Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pandora Reveals How Much It Pays Artists, Claims Drake, Lil Wayne Rake In $3 Million A Year

If you think artists on Pandora never get paid by the music-streaming service, think again.
On Tuesday, Pandora founder Tim Westergren released a statement detailing just how much Pandora pays its musicians, and the figure may very well shock you.
Responding to criticism that artists make little or no money from its services, Westergren wrote that the "revenue stream" that musicians receive from Pandora can actually be "meaningful."
He claims that popular artists such as Adele, Jason Aldean and Wiz Khalifa are making more than $1 million every year, while some -- like Drake and Lil Wayne -- are raking in almost $3 million annually.
Westergren added that it's not just the superstar musicians who are benefitting from being on Pandora:
For over two thousand artists Pandora will pay over $10,000 dollars each over the next 12 months (including one of my favorites, the late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson), and for more than 800 we'll pay over $50,000, more than the income of the average American household…
This revenue stream is meaningful. I remember the many years I spent in a band when earning an additional thousand dollars a month would have been the difference between making music an avocation and a hobby. We're talking here about the very real possibility of creating, for the first time ever, an actual musicians middle class.
However, despite these impressive figures, Greg Sandoval of CNET argues that these numbers may not provide the full picture:
That sounds like a lot until you realize that Pandora generated $100 million in the second-quarter alone. My music industry sources have said for a long time that the majors and indie labels have complained for a long time that Pandora doesn't generate a lot of money for artists and that it siphons off demand for downloads.
Sandoval added, however, that Pandora "sounds a lot more artist friendly than Spotify."
Last month, Mashable notes, Pandora "rallied people around the Internet Radio Fairness Act, a bill introduced to the U.S. Congress that would curb the royalties music-streaming services pay compared to terrestrial and satellite radio."
In his statement Tuesday, Westergrenreiterated his belief that the bill would only be fair, based on the "numbers."
“Since Pandora accounts for just 6.53% of all radio listening in the U.S., it seems fundamentally unfair that other forms of radio that represent much larger shares of U.S. radio listening pay substantially less to artists,” Westergren said. “Congress must stop the discrimination against internet radio and allow it to operate on a level playing field, under the same rules as other forms of digital radio.”
Do you support the Internet Radio Fairness Act? Are you surprised by how much Pandora pays its artists? Is it enough?

MTV Announces Unprecedented Expansion Of Hip-Hop Coverage Across All Channel

 Hip-Hop culture will get a boost in coverage thanks to a new programming initiative that was launched by MTV today (October 11).
MTV has announced plans to expand and unify Hip-Hop music coverage and content across all of its channels, under the MTV Jams brand name.
The goal is to extend the MTV Jams brand from its current, 24-hour digital channel, to all of MTV’s properties, including MTV, MTV2 and
The new programming initiative will see MTV2′s “Sucker Free Countdown” re-launched as “The Week in Jams,” starting on October 28.
“The Week in Jams” will include Hip-Hop lifestyle related content, from music and fashion, to sports and gossip.
In addition to the programming initiative, MTV is planning a series of tours throughout 2013 that will highlight a variety of artists who are featured in the new programming initiative.
The first outing will feature R&B singers Trey Songz and Miguel. For more information visit

LaToya Jackson Joins 'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice'

If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again: NBC’sCelebrity Apprentice is giving former contestants including LaToya Jackson and Omarosa Manigault another opportunity to do just that on an all-star season airing March 2013, according to

Fourteen formerly fired celebrities will compete for $250,000 toward a charity of their choice on the new season. In addition to LaToya Jackson and original Apprentice breakout star Omarosa — who is returning to the spotlight for the first time since the death of her fiancé, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, in September — rapper Lil Jon and NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman will vie for the title alongside stars like Gary Busey, Lisa Rinna and Steven Baldwin.

Host Donald Trump unveiled a few All-Star Celebrity Apprenticecontestants on NBC’s Today show to give fans a sneak peek of the new season, which will begin shooting on Monday. 


