THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
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THE UK MUSIC INDUSTRY LOOKS SET for a very festive fourth quarter, with Christmas albums on the way from Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé and She & Him – and a snow-themed long player on the slate from Kate Bush.
While Christmas albums have long been a feature of the US music market – December 2010 saw American chart hits from Glee: The Music - The Christmas Album, Jackie Evancho’s O Holy Night and Disney Winter Wonderland, among others – they rarely shift big numbers in the UK.
That looks likely to change this year, however, with Christmas albums coming from two of the world’s biggest stars in Bublé and Bieber.
Michael Bublé’s Christmas looks set to be first on the shelves. It is released by Warner Bros on October 24, with the label promising “an impressive promotional plot including an ITV special”.
The album features 15 Christmas songs, including guest performances by Shania Twain on White Christmas and The Puppini Sisters on Jingle Bells, as well as Bublé original Cold December Night.
Details of Bieber’s Christmas album are more scant. The singer’s manager Scooter Braun tweeted earlier this summer that the album would contain “All originals ... soon 2 b classics” but Mercury UK said it would comprise “Christmas-themed tracks” including classics and new songs.
INDUSTRY INVESTMENT IN THE BRIT SCHOOL PAYS OFF
A different class
SALES n BY PAUL WILLIAMS
The Brit School’S huge financial contribution to the music business has been spelled out by new research revealing its former students have sold more than 65 million albums globally.
the figure is uncovered in an exclusive study undertaken by Music Week into the commercial benefits the performing arts and technology school has brought to the industry since it opened its doors in 1991.
led by Adele, Amy Winehouse and Katie Melua, the worldwide album sales generated by the former pupils add up to hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue on their own without taking into account other earnings from live, branding deals and merchandising.
that represents incredible value for the industry, which has invested around £7 million in the school over the past 20 years and continues to support it through proceeds from the Brit Awards.
in the UK, former students
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have collectively sold 21 million albums and 19.8 million singles, according to the official charts company.
the school’s principal Nick Williams said: “News of the global sales achieved by ex-Brit School students is extraordinary and a testament to their individual and unique talents as well as to the UK’s continuing ability to produce great music.
“These astonishing figures show how the Brit School has played a pivotal role in helping young people to hone their talent...” GEOFF TAYLOR, BPI
We believe the strong grounding that the school provides in creative arts education supports young talent to become successful musicians, actors, dancers, artists, film makers and entrepreneurs. their determination to succeed in their chosen fields is a source of pride to us all.”
the publication of what is the first ever sales figure calculated for former Brit School pupils comes as key industry figures and other dignitaries gather at the school in croydon on thursday (September 22) morning to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Guests and speakers include culture Minister ed Vaizey, Sir George Martin who has a recording studio at the school named after him, and lord Kenneth Baker, who as education Secretary in 1988 first approached then Virgin records owner richard Branson about setting up a performing arts school as one of the first city technology colleges.
John Deacon, who was BPi director general when the school launched and has been the school’s chair of governors since october 2001, described the 65 million album sales by former pupils as “absolutely colossal”. “the industry can be immensely proud of it because they put their money into the whole project 20 years ago. the school has certainly repaid that substantial investment in terms of sales over the last 20 years,” he said.
BPi chief executive Geoff taylor said few British industries could claim to have supported education with anything like the success of the Brit School.
“the music industry can be proud of the huge amounts of money and time it has invested in talented young people from all backgrounds, who dream of working in the performing arts,” taylor added. “these astonishing figures speak for themselves and show how the Brit School has played a pivotal role in helping young people to hone their talent and develop the skills needed to achieve international success.”
Arthur Boulton, the school’s longest-serving staff member, noted: “if you take 65 million albums sold then the singles and everything else, you are talking about a large sum of money.
Just think of Adele and the amount of jobs she’s created.” email@example.com
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