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NO DEBATING THIS HITS LIST
Can't we all get along? (2/21a)
FLIPOVER FRIDAY: NEW ARRIVALS AT iTUNES AND APPLE MUSIC
Sorry, Donald, the South Korean invasion can't be stopped. (2/21a)
REBA RETURNS TO UMG NASHVILLE
She's back to where she once belonged. (2/21a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
THE FOREVER MARCH
The struggle continues. (2/21a)
PINGING: BABY KEEM
What's that buzz? (2/24a)
DON'T TALK TO THE PRESS
Also, don't leak the memo about not talking to the press to the press. Please.
GRAMMY VOTING
How the sausage is made.
BIEBER'S BIG BOW
Changes changes the conversation.
PRIMARIES
So hard to decide...
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: BILLIE & BIEBER
2/21/20

Billie Eilish has the biggest selling track in the U.K. of 2020 so far with the Bond theme “No Time To Die” (Polydor) hitting the top of the Official Singles Chart on 90k combined sales. Over on albums, Justin Bieber claims his second #1 with Changes (Virgin EMI).

“No Time To Die” is Eilish's first #1 single in Blighty.

Changes secured the top spot by a margin of 150 combined sales in an incredibly tight Top 3 race that was separated by less than 1.2k sales. Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent (Virgin EMI), which saw a 20% sales uplift following his double Brits win, remains at #2. Despite a midweek lead, Tame Impala finish the week at #3 with The Slow Rush (Fiction), while topping the vinyl chart.

…Read more

BRITS NEED A NEW BOSS
2/20/20

After helming a revamped BRIT Awards ceremony that has been widely praised for some show-stopping artist performances, UMG U.K. CEO David Joseph has said he won’t be returning to the role next year.

In an an interview with Music Week, Joseph said, “It will be nice to hand it over to somebody when it’s in a healthy state. And a healthy state really means discovery, culture and new audiences discovering the music of the artists who perform. End of story.”

Traditionally, Joseph would have sat in the seat of BRITs Chairman for another two years, as per a three-year rotation cycle between major label heads. However, he has said this year will be his last (for now) so he can focus on his day job. “We’ve got some things going on at the company and a lot of excitement that I really need to throw myself into,” he said. “You’re supposed to never say never—but at the moment I’m saying never!”

…Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: CHANGES VS. RUSH
2/18/20

Justin Bieber is battling Tame Impala for the U.K.’s Official Albums #1 this week with just 900 sales separating the two at the halfway point. Over on singles, Billie Eilish is heading for her first #1.

Tame Impala currently has the lead on albums with The Slow Rush (Fiction), closely followed by Bieber who is ahead on streaming with Changes (Virgin EMI). British pop trio New Hope Club are also new at #4 with their self-titled debut (Virgin EMI), followed by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s  Artist 2.0 (Atlantic) at #8.

David Gray’s classic chart topper, White Ladder (AWAL),  is on track for a chart return at #10 following its 20th anniversary reissue. Northern Irish alt-rock band Ash are close behind at #13 with greatest hits record, Teenage Wildlife (BMG).

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, Eilish’s James Bond theme “No Time To Die” (Polydor) is on course to claim the top spot. Should the track maintain its momentum, which will be boosted by a BRITs performance Tuesday, Eilish will become the second act in history to reach the top of the chart in Blighty with a Bond theme. Sam Smith was the first with “Writing on the Wall” (Capitol) in 2015. Incidentally, it’s Smith who claims the second highest new entry today with “To Die For” starting at #20.

Further down, Bieber’s “Yummy” rises three places to #10, while Eilish’s “Bad Guy” rebounds five places to #14. With “Everything I Wanted” a non-mover at #9, Eilish is on track to scoop a trio of entries in Friday’s Official Chart Top 20.

