Five Finger Death Punch Challenges Lewis Capaldi on Midweek U.K. Albums Chart

Lewis Capaldi looks set for a return to the chart throne in the U.K., but he’s facing some unpredictable challengers.

Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (EMI) returns to No. 1 on the Official Chart Update, ahead of recordings by a metal band, a K-pop group, a veteran singer-songwriter and an electronica artist.

At the halfweek stage, Five Finger Death Punch enters at No. 2 with F8 (Better Noise) while BTSMap of the Soul: 7 (Bighit Entertainment) dips 1-3, James Taylor’s American Standard (Fantasy) debuts at No. 4 and Caribou’s new LP Suddenly (City Slang) completes the top 5.

Five Finger Death Punch’s eighth studio set is on track to give the U.S. rockers their highest charting album ever in the U.K., beating the No. 6 peak for Got Your Six, from 2015.

According to the OCC, Taylor’s first album in more than four years, American Standard, has bagged the most CD sales so far this week and could become the folk legend’s fifth U.K. top 10.

Caribou, the chillout project of Canadian producer Daniel Snaith, is the best-seller on vinyl through the first three days of the chart cycle, and is on track to beat his previous best, a No. 8 for 2014’s Our Love.

U.S. hip-hip artist Lil Baby is eyeing his first U.K. top 10 with My Turn (Capitol), his sophomore set. It’s new a No. 7 on the midweek list.

Over on the singles chart, The Weeknd looks set for another week at No. 1. The Canadian R&B singer’s “Blinding Lights” (Republic Records) holds top spot on the Official Singles Chart Update, ahead of Lady Gaga’s comeback song “Stupid Love” (Interscope), which starts at No. 2.

The Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts are published Friday, local time.

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker Extends Songwriter Deal With Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Tame Impala maestro Kevin Parker has extended his exclusive songwriter agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing to cover global representation of his future works.

The multihyphenate Western Australian artist originally signed with the music publishing giant for representation in Australia back in 2009, ahead of Tame Impala’s debut album release InnerSpeaker.

Parker’s career has been on the rise ever since. Tame Impala’s third album Currents, from 2015, was a global chart hit and scored the BRIT Award for best international group, beating out the likes of U2.

The psychedelic pop outfit’s latest album The Slow Rush opened at No. 1 in Australia last month and gave Parker and Co. career-best chart positions in the U.S. and U.K.

“I am a huge fan of Kevin Parker,” comments Jon Platt, chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV, in a statement. “He is an incredible songwriter whose impressive ascent with Tame Impala makes him one of the premier creators and musicians of the past decade. Kevin’s creative and professional relationship with Damian and the passionate team at Sony/ATV Australia has achieved great success, and we are well positioned globally to provide seamless support for this next dynamic phase of Kevin’s career.”

Recorded, produced and mixed by Parker, The Slow Rush debuted at No. 3 in the U.K. and U.S., and impacted the top 10 in Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Austria and elsewhere.

Having represented Parker in Australia for more than 10 years, Damian Trotter, managing director of Sony/ATV Australia says he’s “incredibly proud and excited that Sony/ATV is now extending our publishing agreement with Kevin for the rest of the world.” Parker, he adds, “is a once in a generation artist and I believe he is only just scratching the surface of his potential.”

As a writer and producer, Parker has worked with the likes of Travis Scott, SZA, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Kanye West, Kali Uchis, Theophilus London, Miguel and A$AP Rocky.

“I’m super excited to be re-signing with Sony/ATV and extending my relationship with them from Australia to worldwide. Damian Trotter has become my good friend and someone I can rely on to take good care of my words and melodies,” adds Parker. “It’s also an honor to now be working with such a legendary figure in music as Jon Platt.”

Tame Impala will support the new album with a north American trek, kicking off in May. The alternative rockers will warm up with an arena tour of Australia and New Zealand.

‘The Voice’ Recap: Nick Jonas and Kelly Clarkson Duke It Out Over Several Artists

NBC’s The Voice season 18 continued with the Blind Auditions on Monday night. Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas and John Legend continued to form their teams for the season, competing against one another to land the top talent.

One of the best performances of the night came from the very first artist: Allegra Miles, a 16-year-old singer with a musical family. She sang “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon, putting some of her own twists on it and accompanying herself on a keyboard. Clarkson turned first, but she was followed by Jonas. “You sounded so incredible,” Jonas said. Clarkson and Jonas have been lauding many of the same artists this season; in this instance, Jonas won out and landed Miles for Team Nick.

CammWess also impressed with his take on “Earned It” by The Weeknd. At first, only Legend turned for him, but Shelton decided to join at the very last second. Clarkson said she didn’t turn because CammWess’ falsetto reminded her so much of Legend’s, and she didn’t feel like she had a chance to get him on her team over Legend. “I’m willing to fall on my sword for you,” Shelton attempted. But CammWess indeed went with Team Legend.

