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  • Amy Winehouse has started a record label called Lioness Records and her first signing is her 13 year old god-daughter named Dionne Bromfield. Winehouse has invested nearly 1 million dollars into the release by sending Bromfield to vocal lessons and bringing artists such as Lady Gaga and Lamar to sing on the album. (Guardian)
  • AFI who entered the studio with producer David Bottrill has decided to move on and record with Joe McGrath (Morrissey). Nearly everything about the eight full-length from AFI has been shrouded in mystery according to Buzznet, but frontman Davey Havok recently spoke to Billboard and said this: “The songs, for me, seem a little bit more refined and defined—a bit more straightforward,” AFI frontman Davey Havok says of his groups first album in three years. “Theyre not punk rock songs like from one of our early-90s records, but theres more rock-leaning on this album.” (Buzznet)
  • If you haven’t already noticed, YouTube is ‘muting’ video clips that feature “unauthorized” songs. YouTube users are up in arms at the news, accusing the video-sharing website of betraying its fans in order to appease the music industry according to the Telegraph. Some technology experts warn that YouTube’s long term future could be in jeopardy if they continue to alienate their users. On a funnier note, “YouTube could bring back a new era in silent pictures,” said Greg Sandoval, a correspondent for Cnet. (Telegraph)
  • More acts may abandon major music labels. Ryan Adams may leave Lost Highway Records as his own label said that a major-label deal is probably a bit restrictive for Ryan and that he’d be better served by being independent. Pearl Jam didn’t re-up the album-by-album deal with J Records that they signed in 2004 and will most likely self-release its next studio album. Metallica’s contract ended with Warner Brothers in September and Lars Ulrich hinted that the band may do things themselves. Lastly, 50 Cent explicitly stated he plans to go “Free agent” when he fulfills his contract with Interscope in February. (Billboard)
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  • Sony Music Entertainment began downsizing by cutting some staff. At least 30 people had been cut from the company’s two distribution companies. Also, Sony’s Columbia Records has laid off several of its staff members, including president of urban music. (Billboard)
  • Circuit City plans to liquidate remaining US stores. It will close 267 U.S. stores and cut 30,000 jobs. “This is the only possible path for our company,” Circuit City’s acting Chief Executive James A. Marcum said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed by this outcome.” (Yahoo)
  • The Guardian says despite the digital boom in music sales, the majority of music was downloaded for free with no payments to the artist. Shockingly, the report says 95% of music is downloaded illegally. The music labels have embraced the digital age, but it hasn’t curbed piracy. Regardless, paid downloads saw a 24% global rise in 2008. The Government has to finally accept that they must play a role in protecting intellectual property rights. (The Guardian)
  • Radio giant Clear Channel will begin a massive restructuring. Sources say the restructuring will include layoffs across the company’s radio, outdoor advertising and international divisions as well as cuts to programming budgets and consolidation of back-office operations. (NY Post)
  • Who is dominating christian radio? That would be Jeremy Camp.  His most recent single “There Will Be A Day” has already hit the top on three formats on AC Indicator (more than a month at No. 1), CHR and as of last week at AC Monitored.
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Sarah Solvay who still attends high school is a pop rock artist based in New York City. She cites Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones, Tom Petty, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, The Who, and Madonna as influences.  Our favorite tracks are All She Could Be and Gone and Hearts Collide.

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Donnie Ienner former Sony Music chief sat down with Billboard and discusses his early days in the music business.

Ienner looking back: This was pre-CD and if you want to talk about a depressed business, this ’80, ‘81, it was terrible. I mean it was really bad. The economy was in the dumps, this was pre-CD, again, the whole Atari thing was exploding. There were very similar nuances of today’s world, and so we ended up having to shut down Millennium, at the time. (Billboard)

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  • Although, American Idol suffered a slight rating slip, down just under 10%, it still dominated the evening by a long shot. Also, The press is beginning to swarm around the new Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, she gets her first stab by The New York Post.
  • Are videogamers getting tired of playing rockstars? “Rock Band 2” and “Guitar Hero: World Tour” have sold well below expectations, trailing their 2007 editions by significant margins. Maybe it’s time for the tweens to invest in real guitars as the payoff could by much higher. (Variety)
  • What are music fans watching on YouTube? Urban crossover and mainstream pop song garner the biggest views according to BigChampagne. For instance, Britney Spears’ Womanizer (4 million) and Lady Gaga’s Poker Face (3.35 million) held the top views for the week ending January 4th. (Digital Music News)
  • Once again, Taylor Swift has dominated the chart with her new album Fearless, selling 71,527 copies. Now that Taylor has official star power, expect to see her make TV appearances. To illustrate, Swift will guest star in an upcoming episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
  • Steve Jobs the CEO of Apple intends to take a medical leave. “During the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought,” says Jobs. Apple’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, will take over Jobs’ responsibilities while he is on leave. (Breitbart)
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