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Prince is setting up residencies in Las Vegas and London over the summer…or should I say Prince is taking over? Starting June 15th, he will be playing 7 Fridays in a row at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Vegas. Shows will have extremely limited seating, a slew of surprise guests, and his private chef will be taking over the kitchen of the Roosevelt’s Dakota restaurant, turning it into a private night club for Prince and his guests, featuring Prince performing with a jazz ensemble.

In August, the pop legend will be taking this spectacle over seas to play a series of London dates, at an astonishingly affordable price! This is what KOAR has been talking about- giving fans MORE for LESS money.

Speaking of London (and less money)….It all trickles down. Watch Def Jam recording artist Lady Sovereign talk about her financial troubles…instead of performing a concert.

[video removed by Google/YouTube...I have no idea why. For those who missed it, Lady Sovereign kind of performed one song and then bitched to the audience for a while about how she is going to get evicted and she hates America. She then leaned against the DJ booth until the promoter told her to leave and the crowd booed her off the stage. While that video is no longer available, you can easily find others of her just 'quitting' mid-performance. That's how she rolls.]

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Good news for Internet Radio and webcasters…………..

SoundExchange has offered a deal to small webcasters to lower the royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision in March

Small webcasters would pay royalties equal to 10% of all gross revenue up to $250,000, and 12% for all gross revenue above that amount. But only those webcasters that generate less than a specified amount of revenue and less than a certain amount of usage will be eligible for this lower rate.

“The net result of this proposal is that small webcasters would be guaranteed no increase in royalty payments for 13 years, from 1998-2010,” says Michael Huppe, general counsel for SoundExchange.

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EMI has asked potential bidders to submit firm offers by May 23rd.

Warner believes that EMI’s Nicoli is unwilling to sell to Warners Edgar Bronfman. Sources claim Nicoli is likely to PLAY UP the regulatory uncertainty to the board and champion the best of competing offers.

UPDATE: Private Equity Firm Agrees to Acquire EMI for about 2.4 Billion Pounds

Terra Firma Capital Partners the private equity firm, agreed to buy EMI Group in a transaction valuing the record label for the Beatles and Coldplay at about 2.4 billion pounds ($4.7 billion). (Bloomberg)

EMI Revenue (In Billions)

2002 $4.8
2003 $4.3
2004 $4.2
2005 $3.97
2006 $4.1
2007 $3.5 **

Results are due Wednesday.

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Virgin Megastore will be closing stores in Chicago and Salt Lake City due to the recent woes inflicting the music biz.  Both stores will be closing in early July.

A report published in August stated that Virgin Megastores has lost $260m in the past two years

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Avril Lavigne
Best Damn Thing
TW 70,768
Total 565,050

Daughtry
TW 66,768
Total 2,475, 860

Carrie Underwood
Some Hearts
TW 56,723
Total 5,434,502

Amy Winehouse
Back to Black
TW 35,648
Total 366,414

Pink
I’m Not Dead
TW 19,088
Total 747,545
*This record was about dead, but Pink came back with a strong second single giving the record life again.

Spider Man 3
TW 9,155
Total 30,015
*Remember when soundtracks sold?

J LO
Coma Ama Una Mujer
TW 8,126
Total 140,535
*The end of a ‘Pop’ diva.

Top Digital Songs

Maroon 5
Makes Me Wonder
TW 130,747
Total 551,489

Kelly Clarkson
Never Again
TW 63,674
Total 240,939

Pink
U + UR Hand
TW 47,968
Total 681,283

Linkin Park
What I’ve Done
Tw 44,785
Total 361,842
*Linkin Park is expected to sell 500-600k first week.

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As Linkin Park released their new album, Minutes To Midnight, a debate about re-invention arose in the KOAR camp. LP first hit in 2000 with the groundbreaking album Hybrid Theory. Although rap-rock was nothing new, they did it with a level of technical proficiency and originality the genre had never seen. By the time they released Meteora, they were established as a revolutionary band; one of the most creative and talented groups in mainstream rock. That was 4 years ago. Now, after going into the studio with Rick Rubin to ‘re-invent themselves,’ one can’t help but wonder why they’re fixing something that wasn’t broken.

