the lower court ruling, reckoning that the majority of Gonzalez Rogers' decision outlined the anti-competitive effect of Apple's App Store rules, but then concluded they didn't violate competition law.

Meanwhile, Apple's lawyer insisted that Gonzalez Rogers got it right, adding that the tech firm's rules around payments were primarily to protect consumers, and the profits from those transactions allowed it to develop its App Store platform and monitor the apps sold via it. And, perhaps more importantly, he also argued that during last year's court hearing Epic had failed to prove anti-competitive conduct.

According to Reuters, at least one of the Ninth Circuit judges, Milan Smith, seemed to share Apple's viewpoint regarding Epic's arguments in the original hearing. He told Epic's attorney: "The one thing that really troubles me is this failure of proof. Looking at the record, it seems [Apple's lawyers] have made a good case".

However, he also conceded that there were some inconsistencies in the original ruling. According to Law360, he also noted that "I like Judge Rogers a lot, but she's inconsistent - it's hard to make it square, so what do we do with that?"

Lawyers for both sides aren't expecting a ruling from the appeals court for at least another nine months. Meanwhile, litigation and lobbying on Apple and Google's app store rules continues elsewhere. And while Apple has generally been the winner in this particular litigation, it does feel like the pressure is increasingly on both tech giants to relax these rules to some extent.

With that in mind, Google is piloting a scheme to allow some app makers to include their own payment options within their Android apps alongside the Google option. Spotify is the first company involved in that pilot, and it started slowly rolling out so called User Choice Billing on its Android app last week.


Bauer adds new stations to its Absolute and Kiss premium offerings
Bauer Media yesterday added three new stations to its Absolute Radio premium offering: Terrace Anthems, Movies and 50s. Meanwhile, a new station is also being added to the Kiss Radio premium package that capitalises on presenter Tyler West's current stint on the 'Strictly Come Dancing' telly show.

The media firm launched premium subscription packages around both its Absolute and Kiss radio brands earlier this year. Subscribers get ad-free access to the various stations that form the Absolute or Kiss networks, as well as a number of premium-only stations, plus additional song skipping functionality.

The new Absolute Radio Terrace Anthems station is timed to coincide with the up coming World Cup, of course, and will feature "all the biggest football singalongs", on the off chance there's somewhere out there who would want such a thing. It's all being fronted by former professional footballer and sporty TV presenter Dion Dublin.

Says Dublin: "I've been a huge music fan for as long as I can remember, so to be given the opportunity by Absolute Radio to combine two of my biggest passions - music and football - is something I'll always remember. From 'Wavin Flag' to 'We Are The Champions', Tom Jones to David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, Absolute Radio Terrace Anthems will have something for everyone to get stuck into. I hope the fans enjoy listening to the station as much as I know I'll enjoy playing the classics!"

Absolute Radio Movies and Absolute Radio 50s are slightly less gimmicky, the former playing pop music that's particularly associated with a movie soundtrack, and the latter adding to Absolute's existing decade themed stations that already cover the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.

On the new stations, Absolute Radio Content Director Paul Sylvester adds: "I promise that Absolute Radio 50s will complete the Absolute Radio decade strategy - for eight years at least! We also know that Absolute Radio's listeners are massive football fans and so, for the first time, we're offering a music station that plays the songs which are intrinsically associated with the music sung and played in football stadiums across the UK".

The new Kiss premium station is called On the Dancefloor with Tyler West and is "dedicated to the biggest and best dancefloor fillers from across the decades". Kiss DJ West is currently competing on the latest series of 'Strictly Come Dancing' having been partnered with professional dancer Dianne Buswell.

Of the new station Bauer says: "Listeners can expect an epic mix of all of Tyler's favourite dancefloor fillers including Beyonce's 'Break My Soul' and Craig David's 'Rewind' - a song that recently helped Tyler to the first tens of 2022 when he and Diane danced a couples choice to a mix of garage classics in 'Strictly'".

Tyler himself says: "I am picking the biggest and best dancefloor vibes so the nation can get up and get on the dancefloor with me. Everyone gets to see my moves on a Saturday night and now I want to see yours! I can't get every single one of my favourite tracks on to 'Strictly' but I can get them onto my playlist for On The Dancefloor!"