After serving nearly nine years in prison for weapons charges, former Hot Boys member Turk is finally free.
The Cash Money rapper was released from the Forrest City, Arkansas Federal Prison Friday morning (Oct. 12), reports. Turk, born Tab Virgil Jr., was part of the Hot Boyz alongside Lil Wayne and Juvenile from from 1996 to 2001.
In 2004, a shoot-out with members of the Memphis, Tennessee S.W.A.T. Team that injured two officials put a stop on his career. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to nearly a decade in prison.
Now that the ex-Hot Boy has been liberated, Turk is currently working on new material (Weezy collabo perhaps?) along with a memoir on his life called “The AutoThugography."

Demi Lovato to Join L.A. Reid for 'X Factor' Q&A at BillboardConference

Demi Lovato, a judge on this season's 'X Factor,' will take part in an X Factor Q&A with Epic Records chairman/CEO L.A. Reid at this year's Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference, presented by First Entertainment Credit Union, taking place Oct. 24-25 at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

Register today for the Billboard Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference 
Presented by First Entertainment Credit Union Oct, 24 and 25 at the W Hotel in Hollywood. Use Promo Code BIZ12 to save $50.
Lovato joined 'X Factor' this year along with Britney Spears, replacing previous judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. Her latest album, 2009's Here We Go Again (Hollywood Records), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. She'll join Reid, who was previously confirmed for a keynote Q&A at the conference.

Reid, winner of three Grammy Awards, will discuss his career as a producer, songwriter and label executive at Epic, where he has been building the label concurrently with his stint on Fox's 'X Factor.'

The two co-judges join already announced two-time Academy Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla as a keynote speaker. Santaolalla will discuss his award-winning work on "Brokeback Mountain," "Motorcycle Diaries" and "Babel" in addition to his latest film score, "On the Road." Also confirmed for this year's conference: pop superstar Christina Aguilera; "Breaking Bad"'s creator, composer and music supervisor; and screenings of the Rolling Stones doc "Charlie My Darling" and the David Chase film "Not Fade Away.

For the first time, the conference will provide an opportunity for musicians to get their music heard and evaluated by music representatives actively pitching music for placement in film, TV and commercials. The conference will also include panels on composing, music supervision, advertising, publishing and career-building plus case studies on hit TV shows and films, live performances, one-on-one sessions and networking opportunities.

For more information on the conference, click here.

Aerosmith May Self-Release Future Albums If 'Band Stays Together'

With the upcoming Music From Another Dimension marking the end of their current deal with Columbia Records, Aerosmith may abandon the label world and take future release matters into their own hands. 

Asked during a conference call with reporters on Thursday whether the band would consider self-releasing future projects, frontman Steven Tyler said that "if the band stays together, yeah, we'll definitely go that route, something somewhere over there. We've been keeping record companies stocked with millions of shekels for years, been making a lot of people rich -- not that we haven't, but every now and then you get into arguments with labels (and) you think, 'Where is all this money going?' We've definitely thought of putting stuff out. I was very successful last year with a (single) called 'It Feels So Good.' It proves it can happen." 

Guitarist Joe Perry didn't sound quite so definitive about the idea, however, telling Billboard that, "We've talked about every idea you can think of out there, and we really don't know. There's so many different directions we can go. (Columbia) has been totally with us and behind us on this album, and really supportive. So the talk about what happens when it gets delivered and we (finish) our commitment with Sony, what are we gonna do next -- it's really an open question at this point. 

Music From Another Dimension -- Aerosmith's first set of all-new material in 11 years -- comes out Nov. 6, while the band starts the next leg of its Global Warming Tour on Nov. 8 in Oklahoma City. The album has been preceded by the singles "Legendary Child," "What Could Have Been Love" and "Lover Alot" and features a duet with Carrie Underwood ("Can't Stop Loving You") and collaborations with Johnny Depp ("Freedom Fighter") and Julian Lennon ("Luv XXX"). 

Continuing to address the future, Tyler said Aerosmith will go on a full-scale world tour next year and predicted that Music From Another Dimension has "four songs radio is not gonna be able to stay away from, which is unheard of." He promised that he plans to make a solo album next but assured "that don't mean the band's breaking up. It means I'll divert a little and have some fun with other people." 

