Migos Drops Lawsuit Against Talent Lawyer

Migos have dropped their suit against longtime talent lawyer Damien Granderson.

Quavious Marshall (Quavo), Kiari Cephus (Offset) and Kirsnick Ball (Takeoff) in July sued Granderson along with his current firm, Granderson Des Rochers, and his previous one, Davis Shapiro, alleging that “excessive fees” were charged without a proper written agreement and that the attorney failed to disclose conflicts of interest arising from his representation of their label, Quality Control Music.

The dispute centered on a deal they signed in 2014, when they were in their late teens and early 20s. Since then, the “Bad and Boujee” artists have topped charts and are preparing to drop their fourth album, the release of which has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice back in November, leaving the door open for a future claim. On Wednesday they filed another request for dismissal, this time with prejudice. Neither party has commented yet, but this pattern generally arises when a tentative settlement has been reached but the specific deal points haven’t been finalized. That way, if the deal falls apart the plaintiff can revive litigation.

The terms of their agreement have not been disclosed.

Migos was represented by Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman, and Granderson and his firm were repped by a team from London Fischer.

This article originally appeared in THR.com.

Wu-Tang Clan T-shirts Are Infuriating Chinese Officials

A ruckus brought by China over Canadian T-shirts bearing an altered logo of the New York hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan continued Wednesday (Feb. 3), with China’s Foreign Ministry saying it didn’t buy Canada’s explanation that the shirts were not an insult linked to the coronavirus.

Canada’s Foreign Ministry said this week that the shirts using the “W” logo of the Wu-Tang Clan but with the group’s name replaced with “Wuhan” was not intended as a slight. It apologized for any misunderstanding.

The Chinese-made T-shirts were reportedly ordered last summer by someone at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and word of them began circulating recently on the internet in China.

Chinese critics say the “W” is actually a bat and the shirt is meant to imply a connection between the animals and the virus outbreak in the city of Wuhan, playing on a stereotype about the Chinese taste for eating exotic species. The virus that causes COVID-19 is suspected of originating in bats and its outbreak was first detected in Wuhan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Wednesday told reporters that Canada’s explanation thus far was ”not convincing.”

“The wrongdoing of the Canadian staff concerned has already caused an egregious impact and triggered strong resentment and discontent among the ordinary Chinese people,” Wang said. “The Canadian side should take the matter seriously and give a clear explanation to the Chinese side as soon as possible.”

On Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Christelle Chartrand said in a statement that “The T-shirt logo designed by a member of the Embassy shows a stylized W, and is not intended to represent a bat. It was created for the team of Embassy staff working on repatriation of Canadians from Wuhan in early 2020.”

“This was a personal initiative from an employee and this was not endorsed by the Embassy nor Global Affairs Canada. We regret the misunderstanding,” Chartrand said in an email.

The controversy is a further irritant to relations between the countries that have nosedived in the past two years over China’s demand that Canada release a top executive of communications giant Huawei who is wanted on fraud charges in the United States.

Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company’s founder, denies the charges. China says her case is politically motivated as part of a U.S. effort to stifle the nation’s global economic expansion. Her lawyers argue she has been subjected to abuse of process and should be freed.

Canada arrested Meng at Vancouver’s airport in late 2018. In apparent retaliation, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor, placed restrictions on various Canadian exports to China, and sentenced a convicted Canadian drug smuggler to death in a sudden retrial.

Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Cry Baby’ Music Video Is a Trip In Toy Shop: Watch

No more tears, the “Cry Baby” video is here.

Dropping late Wednesday, “Cry Baby” reunites Megan Thee Stallion with Colin Tilley, the filmmaker behind eye-popping videos for her singles “WAP,” “Body” and “Don’t Stop”.

Buckle up, because it’s a real trip. Tilley’s creation is a blast of color, splashed across a psychedelic toy shop filled with twerking toys. Think Alice in Wonderland for (naughty) adults.

