Settlement Reached Between Estate of Michael Jackson, Former Manager

One battle regarding Michael Jackson’s assets is over, as the King of Pop’s estate reached a settlement with his former manager, USA Today reports. This comes five days into a trial over a dispute between the manager, Tohme R. Tohme, and the estate concerning commissions and proceeds from the posthumous concert film “This Is It.” Prior to the trial, the presiding judge denied Tohme’s interest in the film, but allowed his commissions claim to proceed. While the estate acknowledged efforts by Tohme, it contended that his contract ended with the singer's death and he was entitled only to a percentage of income Jackson himself received while he was alive. The settlement is confidential.

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Wife of Warner Bros. Executive Who Suffers from Alzheimers Accused of Elder Abuse

The son of former Warner Bros. chief and Alzheimers sufferer Terry Semel filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court to appoint a temporary conservator for his father, accusing his stepmother of elder abuse, The Los Angeles Times reports. That son, Eric Semel, says that his stepmother is “in serious breach of her fiduciary duties” and “causing serious harm to Terry’s health and safety,” further accusing her of telling his father’s caregivers to change the dosage of his medications, refusing to take him to routine exams, refusing to let him leave the facility and limiting his social interactions, among other claims. The elder Semel is one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and has an estate valued at several hundred million dollars.

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Swedish Music Festival Found Guilty of Gender Discrimination

On Monday, Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) ruled that last August's music festival for women, transgender and non-binary people breached gender-based discrimination laws, BBC reports. The DO found that Statement Festival’s “man-free” event description and public statements made leading up to the event discouraged a particular group of people from attending; however, since no one suffered any damages from the restrictions there would be no financial penalties imposed. The festival was created in response to the large number of sexual assault offenses experienced at Sweden’s largest music festival, Bravalla, in 2017.  It was canceled in 2018 due to growing concerns for women’s safety. 

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Aretha Franklin Dies at 76

Memphis-born, soulful singer Aretha Franklin died at her home in Detroit on Thursday, The New York Times reports. Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards, placed numerous songs in the top 10 pop singles chart and won a lifetime achievement award in 1994. Her career as a musical artist lasted for five decades and spanned many genres- including gospel, soul and pop. Franklin's hits included numerous solo songs as well as duets, including tracks with Whitney Houston, Elton John and George Michael. She battled advanced pancreatic cancer until succumbing to it at age 76.

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Woman Owned, Minority Firm Opens Nashville Office

A Memphis-based law firm, McCullough Law, PLLC, recently opened a Nashville office, The Tennessee Tribune reports. This woman-owned boutique firm is also a minority business; it employs 14 women in various roles from attorney to administrator. Carlee McCullough, founder of the firm, served as the legal advisor of the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission as well as the Memphis and Shelby County Film & Television Commission. The firm concentrates in a variety of legal areas including business, entertainment and many others. Christian West-Coleman is heading up the Nashville office.

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City in China Intends to Replicate the Magic of Music City

The city of Chengdu, China, is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to build a music-fueled entertainment district in hopes to replicate the magic of Music City, reports The Tennessean. Music Row executives have been hosted on trips where Chengdu officials have unveiled their vision for their own music corridor called the Chengdu Musical Fun District, which includes several new music venues, recording studios, office space to host publishing companies and instrument makers. They were also given presentations of the incentive and rent-reduction programs that the district will offer an array of music businesses that set up shop there.

The investment will include incentives for music businesses to set up shop in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province. It is also part of a broader effort in China to invest in copyright and open the nation up to creative commerce that has been undermined by rampant piracy. The two cities have discussed joining through the international Sister Cities program as well.

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