That move might have inspired Shelton to pull out his block for the next artist he wanted. When Shelton turned for Joei Fulco’s performance of Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” he also used his only block of the auditions to prevent Jonas from getting her. Fulco admitted to having country-rock aspirations, so it worked out that she landed on Team Blake by default.

Country singer Sara Collins inspired another showdown between Jonas and Clarkson with her performance of “Johnny and June.” Clarkson has been trying to amass female country singers, so it made sense that she turned for her. Without Shelton in the shuffle, she snagged Collins easily for Team Kelly.

Clarkson and Jonas turned together again for Samantha Howell, who sang REO Speedwagon “Take It on the Run.” Clarkson wanted Howell badly enough that she used her block on Shelton. With that, the blocks were all used up by each coach. It was the right move, as Howell did join Team Kelly. Even though Jonas won out during the first audition of the night, Clarkson went on to best him multiple times.

There was no coach competition for the next artist, Jamal Corrie. Only Shelton turned during his performance of “Be Alright,” so he landed on Team Blake by default.

Clarkson and Jonas were back at it after Samuel Wilco’s performance of “Lately.” Clarkson was impressed by his control, but this time, Jonas prevailed. Wilco, who is retiring from the Army next year and is looking to further his music career, joined Team Nick.

Three artists did not receive turns during the episode, but the night ended with the much-anticipated four-chair turn for Thunderstorm Artis. He sang “Blackbird” and made the song completely his own, showcasing impressive artistry and sense of self for this stage in the competition. Artis was praised for his control, instrumentals and vocal tone. He landed on Team Legend, which was a big win for that team. Legend has been selective with his turns, and it is paying off so far.

The Blind Auditions continue Tuesday night.

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Opera Union Board Member Alleges Cover-up In Placido Domingo Scandal

A senior member of the main U.S. union that represents opera performers resigned Monday, accusing the leadership of a cover-up in its investigation into accusations of sexual harassment against superstar Plácido Domingo.

Samuel Schultz, a baritone and vice president of the American Guild of Musical Artists, had provided the full findings of the union’s investigation to The Associated Press, which he said AGMA’s leadership had planned to keep secret as part of an agreement with Domingo. Schultz said the deal involved the legendary tenor paying the union a $500,000 fine and issuing a negotiated public apology in exchange for the full details not being disclosed.

The union has said that money would have covered the cost of its 4-month investigation, which involved hiring outside counsel, and funding sexual harassment training. But Schultz called it hush money that did a disservice to the women who stepped forward.

“This is a quid pro quo — silence in exchange for money,” Schultz said in a resignation letter sent Monday to AGMA President Raymond Menard and National Executive Director Len Egert. “I found AGMA’s willingness to bury the details of the investigative report deeply betraying of the women who were sexually harassed by Domingo,” he wrote.

Schultz, who wrote that he was acting “as a sexual assault survivor myself,” provided a copy of his letter to the AP.

In a statement to the AP, Egert denied any cover-up, saying the investigation’s details were kept confidential to protect the identities of people who requested anonymity and that the union’s leaders also felt the settlement could avoid formal disciplinary charges against Domingo that would require an internal hearing.

“Regrettably, due to Mr. Schultz’s admitted breach of confidentiality, the witnesses will now need to determine whether or not they will testify at a disciplinary hearing to prove the charges against Mr. Domingo,” Egert said. The union filed disciplinary charges against Domingo on Friday, initiating a potentially lengthy process that could result in a fine, suspension, censure or expulsion.

The union’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations was one of two independent inquiries launched after multiple women accused Domingo of harassment and abusing his power in AP stories published last year. The second inquiry, still ongoing, was launched by Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo had been general director since 2003 before resigning in October.

Last week, AGMA said only that its investigators found Domingo had “engaged in inappropriate activity, ranging from flirtation to sexual advances, in and outside of the workplace.” Based on its findings, the union said, Domingo would “pay fines,” be suspended from the union for 18 months and undergo sexual harassment training.

According to people who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity, the investigation found that 27 people were sexually harassed or witnessed inappropriate behavior by Domingo in the 1990s and 2000s, when he held senior management positions at Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera. They said another 12 people told investigators they were aware of the star’s reputation and that it was common knowledge at the two companies.

Schultz’ resignation came after the union launched an inquiry into who leaked the investigation’s findings. In an internal email seen by the AP, Egert and Maynard said the deal fell apart because it “was expressly premised on AGMA’s promise to maintain confidentiality over the details of the investigatory report.”

Last week, Domingo apologized to the women who accused him of misconduct, after denying the allegations for months. “I want them to know that I am truly sorry,” he said. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

But two days later, as several Spanish concert halls moved to cancel his appearances, he issued a new statement saying his “apology was sincere and wholehearted,” but had generated a false impression. “I have never behaved aggressively toward anybody, nor have I ever done anything to obstruct or hurt the career of anybody,” he said.