Perry, meanwhile, is following Tyler and drummer Joey Kramer in writing an autobiography, which he hopes to publish in 2013. He's teamed with award-winning author David Ritz, who's worked with B.B. King, Jerry Wexler and, most recently, Bettye LaVette, and the guitarist says that "it's going to be my story, but it's also entwined with Aerosmith and relationships there and the how and the why of that kind of stuff. People have been asking me about it for the last probably five or 10 years... I'll definitely take a different path than the other guys, the way they put their books together. I read probably 40 biographies and autobiographies, musical ones. I can see how some worked and some didn't. I hope this one works. There's a lot to fit into 600 pages or whatever it's gonna be. I'm pretty excited."

Debt Sinks Wyclef Jean's Yele Charity

Wyclef Jean's Yéle foundation in Haiti has been shuttered, The New York Times reports, leaving behind a trial of debt and unfinished projects. An audit of $3 million in expenses between 2005-09 uncovered $256,580 in improper benefits and transactions to the singer, as well as board and staff members at Yéle. Among the findings: Jean spending $24,000 on chauffeur services, and $30,763 on a private plan for Lindsay Lohan from New Jersey to a Chicago benefit that raised $66,000.
But the audit gave a pass to other deals, including the charity paying Jean $100,000 to perform at a Yéle fundraiser – a figure in line with the singer's market rate – and spending $125,114 on travel and expenses related to a 60 Minutes segment, citing heightened awareness for the organization. Yéle also was cleared for $57,927 for private flights to Haiti for Matt Damon and others because they resulted in "substantial contributions."
Yéle spent $9 million in 2010, but used half the money for travel, salaries and consultant fees and office expenses. Yéle racked up $1.4 million for office-related expenses, including $37,000 for rent for Jean's recording studio in Manhattan and $375,000 for "landscaping." The charity spent $470,440 on its own food and beverages.
The organization also dished out money for projects that were never completed, including $93,000 for temporary homes, $146,000 for a medical center designed with geodesic domes and $230,000 for improvements to a plaza that have yet to materialize. Jean's brother-in-law appears to have benefitted from Yéle contracts, too, collecting $630,000 for projects including the plaza and medical center, and landing a $154,000 contract to build additions to an orphanage. Yéle's tax forms called it "the rebuilding of Haiti."
Yéle also faces legal challenges from vendors: a Haitian caterer has sued the organization for $430,000, claiming the charity never payed for hot meals served to displaced Haitians. Yet, Amisphere Farm Labor, a Miami company incorporated in 2008 and shut down in 2009, was paid $1 million for those same hot meals.

Loudbytes Brings the Short Tail Model to Digital Music

An innovative technology is bringing digital distribution to brick-and-mortar retailers in a way that works seamlessly with brands and promotions. If you're thinking of kiosks that burn files to CDs or download them to thumb drives, you're way off. 
Loudbytes recently got some momentum from a licensing deal with EMI, its first of the majors. The company's Crazy Funnel service allows brick-and-mortar retailers to sell digital music as standalone product or bundled with physical goods. 
Here's how it works: Crazy Funnel is a cloud-based service that connects the products in the cloud to the retailer's point-of-sale system. The retailer chooses which products it wants to sell and adds the SKUs to its inventory. After the retailer scans the barcodes of certain products that include music -- a track, a digital album or a T-shirt that includes a free download, for example -- download codes can be sent back on a receipt, a mobile phone or an email. 

There an obvious difference between a company like Loudbytes licensing and a download store like iTunes licensing EMI's catalog. A brick-and-mortar retailer is limited in the number of titles it can sell -- even if they are digital -- whereas iTunes will ingest millions of tracks. 

That should be music to labels' ears. They need to get consumers' attention and stand out above all the noise. That's increasingly difficult in a digital store filled to millions of tracks. A physical store gives the better ability to have a conversation with the customer. 