Approved: Waterbaby
Electronic duo Waterbaby released their previous single, 'Thin Air', back in July. Now they follow it with 'No Caller ID', an equally satisfying trip into their own dream-like sonic world.

"We were listening to the radio one day, flicking through channels and changing from station to station, when a caller rang into a talk show, but no one was on the other end of the line", they say of the inspiration for the track. "We recorded this strange dialogue which became the backbone for the idea behind 'No Caller ID'".

"'No Caller ID' begins with that surreal telephone call and like a message lost in transition, transforms through multiple sonic worlds", they go on. "The signal travels down the telephone wire, under the deep blue sea, it gets lost in a busy high street and detonates in a choir of chanting sun worshippers in outer space, eventually coming full circle to the glitching and faltering voices repeating the message of the radio host 'are you hearing me caller?'".

"Sounds warp, distort, and unravel as the song unfolds, like entering a black hole", they conclude. "Alone, you call out to a world static with interference, only to hear your own voice echoing back".

Listen to 'No Caller ID' here.

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

UK musicians concerned that they will have to leave the music industry due to rising costs
Almost half of UK musicians are currently highly concerned that they will be forced to leave the music industry as the cost of living crisis continues to impact on them, according to a new survey conducted by Help Musicians.

The music charity reports that 49% of the 500 professional musicians surveyed said that they were 'very' or 'extremely' concerned that they would have to leave their music careers behind. A further 35% were 'slightly' or 'somewhat' concerned. This is a dramatic increase from a similar study a year ago, which found that 22% of musicians in the UK were considering leaving the industry.

Already suffering lower incomes as a result of Brexit and the pandemic, Help Musicians says that music-makers are now being impacted further by the growing cost of living crisis.

Brexit has reduced opportunities to perform in the EU, including through increased costs, as well as a shortage of personnel and equipment. Following the pandemic, the huge number of rescheduled shows has reduced the number of available slots for new shows. Meanwhile, rising costs have also made things like travelling to gigs and heating rehearsal spaces harder.

Well more than half of those surveyed - 60% - said that they are worse off financially now than compared to the same time a year ago, while 78% said that they are currently earning less from music than they were in March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Out of the 500 musicians asked, 98% had some level of concern about their ability to earn enough money to cover their costs over the next six months - 90% worried about affording food, and 84% were concerned about being able to make mortgage or rent payments. As costs continue to rise, 80% are concerned about falling into debt. All of which is also having an impact on musicians' mental health.

"It is hard to imagine any point since the Second World War when it has been tougher to be a professional musician", says James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians. "Put simply, the current environment is brutal. The pandemic had a catastrophic impact, with most simply unable to perform. Afterwards, venues were booked up for months or years in advance due to rearranged gigs. This has been followed by Brexit, which has impacted their ability to tour, for many emerging musicians a vital step in building a sustainable career".

"It is clear from the responses to this survey, that musicians need a broad range to support to help them navigate financial challenges of working and living over winter, make the most of touring opportunities, and improve their mental health", he goes on. "Our Music Minds Matter service has seen a 34% increase this year and we have funded 1600 hours of counselling in the last three months alone".

"We need to put significant time and resource into sustaining musicians over the coming, challenging months, if we are to have a thriving music ecosystem in 2023 and beyond", he concludes. "We cannot afford to lose any of the talent from our passionate community of UK musicians if we want to continue enjoying the music that inspires us all every day".

Anyone working in the music industry who needs support can call Help Musicians on 0808 802 8008 or go to helpmusicians.org.uk.


Robert Smith denies that The Cure will play Qatar World Cup opening ceremony
The Cure are the latest act to deny that they are playing the Qatar World Cup - as criticism of those who have chosen to play events surrounding the football competition continue to face criticism.

"Hate to disappoint everyone, but despite the rumours we will not be headlining the World Cup opening ceremony", tweeted frontman Robert Smith yesterday.