Schultz said in his letter to Egert and Maynard that he felt they had “duped the board into believing Domingo was truly sorry,” adding, ”“As Domingo made clear when he retracted his apology, he is unrepentant and continues to believe that he did nothing wrong.”

In 2018, Schultz accused opera star David Daniels and Daniels’ husband, William Walters, of having drugged and raped him in May 2010 after a closing-night party at the Houston Grand Opera. Daniels, who denies the accusation, has since been indicted in Texas on a felony charge of sexual assault.

Warner Music Group’s Plans to Hold IPO Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise

Warner Music Group is putting its plans to go public on hold while the stock markets shake from fears of a pandemic, according to a report by Reuters on Monday (March 2).

Parent company Access Industries had planned to raise $100 million through a public stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange. But as the coronavirus has spread since that Feb. 6 announcement, the market’s interest in initial public offerings has looked increasingly less supportive. Warner declined to comment; it remains in the quiet period required by the SEC of companies before their public offering.

When Warner announced its plans to go public, it acted with a nonchalance befitting a financially healthy company. Warner doesn’t necessarily need the money like a startup is desperate for capital or a private equity firm seeks a payday for a highly leveraged takeover. Instead, Warner would take advantage of the bull market, allowing owner Len Blavatnik to capture some profits and bulk up cash reserves for possible acquisitions that would close the gap between itself and the two industry frontrunners, Universal Music Group (itself planning an IPO for 2023) and Sony Music Entertainment.

Before COVID-19 worries slammed the markets, a music company had two tailwinds at its back: First, the music industry finally has a great story to tell investors: our double-digit growth is driven by consumers’ subscriptions to primarily Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Second, the stock markets were hitting record heights and retaining dizzying momentum.

Now Warner is left to wait for the IPO window to open again. But who knows when that day comes? Stock markets have been perilous and volatile. Last week, the New York Stock Exchange shed 11.4% on news COVID-19 infections were reported in Italy and Iran. News of cases in the United States and heightened federal and state reactions did not reassure investors.

Fortunes turned on Monday as the NYSE rose 3.6% and the Dow Jones index recorded its largest-ever single-day point increase.

Warner can afford to delay an IPO until its valuation reaches $15 to $16 billion, the high end of Billboard’s estimate. Far from a cash-burning, mismanaged unicorn like WeWork, Warner has a sturdy income statement thanks to a rebounding music industry and steady management. In calendar year 2019, Warner posted operating income of $492 million, up 29.3% from the prior-year period, while growing revenue 9.5% from $4.17 billion to $4.61 billion. With steady numbers, and $462 million in cash on the books (on Dec. 31, 2019), it only makes sense Warner would wait for the right time to make its move.

‘The Voice’ Contestant Allegra Miles’ Voice Is So Stunning, You Won’t Believe She’s Only 16

The Voice contestant Allegra Miles may only be 16 years old, but as she sang Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” it was easy to tell her talent is way beyond her years.

That was the first thing coach Kelly Clarkson noticed, and the pop star turned her chair early in Miles’ audition. “I could tell you were really into the message, I was like, ‘Woah, someone so young could have that much depth. That’s so telling of your character and what you’re going to be like as an artist,” Clarkson noted, before the duo exchanged a sweet moment gushing over being fans of each other.

But the other coach who turned his chair around, Nick Jonas, was not ready to go down without a fight. When the 16-year-old mentioned that she comes from a musical family, Jonas grabbed onto their similarities by exclaiming, “A musical family? Interesting!”

They went on to discover that they both wrote their first songs when they were 12 years old, and Jonas guessed that the teen might be a Jonas Brothers fan, so he had the perfect anecdote to reel Miles in. “I don’t know if you know this, but I also wrote one of my first songs when I was 12. It’s a song called ‘S.O.S.'”

The reference to the Jonas Brothers’ smash hit seemed to be enough to sway Miles, who ultimately chose Nick as her coach for this season. Watch her whole audition below.


Harry Styles’ ‘Harryween’ Costume Idea Is Inspired by This Netflix Show

Harry Styles will be celebrating the spookiest night of the year in New York City, with two “fancy dress parties” coming up at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 30 and 31.

When asked by which cities he’s most looking forward to performing in this year, Styles named his show at the Big Apple. “There’s always just an electric atmosphere when you’re playing in New York,” he admitted.

Talking about “Harryween” specifically, he said, “I think we’ll get as many people who are coming as possible to dress up. I’ll be dressed up. The band will be dressed up. I’ve got some ideas.”

And what are said ideas? One is the Navarro cheer team from Netflix’s hit docuseries, Cheer, with the pop superstar dressing as fan-favorite Jerry.