"It's really a short-tail model," says CEO Ruben Lozano. 

The other important factor is the brand involvement. Crazy Funnel lends itself to incorporating brands by using digital downloads as a value-added item. 

CEO Ruben Lozano says the eight-store retail chain Sun Diego just started a campaign with the clothing brand Rusty that gives consumers a download of Matt and Kim's single, "Let's Go" with purchase. Rusty pays the label for download redemptions. The stores promote the group's upcoming show in San Diego. 

That's two good selling points in one: the short-tail model with the ability to work with brands. Lozano says retailers will be able to look at the release schedule, pick the best titles for their stores and see what brands are interested. 

Since I first wrote about Loudbytes in October 2011 for the Digital Domain column in Billboard Magazine, Lozano says the company has mainly been working on deals with labels, expanding the model and working on relationships with brands. 

Loudbytes has continued to run some campaigns. It just finished a small campaign with Vulcom Entertainment, a clothing line that also has a record label. Crazy Funnel powered a value-add promotion that allowed the buyer of Vulcom board shorts or jeans to get one of three albums. 

Other companies already working with Crazy Funnel include BandMerch, Side One Dummy Records, the La Jolla Group apparel licensing company, Sun Diego Boardshops in the San Diego area and the Microsoft Tag 2D barcode. 

There were two other topics I wanted to cover since I last covered Crazy Funnel. One is the role of downloads in an age of streaming services. Lozano said he doesn't think the platform is tied to just downloads and believes it can be used to bring customers to streaming services, too. He believes each type of music service provides revenue opportunities. 

The other topic is the live venue. I asked if there is any potential to use Crazy Funnel at live venues so artists can bundle digital downloads with their T-shirts, posters and other physical items. 

It could happen. Lozano says the company has spec'd a plug-in for VeriFone terminals that would let an artist scan a bar code, deliver a code back to the VeriFone terminal and send the download code to the consumer.


Gunplay has officially turned himself in for an outstanding robbery warrant, and MTV News was there to catch it on camera.
The video shows Gunplay being accompanied by his lawyer into Miami-Dade law enforcement. One thing we noticed is that he appears calm & not too talkative, which is a different pace for the usual off-the-wall rapper.
Watch Gunplay turning himself in to Miami-Dade Police below:


Rihanna is embarking on her Diamonds World Tour next year, and you can win yourself tickets to the show!
Def Pen Radio is giving away a pair of tickets to one of Rih's shows, but you must correctlyguess the 5 screenshots from 5 different Rihanna videos posted on their site.
Here are the requirements:
You must be a U.S. Resident
You Must Follow @DefPenRadio & @DJTonyStark
You must correctly guess ALL 5 screengrabs & number your answers.
You must email your answers to


Here's Rihanna's first single "Diamonds," which you'll be hearing live if you win:

Friday, October 12, 2012

First Look of Angela Bassett & Mary J. Blige on the Set of Betty and Coretta

There's been much anticipation for Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige's new Lifetime movie Betty and Coretta, and thanks to a new Facebook post we now know a release date for the film. 
An image of the two lead characters in full costume was posted on Bassett's Facebook fan page with the caption: "Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett in an exclusive set photo as Betty and Coretta.  [The] film premieres February 2013 on Lifetime!"
The movie will tell the stories of Coretta Scott King, played by Bassett, and Dr. Betty Shabazz, played by Blige, as they continue on with their lives after the assassinations of their husbands, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. 
Bassett is already familiar with the story, as she played Shabazz in the 1992 feature film Malcolm X, alongside Denzel Washington. 
According to the Hollywood ReporterBetty and Coretta, previously titled Parallel Lives, began production in September. The film is being directed by Yves Simoneau and executive produced by Blige, Larry Sanitsky, Jaja Johnson and Polly Anthony.
Other big names in the movie include Malik Yoba as Martin Luther King Jr., Wood Harris as Malcolm X and Ruby Dee, as a historical witness to narrate the stories. 

