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ALICIA KEYS TO
HOST GRAMMYS
A first time for everything. (1/15a)
UNIVERSAL'S U.K. CLASS OF 2019
Newcomers to watch. (1/15a)
I.B. BAD ON MUSIC’S
BIGGEST FIGHT
Superstars, where are you? (1/16a)
 BRIT AWARDS:
ALL THE NOMINEES
George Ezra and Anne-Marie lead the way. (1/14a)
HE'S WHO: BRANCA NAMED WORLD’S TOP MUSIC LAWYER
The Marquis de Song. (1/16a)
THE NEW PUB WORLD
Serious musical chairs.
CURATING GRAMMY PERFORMANCES
The calculus of awards, ratings and moments.
THE FIRST BIG RELEASE OF 2019
...is not what you'd expect.
THE NEW SUPERSTARS
The old pop rules just don't apply.
Blighty Beat
BRIT AWARDS:  ALL THE NOMINEES
1/14/19

 

The 2019 BRIT Award nominations are in, with Anne-MarieGeorge Ezra and Jorja Smith counting three apiece. There are also multiple nods for Florence + the MachineLittle MixThe 1975Dua Lipa and Clean Bandit.

This year’s event takes place in London on 2/20, when the winners will be announced. Last year’s ceremony was a home run for Warner, with the label taking six of the 11 trophies. The year prior, Sony rolled out of the O2 Arena with seven. Who will be crowned king this year?

In the main categories for British Album, Group, Male and Female Solo Artist and Breakthrough Act, there are nine independent entries, followed by Universal with seven and Sony and Warner with five apiece.

...Read more

YOUTUBE ACCELERATES MANAGERS
1/14/19

YouTube plied the up and coming British music management community last week with drinks and snacks and cold hard cash to celebrate the launch of its Accelerator Programme, which has awarded 24 managers grants of up to £15k to help develop their business as well as training and mentoring over 12 months. The happy beneficiaries are pictured here alongside Paul Craig of Nostromo Management & Music Managers' Forum Chair, Kwame Kwaten, Ferocious Management & MMF Vice Chair, and MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick.

Drawn from across England and Scotland, the successful applicants include managers for Mammút, Poppy Ajudha, Voyager, TENDER, Puma Blue,Declan Walsh and the Decadent West, Moses Boyd, Brookes Brothers, Polar, LYRA, Shakka, SPINN, Murkage Dave, MATHS TIME JOY and IDER.

OCTAVIAN TAKES SOUND OF '19 TITLE
1/11/19

British rapper Octavian has been crowned winner of BBC Music’s Sound of 2019, with King Princess, Grace Carter, slow thai and Rosalia completing the Top 5. The artist is signed to Sony label Black Butter and managed by Palm Artists.

Octavian released his first full-length mixtape, Spaceman, last year, and has been championed by Drake as well as BBC radio DJs Annie Mac, Phil Taggart and DJ Target.

...Read more

U.K. MARKETSHARE IN 2018
1/7/19

How did the U.K. major labels fare in marketshare in 2018? Here’s the lowdown: Universal was up 1.2% on 2017, Sony was down 2.8%, Warner was down 0.5% and the independent sector rose 2.1%. 

The stats for 2018 come courtesy of the Official Charts Company and were first printed in U.K. trade title Music Week. They are as of chart week 50 (week ending 12/14) and, as always, we’re using the AES all albums figure. 

…Read more

U.K.'S BIGGEST SELLERS OF 2018
1/3/19

The Top 10 of the U.K.’s best-selling albums in 2018 shows the extent to which compilations and soundtracks ruled last year, alongside the ongoing popularity of U.S. hip-hop acts, leaving little space for homegrown artist albums.

The Greatest Showman was the best-selling album in the U.K. last year with 1.6m sales, according to data from the Entertainment Retailers' Association. George Ezra,  the only British artist with an album released last year to make the Top 10, is #2 with Staying at Tamara’s (Columbia), followed by Ed Sheeran with his 2017 release Divide (Atlantic) at #3.

Half of the Top 10 singles list were releases from British artists, with “One Kiss” (Columbia/Warner Bros.) by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa crowned the year’s best-selling single with 1.57m sales.

…Read more

RCA'S JAKE WITH BUGG
1/2/19

British troubadour Jake Bugg has switched to Sony’s RCA  from Universal label Virgin EMI  ahead of the release of his fifth album. The news was reported by U.K. tabloid The Sun, and reunites Bugg with the team that worked on his hugely successful launch at MercuryJason Iley and Adrian Jolly.

Bugg released his #1 debut in 2012, hit #3 with the follow-up in 2013, then #4 with the third and #7 with the latest in 2017, after which his deal at Universal came to an end.

RCA is where Jolly, who first signed Bugg as A&R Manager at the now defunct Mercury, presides as Head of A&R. Sony U.K. President Iley also played a key role in Bugg’s success during his time as Head of Mercury.

According to The Sun, Bugg is working with producer Andrew Watt (Post Malone, Cardi B) for his new material.

 

U.K. CHARTS: BABY SNAKES TO #1
12/21/18

Well, this is a surprise. The U.K. Official Christmas #1 single has been claimed by YouTube personality LadBaby with his charity version of Starships' “We Built This City” shifting 75k combined sales, a huge 93% of which were downloads.

Proceeds from the sales of “We Built This City”—which references British "delicacy" sausage rolls instead of rock & roll—will go to food bank charity The Trussell Trust. The remaining 7% of sales were made up of audio and video streams. It’s the first novelty song to claim the festive spot since Bob the Builder did so with “Can We Fix It?” in 2000. 

Over on albums, The Greatest Showman (Atlantic) records its best sales week yet. 

…Read more

U.K. MIDWEEKS: MAX LEADS RACE
12/18/18

The race for the U.K.’s Official Christmas #1 single is a battle between Ava Max, Ariana Grande… and a novelty song by YouTube personality LadBaby. Over on albums, Bruce Springsteen has the highest new midweek entry at #2.

Max is currently leading the way on singles with “Sweet But Psycho” (Atlantic) ahead by just 978 combined sales. At #2 is LadBaby—a dad of two from Nottingham who has built up a sizeable following on YouTube with his videos documenting parenthood. His track is a northern version of Starship’s “We Built This City,” but dedicated to sausage rolls instead of rock & roll, naturally. It’s all in the name of charity with proceeds going to food bank network The Trussell Trust. 

Ariana Grande is just 508 combined sales behind at #3 with “thank u, next” (Island) and she's also new at #4 with “Imagine.” While LadBaby is #1 on iTunes, the track is nowhere to be seen on Spotify’s U.K. Top 50 where Mariah Carey is top with “All I Want for Christmas is You” (Columbia), which is #5 on Monday’s Official Chart update.

…Read more