With an assist from DaBaby, the “Cry Baby” single is lifted from Megan’s debut album Good News, which opened at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last year.

Since its release, the track has amassed over 120 million streams, and ignited the viral #CryBabyChallenge, which counts the likes of City Girls’ Yung Miami and Mulatto among its willing participants.

The Houston rapper recently jumped on a remix of Ariana Grande’s “34+35″ and she’s been showing off the results of her lockdown exercise regime with a string of “Hottie Bootcamp” videos.

“Cry Baby” features a cameo from Instagram comedian BlameitonKWay and can be seen in full below.

Taylor Swift Sued by Utah Theme Park Over ‘Evermore’ Album Title

A fantasy theme park in Utah is suing Taylor Swift, claiming she infringed its “Evermore” trademark when she released her latest album with that title in December.

Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove, Utah, is an immersive-experience theme park that opened in 2018 where performers portray characters to create an interactive fantasy world. Since 2015, it has held a variety of trademarks for the “Evermore” brand covering clothing, park services and entertainment services including live visual and audio performances by an actor.

Not only did Swift use “Evermore” to promote her own merchandise, the park claims that since Swift released her album evermore it created “actual confusion” around its own trademark. Visitors asked staff whether the album “was the result of a collaboration between Evermore and Taylor Swift or some other type of relationship,” the suit states. And on the day of the evermore album release (Dec. 10), the park says traffic on its website spiked 330.4% in comparison to traffic on the previous day.

While one may think that’s a good thing for the park, the suit addresses that too. When Swift’s counsel responded to a cease-and-desist letter sent by the park on Dec. 29, the suit says they claimed, “If anything, your client’s website traffic has actually increased as a result of the release of Ms. Swift’s recent album which, in turn could only serve to enhance your client’s mark.”

To this idea that the park is “receiving a benefit from Defendant’s promotion of its trademark,” the park says Swift’s team shows a “misunderstanding of trademark law.” To back this, the lawsuit cites Audi v. D’Amato (2004), which states, “The Court finds that the loss sustained by a trademark holder from the unauthorized use of its trademarks is the loss of the trademark holder’s ability to control its reputation. In the context of trademark litigation, grounds for irreparable harm include loss of control of reputation, loss of trade, and loss of goodwill, regardless of whether the infringer is putting the mark to a good or favorable use.”

Since the theme park’s trademark specifically covers “live visual and audio performances by an actor,” the lawsuit is sure to identify Swift as an “actor,” citing her acting in the “willow” video and other credits in film and TV.

The lawsuit also cites two original music scores that the park commissioned under the “Evermore” trademark and sells and streams online, claiming Swift’s album has made those releases harder to find. And it points to Swift’s “willow” music video, where she emerges from a hole in a tree, saying it mimics the art from those albums the park released.

“Despite her publicly stated concerns for small and struggling artists facing larger and better-funded opponents,” the lawsuit states, “Ms. Swift now seeks to bury the previously released Evermore albums created by Evermore and misappropriate the EVERMORE Trademark with no compensation to Evermore because the company is facing ‘financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic’ and cannot afford to engage in protracted litigation.”

Swift’s team responded to the suit, calling it “frivolous” in a statement to Billboard. It cited a Utah Business report stating park founder and CEO Ken Bretschneider has had at least five lawsuits filed against him and the Evermore group by major construction companies, claiming they are owed between $28,000 and $400,000 in construction, mechanic and landscaping fees. Smaller subcontractors who did work on the park have also filed more than 20 construction liens on the Evermore property, according to the story.

“The true intent of this lawsuit should be obvious,” said a Swift spokesperson.

The lawsuit is seeking to prevent Swift’s further use of the “Evermore” trademark and statutory damages of $2 million per “counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold,” or a portion of revenues derived from use of the trademark plus costs and fees.