Taylor Swift on Her Messy Love Life

This is what it sounds like when Taylor Swift totally loses it:


Her summer tan is turning ashen; her very blue eyes are practically pinwheeling with panic. But she didn't do anything that bad just now, didn't start a nuclear war or curse on country radio or upload her new album to BitTorrent: We're on a bleak industrial road outside a Nashville rehearsal studio one stiflingly hot late-August evening, with Swift behind the wheel of her black Toyota SUV – which she just backed directly into a parked car. She's never learned how to use her SUV's built-in GPS, was messing with Yelp and Google Maps on her iPhone instead, realized she was going the wrong way, started to turn around, still clutching the phone, and . . . crunch.
"Oh, my God," she repeats, pausing for air. She takes another look at the car she hit. "Oh, is that my bass player?"  
It totally is. "It's fine, it's my bass player!" She couldn't look more relieved if she had received a death-row pardon. Popping out of the SUV, she apologizes to her bemused employee, a Ben Stiller look-alike named Amos Heller, who had been walking toward his now slightly dented car. "I'm gonna pay for it, I promise! I'm good for it! Oh, my God, Amos, I'm so sorry. I freaked out 'cause I went the wrong way and he was gonna think I'm a bad driver and then I backed into another car. This is the worst interview he's ever had, already!"

Bobbi Kristina Confirms Engagement in New Reality Show

It's official! Bobbi Kristina and Nick Gordon are engaged!

The news comes by wayE! Online, who posted a small sneak peek of their reality show, The Houstons: On Our Own.
"We're engaged," said a very shy Bobbi Kristina. "I am in love with him."
In the super trailer for the 14-episode docu-series set to debut on October 24 on Lifetime, the family share their concerns about their budding relationship. "No one knew from a godson you would turn into a boyfriend," said Gary Houston to Gordon in what seems to be a confrontational moment. "Everyone else doesn't have to be in my business," Gordon replied. Pat Houston, Whitney's sister-in-law and manager, says Bobbi Kristina's engagement is "unacceptable."
Click here to see the super trailer featuring more family drama.

Billboard's Genre Chart Policy Changes: A Letter From the Editor

I've been watching the feedback online regarding the Billboard chart policy changes that went into affect today. If you're unaware of these changes, you can read this. An excerpt: 

"Billboard unveils new methodology today for the long-standing Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Latin Songs charts. Each receive a major consumer-influenced face-lift, as digital download sales (tracked by Nielsen SoundScan) and streaming data (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) will now be factored into the 50-position rankings, along with existing radio airplay data monitored by Nielsen BDS. The makeovers will enable these charts to match the methodology applied to Billboard's signature all-genre songs ranking, the Billboard Hot 100." 

While we discussed these changes at length with the music industry, and the feedback from that quarter has been supportive, there is some confusion -- and yes, occasional foaming-at-the-mouth outrage -- from fan camps who have seen some of their favorite stars drop down the charts.  I hear you, fans, and I'm really gratified that our charts are so very meaningful to you. I wanted to take a few minutes to engage on your points, which seem to fall into a couple of baskets. If you'd like we could schedule a Google Hangout to discuss this further. I really love the dialogue. 

Basket 1: I really like Brandy, and she just dropped from no. 3 to no. 16 on your Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart 

Obviously, this isn't just about Brandy. And if it is, for you, let me assure you, I really like Brandy too! I had a chance to speak with her at the Billboard Music Awards afterparty in May, and I assure you, I walked away thinking there couldn't possibly be a more lovely person. 

But here's the way I think about this: the former R&B/Hip-Hop Chart was effectively 100 percent based on radio. And basing the primary chart on radio play only feels out of touch with what's actually happening with music. The fans have no direct voice with radio. It's a push format -- someone else decides what you're going to listen to, and with what frequency. Are those of you upset about this rule change suggesting that what fans are streaming on Spotify or buying at iTunes shouldn't count? Fans have the power today -- more than they have ever had in the history of the recorded music business -- and these chart changes honor that reality, above all else. 