Covering any other questions people might have, he added: "I have also informed [England manager] Gareth Southgate [that] I am unavailable for selection. And if you're interested, Psychic Bob predicts no one will win but Qatar".

At the weekend, Dua Lipa also denied rumours that she was due to play the opening ceremony, saying that she would not perform in Qatar at all until "it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup".

Rod Stewart, while not rumoured to play any World Cup events, has commented on other artists who have accepted the offer, saying that he turned down a lucrative opportunity to play in the Middle Eastern country last year, telling The Sunday Times: "I was actually offered a lot of money - over $1 million - to play there fifteen months ago. I turned it down. It's not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms".

Artists who are set to play World Cup related shows include Robbie Williams and Jungkook from BTS - both of whom have faced strong criticism as a result. There are concerns from fans that involvement endorses a country that has been repeatedly criticised for human rights violations.

Among other things, Qatar has faced strong criticism over its the treatment of migrant workers in the country, with a report earlier this year estimating that more than 6000 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup ten years ago.

Meanwhile, homosexuality remains illegal in the Middle Eastern country and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished by up to seven years in prison.


Blur announce Wembley Stadium show
Blur have announced that they will reunite for a big one-off show at Wembley Stadium in July next year. It will be their only UK show in 2023 and their first headline performance since 2015.

"We really love playing these songs and thought it's about time we did it again", says Damon Albarn. A man of few words. Luckily, the other three members of the band have also made short statements about the show.

"I'm really looking forward to playing with my Blur brothers again and revisiting all those great songs", says Graham Coxon. "Blur live shows are always amazing for me. A nice guitar and an amp turned right up and loads of smiling faces".

Alex James adds: "There's always something really special when the four of us get in a room. It's nice to think that on 8 Jul that room will be Wembley Stadium".

And Dave Rowntree comments: "After the chaos of the last few years, it's great to get back out to play some songs together on a summer's day in London. Hope to see you there".

The show will take place on 8 Jul, as Alex James let slip before I had a chance to tell you. Couldn't he have just said something about cheese and be done with it, without trying to do my job for me?

Well, I'll tell you what he forgot to say. He forgot to say that tickets will go on general sale at 10am on 18 Nov. And also that standing tickets will set you back over £100 each.



BMG has acquired the songs catalogue of late singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. In a statement, his family says: "We are delighted to have found a partner that shares our love and reverence for Harry's legacy. We look forward to a long relationship with BMG, working together to celebrate this true genius of pop music".



Warner Music has promoted Bob Workman to the dual role of SVP International Brand Partnerships for the record company at large and General Manager of the major's WMX division in the UK. The UK brand partnerships team that Workman heads up will also become part of the major's services division, that being WMX. Somewhat confusingly that brands team also operated under the name WMX but wasn't officially part of WMX. But now it is, ending the somewhat confusion.

Sony Music Publishing UK has confirmed the appointment of Shauni Caballero as Senior A&R Manager. "Shauni is a true self-made executive and one of the most talented A&Rs in the industry", says Sony Music Publishing UK President David Ventura. "Her journey has been exemplary and inspiring, whilst her drive is unstoppable. She has such an intuitive and genuine way of working with artists and songwriters, we feel blessed to have her joining the team".

Warner Music in the US has appointed MaryLynne Drexler as Head of Business & Legal Affairs for its label services and distribution business ADA Worldwide. She joins from Sony Music's label services and distribution business The Orchard. She will be working alongside another former The Orchard exec, Bryan Roberts, whose recent appointment as VP A&R And Label Acquisition at ADA has also been formally announced.



Morrissey has announced that his new album, 'Bonfire Of Teenagers', is no longer scheduled for release. He announced last month that the album would be released by Universal's Capitol Records in the US early next year. However, a new statement on his website reads: "'Bonfire of Teenagers' is no longer scheduled for a February release, as stated by this site. Its fate is exclusively in the hands of Capitol Records (Los Angeles)".

Roddy Ricch has released new single 'Twin', featuring Lil Durk.

Joe Jonas and Khalid have released 'Not Alone', taken from the soundtrack of new movie 'Devotion', which is out on 23 Nov.