Brothers Osborne’s T.J. Osborne Gets Love From Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves & More After Coming Out

After T.J. Osborne of country duo Brothers Osborne came out as gay in a new Time interview published Wednesday (Feb. 3), dozens of his country peers took to social media to celebrate his honesty.

“I’m very comfortable being gay,” Osborne told Time. “I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don’t have a problem with. That feels so strange.”

Kacey Musgraves tweeted that Osborne is “one of my best friends and one of the bravest people I know,” while Dierks Bentley shared a photo onstage with T.J. and the message “Love this guy right here … Happy you are telling your story dude.”

LeAnn Rimes, who has been part of the country world since her 1996 breakthrough at age 13, wrote, “TJ, I hope you feel so supported today. It’s a brave thing to be wholly you in a world and industry that would rather you hide pieces of you behind a mask.”

See more reactions — including from Maren Morris, Carly Pearce and fellow out artists Brandy Clark, Chely Wright and Ty Herndon — below:

Spotify’s Market Value Drops $5.3B Due to Underwhelming 2021 Guidance

Spotify’s share price dropped as much as 9% on Wednesday (Feb. 3) following the company’s earnings release for the fourth quarter of 2020. By the end of the day, Spotify traded at $317.56, down 7.97% from Tuesday’s closing price, and lost $5.27 billion of market capitalization.

Investors didn’t drive the price down because of Spotify’s 2020 financial performance. In fact, Spotify dealt with the pandemic well and likely benefited from consumers’ broader shift to streaming media, mainly on-demand video services such as Netflix and Disney+. Revenue hit $9.48 billion and subscriptions increased by an impressive 11 million — the most in four quarters — to 155 million, hitting forecasts for revenue and subscriber growth in the fourth quarter. That average revenue per user was down $0.19 from the prior year matters less when Spotify is opening in new markets and adding subscriptions — many of them family plans — at a good clip.

Instead, Spotify share price fell because its guidance on 2021 revenue and subscribers was lower than analysts expected. After closing 2020 with 345 million monthly active users, Spotify forecasts that number will grow to between 407 million and 427 million by the end of 2021 with $10.8 billion to $11.3 billion in revenue — up 14% to 19% from 2020.

For example, J.P. Morgan’s Dough Anmuth had forecast 161 million subscribers in 2021; Spotify’s guidance was 155 million to 158 million. That difference of 3 million to 6 million subscribers between forecasts and expectations equates to $184 million to $368 million in annual revenue.

It is common for a company’s stock price to sink after releasing strong financial results but failing to meet expectations for the future. Even if Spotify’s quarterly earnings show growth during the pandemic, estimates on future earnings determine how investors value a company and price its stock.

Of course, Spotify’s share price will swing as its outlook changes. CEO Daniel Ek emphasized during Wednesday’s earning call that 2021 is hard to gauge. Even though 2021 “will bring more uncertainty than any other year,” Ek remains optimistic because Spotify “exceed[ed] almost all expectations in 2020,” he added, “and I believe we can do the same in 2021.”

All the Joint Projects to Hit No. 1 on Top Latin Albums, From Juan Gabriel & Rocio Durcal to Anuel AA & Ozuna

Anuel AA and Ozuna’s Los Dioses joins an exclusive list of collaborative projects that have topped Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart.

The pair’s first team-up is just the ninth collab album to reach No. 1 on Top Latin Albums since the chart started in 1993. Further, it’s the third collaborative album to top the list since 2017, following a dry spell where no collaborative albums hit No. 1 for seven years. Elsewhere on the Feb. 6-dated chart landscape, Los Dioses launches at No. 1 on Latin Rhythm Albums and arrives at No. 10 on the all-genre Billboard 200.

From Juan Gabriel and Rocio Durcal’s Juntos Otra Vez to Anuel AA and Ozuna Los Dioses, take a look at all the collaboration albums that have scored No. 1s on the tally below:

Artists, Title, Debut/Peak Date

Juan Gabriel and Rocío Durcal, Juntos Otra Vez, May 24, 1997

Frequent collaborators Juan Gabriel and Rocio Durcal, released their two-disc album in April 1997. One month later, the set, which includes tracks such as “La Incertidumbre,” “Te Sigo Amando” and “Sabes Por Qué?,” hit No. 1 on May 24, 1997.

Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban, Mambo Sinuendo, Feb. 15, 2003

Released by Cuban artist Manuel Galbán and producer Ry Cooder, Mambo Sinuendo won the Grammy Award for best pop instrumental album at the 46th Grammy Awards. The album scored Galbán his first No. 1 on Top Latin Albums and the second for Cooder. He scored his first No. 1 with Buena Vista Social Club in 1998.

Los Temerarios and Los Bukis, 20 Inolvidables, April 26, 2003

Twenty unforgettable tracks — including “Infame Engaño,” “Dímelo,” “Yo Te Necesito” and “Como Fui A Enamorarme De Ti” — are featured on this compilation album released by Mexican grupero artists Los Temerarios and Los Bukis. 20 Inolvidables became the second No. 1 album for Los Bukis and the fourth for Los Temerarios on the Top Latin Albums chart.

Bronco & Los Bukis, Crónica De Dos Grandes, Feb. 21, 2004

This compilation album was released by Los Bukis and Bronco on Feb. 3, 2004. Featuring some of the respective band’s classics such as “Adoro” and “Como Me Haces Falta,” Crónica De Dos Grandes became the third No. 1 album for Los Bukis and the second for Bronco on the chart.

Luny Tunes & Tainy, Más Flow: Los Benjamins, Oct. 14, 2006

Reggaeton hitmakers Luny Tunes released this third compilation album on Sept. 26, 2006, under Machete Music. The star-studded album features artists such as Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Wisin & Yandel and Tito El Bambino, among others. The chart-topping album was co-produced by Tainy.

The Chieftains feat. Ry Cooder, San Patricio, March 27, 2010

Irish group The Chieftains and Cooder joined forces to release San Patricio in 2010 featuring collaborations with Linda Ronstadt, Lila Downs, Los Tigres del Norte and Los Cenzontles, among others. The album tells the story of the San Patricio battalion, a group of immigrants of European descent who deserted the U.S. Army in 1846 and crossed the border to be part of the Mexican army against the United States in the Mexican-American War.

Gloria Trevi & Alejandra Guzmán, Versus, July 22, 2017

To coincide with their epic joint trek that kicked off in 2017, Mexican stars Gloria Trevi and Alejandra Guzmán dropped a 10-track set that became the official soundtrack to the tour that lasted nearly one year. The track peaked at No. 1 on July 22, 2017, and included anthemic songs such as “Todos Me Miran,” “Hey Guera” and “Eternamente Bella.”

J Balvin & Bad Bunny, Oasis, July 13, 2019

In June 2019, chart-topping artists J Balvin and Bad Bunny surprise-dropped the eight-song Oasis. It bowed at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart and earned both artists their first top 10 on the Billboard 200, where it entered at No. 9. “Benito and I share an aesthetic and originality,” J Balvin previously told Billboard. “When he appeared on the scene, he brought a fresh perspective. I felt like the only crazy one there! It’s very hard for a label to bring two artists together like this. It has to come from a place of respect.”

Anuel AA & Ozuna, Los Dioses, Feb. 6, 2021

Anuel and Ozuna teamed up for their joint album Los Dioses, which was released Jan. 22 under Real Hasta La Muerte/ Aura Music Corp. via Sony Music Latin. The pair’s first collaborative effort debuted at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart (dated Feb. 6). It became the first set to debut atop the chart in 2021.

“Ozuna is the good guy; I’m the bad guy. And I’m telling you, there is a no more powerful combination,” Anuel told Billboard about the project. “Right now, we’re making an album together. But our relationship is not about an album. This is a brotherhood, I’d say deeper than most anyone else in the genre has,” Ozuna added.