U.K. CHARTS: FATHER 'S DAY
2/14/20

Green Day has scored its fourth #1 album in. the U.K. as Father Of All… (Reprise) goes straight in atop this week’s Official Albums Chart. At singles, Justin Bieber has the week’s highest new entry.

Father Of All …, the band’s 13th studio album, logged more than 23,000 chart sales, including 3,800 vinyl sales where it was the week’s best seller. Green Day first hit #1 in the U.K. in 2004 with American Idiot.

British alt-pop duo Oh Wonder register their second Top 10 album as No One Else Can Wear Your Crown (Island) comes in at #8. It’s the  week’s biggest seller in U.K. independent record shops.

…Read more

DAVE RE-UPS WITH WC
2/11/20

The Warner Chappell global team flew to L.A. to sign Dave to a new global deal. Considering the ways they’ll use all those newly acquired frequent flier miles are, back row, from left: Jussy, Benny Scarrs, Jack Foster, Amber Davis, Dave, Guy Moot, Shani Gonzales, and Wallace Joseph; front, from left, Ryan Press, Carianne Marshall and Brandra Ringo.

Warner Chappell Music has renewed its global partnership with Dave on the heels of his impressive 2019: A #1 album Psychodrama; four Top 10 singles; and four BRIT Awards nominations.

“The U.S. is a market that Dave is close to conquering,” Amber Davis, Head of A&R, Warner Chappell Music UK, said. “He and his team have created a hugely significant project on both of sides of the pond and I firmly believe the innovative ideas from our International team will add value to it.”

 “Dave is one of the most important voices in the UK right now,” WC Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot said. “He has created a phenomenal body of work at such a young age, which is unique and progressive in how it represents a generation.”

Dave, in L.A. to meet with Moot and Co-Chair Carianne Marshall, will be performing throughout the U.S. this year, beginning with Coachella and Governors Ball.

U.K. CHARTS: IT'S BLOSSOMS, DEARIE
2/7/20

Blossoms have scored their second #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with Foolish Loving Spaces (Virgin EMI). Over on singles, The Weeknd has his first U.K. chart-topper with “Blinding Lights” (Island).

Blossoms last hit the top of the charts with their self-titled debut in 2016, and peaked at #4 with the follow-up in 2018.

The second highest new albums entry today is Louis Tomlinson’s solo debut Walls (Syco) at #4. Last week’s #1 from J Hus, Big Conspiracy (Black Butter), slips down to #5.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” completes a 10-week journey to the top, rising one place to #1 on 63k combined sales.

The track debuted at #14 in December before briefly dipping outside the Top 40; it has made a triumphant return in the new year.

…Read more

U.K. ARTIST CLASS OF 2020
2/7/20

Who are the new U.K. acts the major label groups are making a priority this year?  

UMG U.K. has Celeste, InhalerMae Muller and Lola Young, and Easy Life

Sony Music U.K. is working on Joy CrookesYoung T & BugseyKoffeeMorrisonAWA and Sam Fischer.

And the names primed to take center stage at Warner are Kojey RadicalOne Acen, AshnikkoPa Salieu and Griff

BRITS LINEUP EXPANDS
2/5/20

Lizzo and Dave (the latter pictured here) have been added to the line up for The BRIT Awards, joining Billie Eilish, Celeste, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel and Stormzy for the 40th edition of what's set to be an extra special (and sizable) show.

With UMG CEO David Joseph newly in charge as BRITs Chairman, the ceremony has had a number of shake-ups, including an extended stage that takes up more floor space in the O2 Arena. That means some tables have been relegated to balcony boxes, or done away with entirely, causing many guest-list headaches. How will the extra space impact the ceremony and atmosphere on the floor in London on 2/18? 

Aside from Lizzo and Billie Eilish, who will battle it out for International Female, all performers are nominated in multiple categories, suggesting some wins are on the cards. Celeste has already been crowned Rising Star. 

Also, if Scotland votes for independence, will Capaldi be eligible for a SCOTTY?