Overnight news from around the world

Overnight news from around the world

Tributes pour in for Prince

Tributes have continued to flow following the death of music icon Prince, who passed away in his home in Chanhassen, Minneapolis yesterday. Warner Bros. Records, who released the majority of the superstar’s albums, led the official statements, while everyone from US President Barack Obama to Spotify shared something online.

Cameron Strang, chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Records, said: "Today, we lost one of the most revolutionary talents of our time. Prince’s untimely passing is deeply shocking, reminding us that unique artists who chart their own course and move culture are precious few and irreplaceable.

"He leapt onto the scene in 1978 and it didn’t take the world long to realize that pop music had changed forever. He played the studio like an instrument and shattered the definition of live performance. He defined a new kind of superstardom, with a transformative impact not just on music, but on video, film, and style.

"Prince was the epitome of cool and mystery - an inspirational soul who created his own universe by bringing together different genres, races and cultures with a purity of sound and spirit unlike any other. His visionary gifts as a songwriter, vocalist, musician, performer and producer placed him in a league all his own.

"We are honored to have had Prince as a member of the Warner Bros. Records family during two eras of his astonishing career. We express our deepest condolences to everyone who loved him and join his family, friends and legion of fans in mourning his loss."

David Renzer, former chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group and now chairman of Spirit Music Group, who signed him to a publishing deal in 2005, told Music Week: "I signed him and even managed to renew the deal (for a small fortune!) in 2008 or 2009. I signed the first deal at a house in Beverly Hills he was renting at his dining table after his chef served us a superb meal. A lawyer was involved but Prince really was driving the process. I spent many long hours hanging with him. He could be incredibly gracious or incredibly difficult -- especially when railing against the many industry practises he had issues with. But always charismatic and one if best live performers I've ever seen. Best was watching him perform in the living room of his rented Beverly Hills mansion. It was like a private concert. Many stories..."

Neil Portnow, president & CEO of The Recording Academy, said: “Our Grammy family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of seven-time Grammy Award winner Prince. Today, we remember and celebrate hi, as one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time. Never one to conform, he redefined and forever change our musical landscape. Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his incredible work.”

Clive Davis, who released Prince's 1999 album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic via Artista Records, took to Instagram to say: "Prince was peerless as a musician, performer and songwriter. He was clearly one of the all-time greats, always mesmerizing, magical and cutting edge. He was one-of-a-kind in every respect. To know Prince personally was to know someone kind and gentle, phenomenally brilliant and intellectually curious, with every bone in his body loving music. The world of music has tragically lost one of its greatest defining members."

James Donio, president of the Music Business Association (Music Biz), commented in a statement: “In a year that has already brought the devastating losses of music luminaries such as David Bowie, George Martin, Merle Haggard, Natalie Cole, Glenn Frey, Maurice White, and Keith Emerson, Music Biz is once again deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Prince. He was a totally unique, ??iconic artist and brilliant innovator. Over the course of his four-decade career, Prince racked up 16 Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 (including four #1s), 19 Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (including five #1s), and a whopping 16 Platinum albums, including the incomparable 13x-Platinum Purple Rain. These numbers are impressive, but frankly, his true impact is completely immeasurable. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans around the world. His legacy should inspire future generations to break down the barriers of formula and embrace a spirit of musical invention.”

In the UK, the BPI used several Twitter posts to say: “Prince was hugely innovative & in following his own path, he pushed musical boundaries in extraordinary ways & consistently broke new ground. A virtuoso in any instrument he played, Prince fused different musical styles to create a unique sound & influenced a generation of artists. Prince’s live shows were extraordinary & never disappointed his devoted fans. His enduring legacy in music’s pantheon of greats is assured. You will be missed Prince. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans.” 

Paul Williams, ASCAP president and chairman, said: "Prince was that rare artist who created his own musical universe and invited us all to experience it. His phenomenal talents as a songwriter, producer, musician and performer gave us an opportunity to witness true creative genius. He will be missed, but he leaves behind music that elevates us all, and for that we are forever grateful.”  

Michele Anthony, EVP, Universal Music Group, said, "I'm deeply saddened that we have lost one of our generation's most special artists. Over the past 24 years, I have been honored to work with Prince in a number of roles and I can say without question that he was the most brilliantly gifted musician, performer, songwriter and producer. The level of perfectionism and meticulousness that he brought to each of his many disciplines was unlike anything I have ever seen -- and I doubt very much that I will ever see again. He will be deeply missed by fans and artists alike."

Sony Music Entertainment also issued a statement: "Prince was a revolutionary and an iconic artist. He boldly transcended every conceivable boundary of genre and expectation to make music that uniquely was his own and ranks among the greatest of his generation – or any other. This is a tremendous loss for lovers of music everywhere. The Sony Music family joins the world in mourning his passing."

Tidal, which received Prince’s last album as an exclusive and has much of the icon’s back catalogue available for streaming, said online: “A genius, innovator, creator, family member, Prince will be truly missed. He shared his creative vision and asked for nothing in return. With heavy hearts – prayers and blessings go to all those around the world that share the same love as us. Let’s celebrate a legend.”

We’ll continue to post coverage throughout the day as more tributes continue to come in.