The trouble that artists run into, especially those with a massive impact on pop culture, is that their sound is so closely associated with a time and place, staying true to what worked in the past may not work in the present or future. Artists in this position have 3 options: evolve, re-invent or call it a day. Of course, evolution is ideal. Fans who truly believe in an act want to know how much better the music can be when artists elaborate on what made them great and explore new corners of their potential previously unknown. Green Day, for example, surprised Dookie fans who thought they had a pop-punk formula by exploring anything and everything that tickled their musical fancy, even landing success with an acoustic ballad. Though their popularity waned temporarily over the years, they stuck to their guns and continued their evolution. The fans returned, bringing even more people with them, resulting in Green Day’s first #1 record in 2004. Green Day had the balls to redefine ’3 chord punk’ and it paid off for them.

Linkin Park could have gone the way of Green Day, exploring what they’re really capable of and letting their musical curiosity lead them down a path of ingenuity, but they instead opted for re-invention. Madonna-style. Madonna has made her entire career on re-invention. The reason she is successful at it is because she operates in the pop world, where it’s here today and gone tomorrow. Constant change and endless marketing is crucial to achieving longevity for solo performers in the flash-in-the-pan world of Top 40.  For most bands at that level, however, re-invention isn’t a realistic option. It can cheapen your past success and force you to lose relevance (e.g. Metallica). 

The highly contested third option of ‘quitting‘ is not necessarily a bad thing. What’s wrong with stopping? It would be like if Clapton stuck with the Yardbirds or Peter Gabriel stayed in Genesis. Their individual legacy as musicians didn’t hinge on the success of one project, and it’s their collaborations with other great artists and involvment in a variety of projects that make their stories so rich and interesting. If Linkin Park never made another album after Meteora, would it have lessened their impact on rock music, or would it have been seen as going out on a high note? Would the individual members go on to create music with others that is just as important or even more so than what they made in Linkin Park? It’s never too late for that to happen, but is damage being done to the Linkin Park legacy by changing what the band is all about?

Evolution happens when natural musical instincts are followed down an unknown path. Re-invention is the conscious decision to change with a desired outcome in mind. Across the entirety of music, successful examples of both are plentiful, but the third option is not one to be overlooked. Ending one chapter allows a new one to begin. It’s evolution, but on the individual level rather than as a group. A group of creative people cannot be expected to travel down the same linear musical path indefinitely. There are twists and turns for every musician where numerous intersections and parallels should be allowed. Fear only stifles progress, so artists shouldn’t be afraid of where the unknown can take them.

AJ, KOAR

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American Idol needs another Shining Star…

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FADING FINISH: ‘IDOL’ RATINGS DROP 8% IN WEEK… 14.7 RATING/23 SHARE FOR FOX SHOW, DOWN FROM LAST TUESDAY’S 15.5/25… SHOW HAS LOST RATINGS FROM WEEK-TO-WEEK FOR LAST 3 OUTINGS…

For the first time, a series following “American Idol” has posted a higher initial rating than the reality titan.

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Big Amazon News…

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Amazon the Internet’s Largest Retailer Will Launch Its Digital Music Store with 12,000 Record Labels, Including EMI and in the DRM-free MP3 format. Again, no copyright protection and the music will play in any device.

To many Chefs in the Kitchen and to many directions for Kelly Clarkson….

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Kelly Clarkson has been in the news of late. It seems a creative dilemma divided the label and the Clarkson camp. Kelly Clarkson is at a pivotal point, this is her chance to become the NEXT true Diva and Clive and his camp are scared as hell.

Clarkson talks:

“Everybody always wants me to go in different directions. Obviously they’re a record label so they need to sell records.They want the formula writers and the formula producers that do everybody else’s stuff, and while I love some of those people… and I don’t mind working with that…I just don’t like working with someone that gives you a song and is like, ‘Oh, I wrote this for you.’ But you find out that they’ve given it to every other artist and they turned it down, you know?”

“My label literally sent me a Lindsay Lohan track from her last album and wanted me to record it for my new album. And while I like Lindsay Lohan, like I’m cool with her and I think she sings the song well… it’s already been on an album. I don’t care what pop star it is.” Clarkson was kind of offended by the whole situation. “They were just sending me stuff that was like almost insulting. I’m like, ‘You can’t even find new songs?”

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