Rihanna Sues Topshop for T-shirt Line


Rihanna is reportedly suing British fashion retail chain Topshop for $5 million because it sold a t-shirt range using her image without permission.

The Barbadian pop singer’s team claimed they’d tried to negotiate with Topshop owners Arcadia Group for eight months over the rights to her image, the New York Post reports. But the response was insultory.

“They offered her $5,000 and said they don’t care,” an-unnamed source told the newspaper.

The source then went on to say, “Even though the U.K. laws don’t protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop. She has spent almost $US1 million in litigation at this point. She says it’s the principle, and wants to make a statement about it. They are taking advantage of artists. It is just exploitation. What they are doing is wrong.”

A Topshop source said “This issue is related to a T-shirt provided to Topshop by a third-party supplier. We are aware it is the subject of litigation. [There are] public documents”.

Topshop has built an image of British cool. Its owner, the billionaire entrepreneur Philip Green, is close friends with the model Kate Moss, who had a fashion-line with the retailer, and its brand is popular with the likes of Disney star Demi Lovato and Kim Kardashian.

Green and Rihanna would have been expected to iron-out any issues without the course of litigation. The pair had been on good terms, and were spotted together in Barbados during the Christmas break in 2010.

Bowie Lands First U.K. No. 1 Album In 20 Years

David Bowie’s new album “The Next Day,” his first record in 10 years, has vaulted into the top spot in the United Kingdom where it’s the best selling album of the year.

The Official U.K. Charts Company (OCC) published the sales chart Sunday (March 17).

“The Next Day” is the 66-year-old legend’s first album since Heathen in 2002. You’d have to go back to his jazz-fused 1993 set “Black Tie White Noise” for Bowie’s last U.K. No. 1 album.

According to the OCC, Bowie’s compatriots bought more than 94,000 copies of the Thin White Duke’s new album, outselling the No. 2, Bon Jovi’s ninth album “What About Now,” by 2-1.

Bowie and Bon Jovi are duking it out for the crown on this week’s Billboard 200. In Australia, however, Bon Jovi has grabbed the new No. 1 album ahead of Bowie at No. 2. Still, it’s Bowie’s best result in Australia since “Let’s Dance” hit No. 1 back in 1983 – nearly 30 years ago.

Bowie and long-time producer Tony Visconti recorded “The Next Day” in total secrecy. Though the album was two years in the making, no word of the project leaked on the Net until Bowie’s team revealed all on January 8, when the first single “Where Are We Now” dropped. The single went on top open in the top 10 of the Official U.K. Singles chart.

The opening U.K. bow of “The Next Day” is bound to have benefited from the buzz surrounding a Bowie exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert museum. Like the album, the exhibition is a runaway hit. According to The Guardian newspaper, the Bowie retrospective is breaking all previous records at the museum, shifting more than 42,000 advance tickets — more than double the advance sales of previous exhibitions.

The Hot Seat: Patrick Moxey, President of Electronic Music for Sony Music and President /Founder, Ultra Music

Published in The Music Network


EDM is an “overnight sensation,” 20 years in the making. Patrick Moxey knows all too well the path that finally got electronic music into the U.S. mainstream – because he helped get it there. Moxey established Ultra with his first 12” release back in 1996. Now, he helms the global dance music strategy for a major music company, having recently been appointed President of Electronic Music for Sony Music. It’s been a particularly busy year for Moxey; he’s also joined the inaugural board of advisors for the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM). TMN caught up with Moxey at MIDEM.

Congratulations on the new job. What are your ambitions?

It’s about global priorities. If there’s something I can achieve in the next few years, I’d love to have a roster of electronic artists that become absolutely huge around the world and get as much respect as any top rock act ever got. At this point electronic music has paid its dues and it’s shown how many tickets it can sell, and how influential it is. Now it’s the time for it to get the respect it deserves, and that’s what I’ve set out to achieve. We’ve switched distribution from Warner to Sony. Ultra is still an independent company; they made an investment into Ultra. It’s just got more access and resources and reach. It was a logical thing for me to do, and with the development of electronic music, it’s important that Ultra continued to grow as those changes were taking place.

You’re still a firm believer in the influence of radio.

We’ve had weeks where we’ve sold 100,000 records. Radio was playing those records non-stop. It absolutely has a big part. Ed Maya’s “Stereo Love” we sold more than 2 million singles, Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close” sold more than 2 million singles. I’ve had other records like Bennie Benassi’s “Cinema” Skrillex remix, could have sold millions and did sell a million without the daytime radio. We went to top 40 radio and they were basically fighting us on playing something with a dubstep drop. It’s still an education process. Radio is still conservative. But at least they’re giving it a chance now. They’ve played our Calvin Harris records, they’re playing Deadmau5 records, Swedish House Mafia and Guetta. So it’s a big improvement.

What was the “Road to Damascus” moments for Ultra?

In 2009, when David Guetta got his first top 40 airplay in America with a record on Ultra, love is gone. That was a big breakout moment. We got the record into the Billboard Hot 100 and into the top 40. The other moment was getting Deadmau5 to be the DJ/electronic artist presenter at the MTV Music Video Awards in 2010 where every segment was cutting back and forth to him. I was downstairs in the dressing room when I overheard one of Usher’s guys say, “who’s this deadrat?” It was a moment I realized, now we’ve penetrated to all genres. That was important.