Fever Ray has released new single 'Carbon Dioxide', taken from new album 'Radical Romantics', which is out on 10 Mar next year.

Karol G has released new single 'Ovy On The Drums'.

Eighty8 has released new single 'The Realest'.

Goose have released new single 'Run Away'. "In order to sound like a party, you need to make a party", says vocalist Mickael Karkousse. "Both Victor Le Masne [producer] and Bastien Doremus [mix engineer] pushed us to approach the track as a live recording. The result was a spontaneous jam at Motorbass studio and by fooling around with it, we found the right angle. That spontaneous, party feeling was exactly what the song needed".

Weval have released new single 'Forever'. "The way in which many ideas from us come together is by combining different demos with each other", say the duo. "So we had made this beat that became an acid DJ-ish track and recorded the vocal for a different demo. We ended up sampling our own work and felt it just clicked and fit together in this way. It's so fun to mash up ideas that in themselves had a completely different life and distinct energy to them. So it feels sometimes we end up with something that we wouldn't be able to do from one linear process".

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


Billy McFarland's Bahamas treasure hunt in the balance after country says he's not welcome
Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland's big plan to launch a whole new event in the Bahamas has hit a snag, after it turned out that the country's government is not that keen on having him back for some reason.

A statement from Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper published yesterday reads: "The public is advised that no application has been made to the government of The Bahamas for consideration of any event promoted by Billy McFarland or any entities or parties known to be associated with him".

"McFarland was the organiser of the Fyre Festival several years ago, a notorious charade for which McFarland was convicted and sent to prison in the USA", he goes on. "The government of The Bahamas will not endorse or approve any event in The Bahamas associated with him".

As if that wasn't enough, Cooper adds that if McFarland sets foot in The Bahamas, he faces arrest, saying: "He considered to be a fugitive, with several pending complaints made against him with the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Anyone knowing of his whereabouts should report [them] to the RBPF".

McFarland, of course, was imprisoned in 2018 after being convicted of two counts of wire fraud in relation to finances raised for his doomed Bahamas-based Fyre Festival. It was supposed to be a luxury event, but by the time ticket holders began arriving, organisers had not managed to put in place even basic infrastructure and the whole thing collapsed dramatically before it could get started - as chronicled in two documentary films.

He served four years of a six year sentence. And with $26 million still to repay to those he defrauded, he is seeking ways to make enough money to clear that debt.

Earlier this month McFarland announced plans to return to The Bahamas for a new treasure hunt event, which he's calling PYRT. The plan is for participants try to track down 99 bottles containing messages in order to win a grand prize.

Prior to announcing the treasure hunt, he said that he was working on a project that was "a whole lot bigger than anything I've ever tried before". It was also announced earlier this month that production company Ample Entertainment is making a documentary about McFarland's life after being released from prison, with plans to follow him to The Bahamas to document this new event.

That trip, it seems, is now off. The Bahamas has made it pretty clear that it doesn't want him back. Has that put McFarland off? No, of course not. According to TMZ, he has fired off a letter in response to Cooper's statement pleading with the country's government to have him back.

"I am writing to you to profusely apologise for my actions five years ago", he reportedly writes. "I was completely wrong and I wholly regret my actions … My main focus [now] is how I can right my wrongs and how I can make the Bahamas and Family Islands, a region I care so deeply about, whole again".

He really doesn't seem like the right person to do that, but whatever. He reckons he has plenty of friends in the country, despite everything, saying that he has maintained contact with many people on the islands, and that "their generosity and kind hearts have been a constant guide and motivation for me. I have been re-engaging with the families of the islands to see what I can do to begin making amends".

If we know one thing about McFarland, it's that he has an innate ability to push forward with things that are quite clearly not working. So, it remains to be seen what becomes of his treasure hunt. That documentary crew will be there to capture it all.

Will the conclusion be the event taking place, becoming a huge success and making him a hero in The Bahamas? Will he just abandon the whole project and move on to something more realistic? Or will the film conclude with him flying there, being arrested and imprisoned in the country? Only time will tell.


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.
[email protected] (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.
[email protected] (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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