UMG promotes Barak Moffitt to EVP, Content Strategy & Operations

Universal Music Group (UMG) has promoted Barak to the newly created position of executive vice president of content strategy and operations, effective immediately. Moffitt will be based at the company’s headquarters in Santa Monica and report jointly to Boyd Muir, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and executive vice president Michele Anthony. In his expanded role, Moffitt will work closely with UMG’s label groups and commercial services division to maximise revenue and create new commercial opportunities for audio-visual content across brands, direct-to-consumer experiences, live events, merchandise and licensing. Moffitt will coordinate these efforts across the company’s repertoire, talent and renown studio and production facilities. In addition, Moffitt will continue to oversee UMG strategic operations, working across the company’s major label groups and studios to maximize the value of core music and audio assets. For many years, Moffitt ran the legendary Capitol Studios and Mastering in Hollywood, where he balanced the studio’s iconic heritage with state of the art capabilities, and leveraged the studios as strategic business units for UMG and its artists. Before joining UMG, Moffitt worked as a senior executive at EMI, where he led major strategic initiatives in rights management, studios and production, music publishing and technology. 

Kygo partners with Shazam for debut album release

Shazam has partnered with Norwegian artist Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, aka Kygo, on the release of his debut album, Cloud Nine - out May 13 via Ultra/RCA. As a Shazam Verified Artist, Kygo will spotlight his album collaborators by Shazaming tracks from each featured artist on his Shazam feed, offering followers and the Shazam community an inside look at how his music is made. Collaborators include: Parson James, Tom Odell, Kodaline, Conrad Sewell, John Legend, James Vincent McMorrow, Foxes, Rhodes, Matt Corby, Maty Noyes, Will Heard, Labrinth, Julia Michaels, Angus & Julia Stone. Kygo was previously crowned Spotify’s Breakout Artist of 2015, as songs such as Firestone feat. Conrad helped him become the fastest artist to reach 1 billion streams on the service.

IMPF expresses "concern" over Sony/ATV deal

The Independent Music Publishers Forum, which represents independent music publishers worldwide, has joined Warner Music Group and Impala in expressing its "concern" regarding the agreement between Sony Corp. and the estate of Michael Jackson for the purchase of the remaining shares of its catalogue in Sony/ATV. For IMPF, the transaction, worth an estimated $750m would lead to a "concentration of catalogue in the hands of Sony/ATV, a company which arguably holds some 30% of the music publishing market," and would "put further strain on pricing and give Sony ATV even more negotiating power on deal terms with over the top companies in the music market". Pierre Mossiat, president of Brussels-based IMPF said: "IMPF intends to complain to the European Commission over the acquisition which needs to be carefully considered not only on the grounds of the distortion of the market it will cause, and in particular to independent music publishers, but also in the long run, the risk of reduced consumer choice and increased prices."

International Music Summit launches educational initiative

International Music Summit is adding IMS College - Malta to its portfolio of events - a new educational initiative on the Mediterranean island of Malta on July 1-3. IMS College - Malta aims to bring together the world’s bright, young minds for an intensive learning experience to give the next generation of electronic music creators and professionals the tools and knowledge to assist their career. The initiative is partnered with leading music production schools Point Blank Music School and SAE, who will provide instructors from their respective schools. Days one and two of IMS College - Malta will be filled with immersive panels, which will also be coupled with a series of parties on the Maltese island. Starting on Friday and running straight through to Sunday evening, several parties will bring students face-to-face with top-tier talents of the industry, including a special boat party and closing party on Sunday afternoon.  

10 killer quotes from MUSEXPO 2016

The 2016 MUSEXPO conference in Los Angeles sparked many a fiery debate with its panel and keynote programme, featuring leading executives from around the world. Here’s a selection of some of the most attention-grabbing soundbites…

"I am really wary of China. They have one of the most conservative governments they’ve ever had. They can withdraw [concert] licences overnight." Neil Warnock - head of worldwide music, United Talent Agency 

"I have just cleared a Beatles song for a feature and that was costly. I have not been able to clear a Neil Young song yet but I do not give up." Alex Patsavas – founder, Chop Shop Music Supervision

“There’s a difference between music and records. Music is my religion, records are my industry.” Ron Fair, president/founder, Faircraft Music

“Data’s not going to discover the new David Bowie. That’s always going to be the domain of passionate individuals.” Chris Price, head of music, BBC Radio 1/1Xtra

“I hate categories in music because it limits you. There’s only two categories: good and bad.” Seymour Stein, chairman, Sire Records and VP, Warner Bros Records

“It takes just as much time and effort to fail as it does to succeed.” Jordan Berliant, co-founder, Revelation Management Group

“At Electric Daisy Carnival, the fans are our headliners.” John Boyle, chief growth officer and interim CFO, Imsomniac

“My timing [in joining KROQ] was great. It was the start of grunge and you really couldn’t screw it up.” Kevin Weatherly, SVP programming, CBS Radio and programme director, KROQ

“Bidding wars lead to deals that aren’t sustainable, however much you might believe in the writer.” Kathy Spanberger, president/COO, Peermusic

“Our job is to get the right music for the show. I don’t pick a song because I think it will get retweeted or get 10,000 Spotify looks.” Gary Calamar, president, Go! Music Services

Music Week will partner with A&R Worldwide to bring you MUSEXPO Europe in London on September 18-20.


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