Basket 2: Now the country chart will only ever be topped by Tay Tay
Alternate Basket 2: Now the R&B chart will only ever be topped by Ri Ri

I have empathy for fans of deeper genre cuts that will likely slide down the charts a bit, to make room for the juggernaut digital-track sales of more mainstream stars. This week, for example, Taylor Swift's "Red"  debuts at no. 2 on the Country Songs chart, based largely on the strength of her digital downloads. 

Truth? A hit doesn't just look like one thing anymore. Mumford and Sons are getting some nice Triple A and Alt Rock radio play, but they are setting streaming records on Spotify. That's a hit. Psy - like Cee-Lo before him -- launched a song that was viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube before radio ever touched it. That's a hit. And if an established country act like Taylor Swift releases a song like "Red" that sounds like a country song, and that becomes the no. 2 selling digital track in the U.S., well that song is a hit, and yes, by our standards, a country hit, also. Radio remains an important part of the equation, but it's no longer the only part. A song isn't a genre hit ONLY if that genre's radio stations decide or are incentivized to play it. 

3. But I love Carrie Underwood so much that it makes me hate anything that's good for Taylor Swift, even if it's only good for Taylor Swift in the short term and, at some point, will almost certainly be good for Carrie Underwood also. 

I suggest a deep breath and some therapy. I like chocolate (vegan) ice cream. It's never once made me launch a campaign against vanilla. Why can't we all just get along? 

4. Psy as the top rap track?! You are a racist who is trying to gentrify the rap charts. 

I'll spare you my rap cred, and say this: every week, Billboard makes dozens of calls about the various charts a song should be eligible for. Take dance: what makes a track a dance track? Is it the BPM? Is it "electronic sounds"? Is it "I don't know, man, this just sounds like a dance track"? What is a song that is a ballad but then has an electro chorus? The point is: We make these calls. We've been doing it for 50+ years. We'll make a bunch more next week. We take it very seriously. We work at codifying the process, so that anyone who assumes the job of a genre chart manager can inherit guidelines for making these decisions. 

As for Psy, if you Google "Psy" and "rapper" you get millions of hits. No less an authority than Wikipedia identifies him this way: " (rapper)". So we're not going out on a limb here. In fact, I'd ask this: how is it anything but racist to exclude Psy from the rap chart? 

I'm always happy to engage further. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to take part in a Google Hangout on the topic. If there's demand, we'll get one scheduled. Thanks for reading! 

Bill Werde is Billboard's editorial director.


L.A. Reid Throws Tantrum on 'X Factor'

The boot-camp bloodbath spilled over into this week's X Factor, as the top 24 acts were revealed and quickly divided into four categories: Teens, Young Adults, Groups and – hold onto your prunes and walkers everybody – Over 25s. While the Groups category is a holdover from last season, all the others are new – replacing Boys, Girls and the walking dead known as the Over 40s. This time, the "old-timers" tap out at exactly 40 with Vino Alan
Apparently even that is too old for L.A. Reid. Because when it came time to divvy up the categories amongst the judges, he had a mini-meltdown when the producers called to say he'd be mentoring the "Overs." After slamming down the phone, he stormed off in a huff. Way to have confidence in your team, L.A. 
Then, when his geriatric protégés showed up on his million-dollar doorstep looking for the guidance they were promised in the lazily-named Judges' Homes round, he gave the worst pep talk ever. "I can't really say that there's anybody that stands out in this category," he griped. "I'm not happy, but I still plan on winning." Yeah, that really makes us want to vote for your team. 
Hoping to breathe some life into the seemingly hopeless situation, Reid will be relying on guest mentor Justin Bieber to offer the kind of sage wisdom that comes with turning 18 and lasting three whole years in the music industry. Also mentoring are alongside Britney Spears and the Teens; Nick Jonas with Demi Lovato and the Young Adults; and Marc Anthony and Simon Cowell for the Groups. 
Speaking of groups, there were only three that made it through boot camp. Then, three more were manufactured by the judges using singers who didn't quite cut it as solo artists. While this maneuver could have backfired, they each came together nicely once they arrived at Simon's home to audition yet again. Yes, there's more paring to be done, as the six acts in each category will be cut to four before the live shows begin. The clear standout on Simon's team was hip-hop trio Lyric 145, comprising badass one-eyed rapper Lyric Da Queen and male duo One4Five. Their version of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." was killer, and the look on Simon's face when they finished said it all: We have a winner!
Meanwhile, over at Demi's house, she and the baby Jonas brother sifted through the Young Adults talent, which unfortunately included Paige Thomas and Willie Jones. (Seriously, time to dump them, guys.) And while CeCe Frey was told she isn't very "likable," she definitely has the vocal chops and stage presence to stick around. Her jazzy rendition of the most overdone song of the season, LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It," set her apart from the rest of the pack. Now, someone just needs to scrub those leopard spots off her face. 
But that'll have to wait till the next ep, where we'll see what the other categories have to offer and (hopefully) find out who makes the final cut. In the meantime, here's a quick rundown of who's in what group.

