Music Week’s round-up of essential music biz stories you might have missed over the festive period...
Hasbro has completed its acquisition of Entertainment One. The deal, valued at $3.8 billion (£2.9bn), was being assessed by the UK Competitions and Markets Authority.
The deal by the US toy giant includes eOne’s music division, a roster that includes artists such as Wu-Tung Clan, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Emily Haines and Soulja Boy. Death Row Records is part of Entertainment One.
Amazon Music has scored a No.1 single with its exclusive Ellie Goulding cover of River. Goulding’s version of the Joni Mitchell classic was only available on Amazon Music, Amazon’s download store and YouTube, where it’s accompanied by a video of the singer creating a zero-waste Christmas tree from plastic and recycled objects found on the Dungeness coastline.
Paul Firth, director of Amazon Music, Europe, said: “We’re passionate about working with artists from all genres to create unique, Amazon Originals that our customers will enjoy and it’s great to see that so many people love Ellie’s take on this classic song. Amazon Music is a popular destination for Christmas music and we’re thrilled to see this beautiful track become the final No.1 song of 2019 and the decade.”
According to Official Charts Company data, the track would have been No.14 but reached the summit because of ACR rules for older tracks, which meant Christmas catalogue favourites lost out in the chart race.
UK Music hires Edwards
Andy Edwards has been named UK Music’s new director of research and analysis. Edwards has worked across all sides of the music business during a career that spans over 25 years, including record labels and artist management.
He has contributed to UK Music’s Research Working Group since its inception in 2012 and has chaired the Futures Group, which brings together young creators, executives and entrepreneurs from across the industry.
Edwards will lead research and analysis on UK Music’s Music By Numbers report, and work with UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce to produce the industry-wide Diversity Report for 2020.
Harry Styles’ sophomore album Fine Line (Columbia) is spending a second week at the top of the US albums chart.
The album by the Music Week cover star debuted on the US chart with more than 478,000 equivalent album units. It was the biggest sales week for a solo UK male artist since Nielsen Music began tracking data in 1991. Fine Line had the third highest debut for any artist in the US last year.
Neil Innes (1944-2019)
Neil Innes has died aged 75. A family spokesperson said he passed away unexpectedly. Innes was best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Rutles and collbaborations with Monty Python.
"It is with deep sorrow and great sadness that we have to announce the death of Neil James Innes on 29 December 2019," said a family statement. "We have lost a beautiful, kind, gentle soul whose music and songs touched the heart of everyone and whose intellect and search for truth inspired us all.”
During the Christmas period, the songwriting community also lost Allee Willis, who died aged 72. Willis co-wrote I’ll Be There For You for The Rembrandts, which was used as the Friends theme song.
Composer and lyricist Jerry Herman (Hello Dolly!, La Cage Aug Folles) died aged 88.
LP sleeve designer Vaughan Oliver, who worked with 4AD over three decades, has died aged 62. Oliver also designed iconic sleeves including Pixies’ Doolittle.
Spinnin’ v Martin Garrix
The Higher Court in Leeuwarden, Netherlands has ruled on appeal that Martin Garrix had no legal right to break his agreements prematurely with Spinnin’ Records and MusicAllStars Management.
The ruling confirms that the production and management agreements with the DJ were established correctly and complied with by Spinnin’ Records and MusicAllStars Management. The accusation by Garrix that agreements were unreasonable was also rejected.
According to the Higher Court, the agreements expired in mid-2015 and not before.