It’s early times but what do you think AFEM can really pull off?

Well, to have a voice is a concrete priority I’d like it to achieve. I’d like it to have a voice with the key awards shows, to make sure that we’re properly represented in the depth that other genres are. There’s a certain “old-school” mentality that really does exist with these organizations, where they’d prefer to – for example, they’d struggle to understand an instrumental concert experience at one of these awards shows. And yet I’m at these festivals where I see over 100,000 people going bananas to instrumental music, with high production. That needs to be represented now in the mainstream.

How big can dance music become globally?

It’s about innovation and change. What’s on the radio today, people want something new, and electronic music keep diversifying and blending with other types of music. At this point, you’ve got multiple genres of dance music. And you’ve got the pop artists basically taking the dance production, whether it’s Usher or Rihanna, so arguably the impact is already massive. It’s going to keep growing, and splintering and changing. Deep house is now having a big rise. Hard style from Holland is on the rise. Trap is on the rise. As much as you have the pretty Swedish House Mafia vocals on the radio, in the mainstream, all this other stuff is bubbling, splintering and coming up.

By its nature, dance music should become the global language?

You’re absolutely right. Its ability to cross cultures is incredible. What other song could you make that could work in an environment across any language. That’s very difficult. And dance does that.


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The Hot Seat: Simon Halliday, Worldwide Label Head, 4AD

Published in The Music Network

Simon Halliday is a music man, a brand steward and a raconteur. They’re all requisite skills for the executive charged with running 4AD, an independent label whose legacy is greater than all but a small few. Established in 1979 by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent, the label enjoyed a golden era of indie credibility through the ‘80s. The Pixies, the Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and Throwing Muses are all “classic” 4AD bands. The genre-defining 1987 club- track Pump Up The Volume by M/A/R/R/S was a 4AD release. The likes of Beirut and TV On The Radio have recorded for 4AD. Halliday is an Englishman in New York. He arrived at Martin Mills’ Beggars Group at the end of 2007, having led Warp Records’ U.S. division for the previous five years. The following year, the affiliated Too Pure and Beggars Banquet brands were folded and the two imprints’ staff and artists were migrated to the 4AD label. With a current roster featuring the likes of the National, Bon Iver and Deerhunter, 4AD is arguably enjoying another golden era.

What are your thoughts on Australia’s music scene?
Australia is our No. 3 market behind the U.S. and U.K. From the ‘80s, it’s always had an active live scene. With radio here being strong and accessible, and with good press and distributors, you can connect the dots. In France or Germany, it’s a lot more difficult to connect. Here you can make things happen at whatever level you want. I don’t mean blowing things up and sell hundreds of thousands. Sometimes selling 2,000 records is a real success if it’s something underground. It’s a well rounded market. And it has been for 20 years. There’s always something here that suits my palate, like Tame Impala, Cut Copy, Nick Cave and Avalanches many years ago. They’re not really selling on their Australian-ness. I always felt bands like Midnight Oil were “professional Aussies.”

Are the plans to beef-up your presence here?
We usually go where the music takes us. If we start seeing Australian acts who are suitable for us and want to sign with us and work with us, then yes. We go wherever the personalities are and the music is. When artists like Chet Faker come up and start to get your juices going, then why not?

Where’s the pulse of indie music right now?
Over the last 10 -15 years, if there was a league table the Americans would definitely be ahead of the U.K. on the adventurous independent music front. If you think of Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Bon Iver, they’re just wiping the floor with the U.K. for ‘album’ acts. The U.K. has some solid ‘singles’ acts, and it’s gone a bit more poppy and fake R&B. But if you’re looking at the stuff 4AD and the people like Domino and Warp sign, America has been leading independent music for a good 10 years now. That’s where we’ve been gravitating to, where I’ve been gravitating to. And 80% of 4AD’s roster is American.

Are there moments in your role where it’s terrifying that you’re at the helm of a ship with a history?
I’ve had to ignore the past, because it would make you trepidatious of either ruining that legacy or just getting it wrong. I felt we had to live in the moment. We had to sign things that were great contemporary, and not think about the past. And we had to look at the label with fresh eyes. The label then tried to sign the best music for then. If you start thinking about those things, you’re going to lose. What we’re trying to do is sign the best music for now. We try and do the best new music you can in any genre, which is timeless, original, that even if you had no commercial success you look back in ten years and say, “well that was a great record. History proved us right there.” It’s not a struggle, but it’s a challenge to go through the oceans of music there is at the moment to try to get a vibe. We think we’re pretty varied in the musical output that we do. We do hope there’s a thread running through it.

What’s the future for 4AD?
Just keep improving every year. We want to have four or five pivotal albums every year, like this year we’ve got Daughter, Deerhunter, The National, and Grimes. If we can keep doing that for another five years, having as many records as possible that are defining of their genre of their time, we can hold our heads really high that we’re a great label. And that we’re a great label at a time when maybe labels mean less than they used to.


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