Heroin, Loaded Gun Found on Nelly's Tour Bus

Rapper was stopped at infamous Texas border checkpoint

Police in Texas detained Nelly last night after finding .64 ounces of heroin, a loaded .45-caliber pistol and 10 pounds of marijuana in the rapper's tour bus, TMZ reports.
The bus was pulled over at a border patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, when a police dog detected the presence of drugs on the bus, according to law enforcement sources. 
Along with Nelly there were six other passengers on the bus, all of whom were detained during the search. Brian Keith Jones, one of the passengers, told police the drugs and gun were his and was placed under arrest. Nelly and the five others were then released.
There's been no word from Nelly or his camp regarding the incident.
Fiona Apple was arrested at the same checkpoint a few weeks ago after police found hash on her bus, and Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson have also been busted there before.

EMI Music Canada President Deane Cameron Steps Down

EMI Music Canada's long-serving president Deane Cameron stepped down last week after 35 years with the company, 24 at the helm. 

Cameron, who made history in 1988 when he became the youngest Canadian president of a major record label, has been instrumental to the success of many Canadian artists, including Nickelback, Anne Murray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Glass Tiger, Tom Cochrane, Stompin' Tom Connors, k-os, The Rankin Family, The Tea Party, Susan Aglukark, I Mother Earth, Moist, Johnny Reid and Serena Ryder. 

In 2010, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada -- one of the country's highest honours -- for his contribution to arts and music. In April 2011, he received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the 40th anniversary of the Juno Awards, recognizing individuals who have made an impact in the Canadian music industry. 

"Deane has been a friend and colleague to countless members of our community for more than 35 years," noted Universal Music Canada president Randy Lennox in an internal memo that also outlined Cameron's many accomplishments. "As a respected competitor, I have admired Deane's passion and his leadership both of EMI and within our industry. Alongside our many colleagues across the country, I personally thank Deane Cameron for his devotion to EMI Music Canada and his ongoing efforts to enriching the Canadian music industry." 

Cameron began his career as a drummer in a band called Harvest with schoolmate Tom Cochrane. Ironically, Capitol-EMI paid for their demos. He would soon get his first job in the music industry as a teenager, working in the warehouse at the label. 

In 1977, he re-joined the company as manager, talent acquisition, and was quickly promoted to vice-president, A&R. His signings included Alias, Helix, Lisa Dalbello, Luba, Prism, Rock & Hyde and Streetheart, and he successfully secured U.S. deals in the mid-80s for nine Canadian artists, such as Corey Hart, Max Webster, Red Rider and Strange Advance. His nickname at the time was Captain Canada. 

In 1988, he was promoted to president, and there he remained. 

In addition to EMI's domestic roster, Cameron has played a significant role in the careers of the label's international artists in Canada, namely Coldplay, Radiohead, Bob Seger, Iron Maiden, Kate Bush, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Norah Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Sarah Brightman and Tina Turner. 

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and Unison Benevolent Fund.


