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YOUR TOP 20
IS LEGENDARY
Whoa (7/14a)
CHART STORY: POP SMOKES THE COMPETITION
A "Moon" shot. (7/10a)
PHOEBE BRIDGERS LOOKS AT LIFE FROM BOTH SIDES NOW
Is a Best New Artist nom in the cards for acclaimed writer/artist? (7/13a)
JHENÉ AIKO'S REIGN
The gradual ascent of a gifted, prolific artist. (7/13a)
SPANKY'S SMASHES
Baby-faced killer is crushing it. (7/14a)
THE 2021 CONCERT RUSH
Would you like some Swiss cheese with your nachos?
ALEXANDER HAMILTON
Oh, sorry--we were just singing to ourselves.
MARY TRUMP
Family is everything.
K-POP STANS
Are they coming for Kanye? Yes.
Blighty Beat
ARTISTS JOIN VENUE AID FIGHT
7/2/20

Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney are among the British artists issued an urgent plea for support from the U.K. Government to prevent mass insolvencies before live music is allowed to return.

The appeal, made in a letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden, is signed by 1,500 artists, many of whom were due to perform at festivals this summer. In addition, 560 venues and nearly 4,000 production crew members have added their names.

“U.K. live music has been one of the U.K.’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak,” the letter says.

“Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry.”

Other artists to have signed the letter include Skepta, Rita Ora, Coldplay, Dame Shirley Bassey, Eric Clapton, Annie Lennox, Sam Smith, Sir Rod Stewart, Liam Gallagher, Florence + the Machine, George Ezra, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Lewis Capaldi and Little Mix.

To coincide with the letter, people across the industry will today begin posting films and photos of their last live gig under the banner #LetTheMusicPlay. Fans will also be encouraged to post about the last gig they attended to show support for the live music industry during its shutdown.

…Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: HAIM HOT FOR #1
6/29/20

Haim are leading the U.K.’s Official Albums midweek chart with Women in Music Pt. III (Polydor) ahead by nearly 5,000 sales. Over on singles, viral smash “Savage Love (Laxed Beat - Siren)” (Columbia) by Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo is currently on top.

On albums, Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways (Columbia) is #2 and leading on CD sales. Jessie Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure (Virgin) is the second-highest new entry #3, followed by Khruangbin’s  Mordechai (Dead Oceans) at #4.

Northern band The Lathums are at #5 following the vinyl release of their EP, The Memories We Make (Modern Sky). Nadine Shah could collect her first Top 10 with fourth collection, Kitchen Sink (Infectious Music), at #9, while Grey Daze’s Amends (Loma Vista) is currently #17.

On the Official Singles midweek chart, it’s going to be a close race: While “Savage Love (Laxed Beat - Siren)” has moved up three places to #1, DaBaby f/Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar”  (Polydor) is just 317 sales behind.

The Rolling Stones’ “Living In A Ghost Town” (Universal) are new at #9 following the single’s physical release.

BLACKPINK start at #13 with “How You Like That” (Interscope) while Bring Me The Horizon’s “Parasite Eve” (Sony is just outside the Top 20 at #21.

BRIT AWARDS HEAD TO MAY
6/29/20

The 41st edition of the BRIT Awards has been moved to 5/11 from February to ensure the safety of workers and guests, offer a fairer opportunity to artists, and facilitate a mix of local and international performers. It will still take place at The O2 Arena in London.

Organisers made the decision to move the date following consultation with the music industry and show partners Mastercard, ITV and AEG. The awards eligibility period will be amended with further announcements to follow.

Speaking about the decision, Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI & BRIT Awards Ltd, said: “We want to make sure that The BRITs delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement that make it the biggest night in music. We believe that the best way to achieve this in 2021 is to move the show back a few months to May, and we are already at work planning a spectacular event that will remind us how important music has been in getting us all through these difficult times.”

U.K. CHARTS: DYLAN SETS RECORDS
6/26/20

Bob Dylan has his ninth #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with Rough and Rowdy Ways (Columbia) on 34k sales, breaking two records in the process. Over on singles, “Rockstar” (Polydor) by DaBaby f/Roddy Ricch has a sixth week at the top.

Of Dylan's 34,000 sales, 29,000 were on CD. As well as being placed alongside fellow nine-time chart-toppers ABBA and Queen, he is the oldest artist ever to score a #1 album of new original material. At 79 years old, he’s also the oldest male solo artist to land a #1 on the Official Albums Chart.

Neil Young takes the #2 spot as Homegrown (Silver Bow) is the week’s best-selling vinyl release; it’s  his 11th Top 10 album and highest charting collection since 1994’s Sleeps With Angels. Phoebe Bridgers lands a Top 40 album for the first time with Punisher (Dead Oceans) debuting at #6.

…Read more

SMITH TO LEAD DOWNTOWN
6/23/20

Downtown Music has appointed former Warner Chappell U.K. exec Mike Smith to the newly created position of Global President. He starts 9/1 and will continue to be based in London.