After dropping his Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Part 1 last month, Lupe Fiasco sat down with Al Lindstrom for a candid conversation on his creative process and upcoming albums.
Fiasco discussed the transparency of his songwriting and penning a great story. "You can see [my storytelling]. I don't think it's hidden," he said. "I just tried to be around great MCs [and] take the Nas model to tell a great story, spit a great rhyme and spit a great club record now and again."
Already hitting the booth for the second installment of Food & Liquor 2 and Skulls, the "B*tch Bad" rapper cited technology for his plans to go independent. "Technology caught up and made obsolete what a lot of people initially signed their deals now like marketing, manufacturing and distribution," he said. "Now you got a lot of companies who were at first skeptical of Hip Hop now fully embrace it. So now you got a lot of companies who don't want to deal with the labels and go straight to the artists through their management."
Regardless of his label status, the Chi-town native assures it's about the product. "Whether you're independent or whatever, it's all about the work."

Peermusic, Bug, Warner, Others Win $6.6 Million in LiveUniverse Lyrics Lawsuit

Michael Jackson once sang, "You can't win / You can't break even/ And you can't get out of the game." 

With that in mind, a group of music publishers including Peermusic, Bug Music and Warner Chappell Music has won $6.6 million in a copyright infringement lawsuit against LiveUniverse, Inc. for displaying lyrics online to such songs as Van Morrison's "Moondance" and Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind." 

LiveUniverse was a company founded by Brad Greenspan, one of the co-founders of MySpace. 

Among LiveUniverse's properties were, and None of the websites are still operational, which represents some form of victory by the publishers after three years of litigation. On Tuesday, the publishers attained a final ruling on a default judgment from a California federal court awarding them $12,500 for each of the 528 songs that were found to be willfully infringed. 

That said, collection could get interesting. 

Greenspan is a colorful character, who sued after Intermix Media "undersold" MySpace to News Corp for $580 million, called for an investigation from the Justice Department for "one of the largest merger and acquisition scandals in U.S. history," battled Rupert Murdoch in a bid for the Wall Street Journal, and donated to the anti-spyware cause before having to pay up to settle a spyware lawsuit brought against him by the New York State attorney general's office. 

In the lyrics case, the litigation was no less bizarre. 

Greenspan went through three law firms. One withdrew, citing a "personality conflict." Another withdrew, citing nearly $85,000 in owed fees and a "breakdown in the attorney-client relationship." At times, he showed up in court, representing himself and failing to obey proper procedures in submitting motions. At other times, depositions were ignored upon "medical emergencies." 

Initially, the defendants attempted to defeat the lawsuit with defenses including fair use, the first-sale doctrine, unclean hands, laches and statute of limitations. 

Ultimately, the judge agreed that LiveUniverse and Greenspan had acted willfully and ordered a preliminary injunction on the lyric websites. 

But the injunction was ignored nonetheless, leading the plaintiffs to ask the judge to make an order transferring ownership of the sites to music publishers. The publishers got their wish. 
In the latter portions of the case, after a default judgment came, Greenspan seems to have put up much less of a fight. 

Ultimately, it was the plaintiffs and the judge arguing with each other over how much money was due. 

The publishers, represented by Ross Charap and Paul Fakler at Arent Fox, demanded $100,000 per song. The judge wanted information about what LiveUniverse would have been charged had they properly attained license. The plaintiffs argued that an award should be determined in relation to defendants' profits. The judge took a look at evidence submitted and saw substantial losses on the part of the websites. The judge might have imposed an award of $30,000 per song at the "low limit of willful infringement," but he said he wanted to "avoid a ridiculous disproportionate damage award." 

So even though Greenspan's side was hit with three contempt orders in the case, the unruly behavior amounted to an order of $12,500 per song plus attorney fees. 

Still, given 528 songs, that adds up to a nice $6.6 million total, and an even nicer press release touting a "landmark" ruling. 

"One of the principal purposes of our lawsuit was to obtain a large statutory damage award which would serve as a warning to persuade illegal lyric site operators that it makes good business sense to become licensed and avoid having their site shut down and damages awarded against them," said Charap in a statement. 

The ruling could just as easily be interpreted as a warning to hire good lawyers and make nice with them during the course of litigation.