Smith will assume day-to-day operations for Downtown’s publishing division and reports directly to Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz. “For as long as I’ve been in the music industry, Mike has set the standard in cultivating strong relationships with some of the most influential songwriters, artists and producers, while also mentoring the next generation of global music executives,” Kalifowitz said.

Smith, who received the Sir George Martin Award at the 2016 A&R Awards, most recently served as Managing Director of Warner Chappell Music in the U.K. There, he oversaw the signings of Liam Gallagher, Dave, J Hus, Celeste and Foals.

…Read more

#LOVERECORDSTORES SPINS £1M
6/23/20

Independent U.K. music retailers pulled in more than £1m on Saturday’s #loverecordstores event, thanks to 83 limited edition new and reissued vinyl releases. More than 500,000 units were shipped to stores and retailers have reported that the vast majority of stock sold out within one hour of being made available online.

The aim of the event was to provide participating stores with a significant spike in customews and revenues in the absence of Record Store Day, which has been postponed until later this year. Alongside retail activity, online “instore” performances by a number of artists and exclusive DJs sets were broadcast throughout the day.

Music Venue Trust was also a beneficiary of the event with thousands of pounds raised for its #saveourvenues campaign from the sale of a range of specially commissioned T-shirts.

Jason Rackham, Managing Director of [PIAS] and one of the organizers behind the #loverecordstores campaign said: “We had really high hopes for our #loverecordstores event, but things exceeded even our most ambitious expectations. The feedback we’ve had from participating record stores has been phenomenal with reports of some doing a month’s business in less than an hour on Saturday.

"We always hoped this event would give record stores a boost and it’s definitely done that. We have been stunned by the generosity and commitment of artists and the wider music community, which was hugely enjoyed by music fans this weekend.”

Since the campaign launch in April, #LoveRecordStores became at one point the fifth most trending hashtag on TikTok and has to date received over 465m views. During the 24-hour event, click-through rates from socials increased by 70% with more than 635,000 impressions on Twitter and 375,000 on Instagram. Some of the artists who supported the social campaign included Bastille, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Tom Walker, Paul Weller and Steve Wilson.

ARTISTS TALK RACISM IN THE BIZ
6/22/20

Four black British female artists— Nadia Rose, Ray BLK, Alexandra Burke and Misha B—have spoken out about experiencing unequal opportunity, racist remarks and mistreatment in the music industry in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement protests.

Rose—who was once signed to Sony label Relentless and has since launched her own imprint—said that as a black artist, she has felt marginalized. Speaking on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch program last week, Rose said: “My situation at Sony wasn’t the best. I feel like we were constantly bumping heads. I didn’t feel very understood in that infrastructure.

“I feel like my white, especially male, counterparts were favored a lot of the time in that building. There were hardly any black employees there and it’s like if they see you’re a black artist, they are going to put you with the black A&R. But if [that A&R] is already dealing with two other black artists, they are just going to be like, ‘Oh the workload is too much for me,’ but they don’t want to give you to anyone else. To me, it felt very poisonous. It wasn’t good for my mental health. I wasn’t releasing the music I wanted to release and it was just a very uncomfortable time.”

…Read more

PPL'S MOST-PLAYED TRACKS OF 2019
6/22/20

Calvin Harris and Rag ’n’ Bone Man’s  “Giant” (Columbia) tops U.K. licensing company PPL’s list of most-played songs in 2019. Harris was the second most played artist overall behind Ed Sheeran at #1.

PPL’s annual charts are compiled from exclusive music usage and airplay data from radio stations and television channels as well as public performance locations such as pubs, clubs, bars, jukeboxes and shops across the U.K.

Sheeran tops the list for the fourth time in five years and is the only artist ever to do so. Sam Smith takes third place followed by Jess Glynne and P!nk

On the most played tracks chart there are three more collaborations: “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” (Columbia) by Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus at #2, followed by “Dancing With A Stranger” (Capitol) by Sam Smith and Normani, “I Don’t Care” (Atlantic/EMI) by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, and “Just You And I” (Relentless) by Tom Walker

PPL’s Most Played Tracks Chart of 2019

  1. “Giant” Calvin Harris and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
  2. “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” Mark Ronson f/Miley Cyrus
  3. “Dancing With A Stranger” Sam Smith and Normani
  4. “I Don’t Care” Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber
  5. “Just You And I” Tom Walker
  6. “Higher Love” Kygo and Whitney Houston
  7. “Sweet But Psycho” Ava Max
  8. “Someone You Loved” Lewis Capaldi
  9. “Don’t Call Me Up” Mabel
  10. “Walk Me Home” P!nk 

PPL’s Most Played Artist Chart of 2019 

  1. Ed Sheeran
  2. Calvin Harris
  3. Sam Smith
  4. Jess Glynne
  5. P!nk
  6. George Ezra
  7. Rita Ora
  8. Little Mix
  9. Coldplay
  10. Maroon 5