Universal Move - Universal Music Group has hired West End producer Scott Landis as it begins a major push into developing and producing theatre. Landis has produced a number of West End and Broadway shows, including the upcoming transfer of Funny Girl, starring Sheridan Smith, to London's Savoy Theatre. In a statement, UMG said Landis would help the company in "forging stronger ties with the theatre community", as well as assisting in the development and production of stage projects based on UMG's music roster.
The move follows the Broadway premiere of Motown the Musical in 2013, which features music from the Motown label owned by UMG and is due to open in London next month. Reacting to his appointment, Landis said, "There's a glorious treasure trove of possibilities in UMG's amazing artist roster and song library, and I'm looking forward to helping unlock those gems and opening the door even wider to the theatrical community."
Sound Decision - Experimental songwriter Jack Garratt has topped the BBC's Sound of 2016 list. The singer, from Buckinghamshire, said he was "unbelievably, overwhelmingly grateful" for the honour. The list was compiled using tips from a panel of 144 DJs, journalists, festival bookers, bloggers and critics. Last year's winners were pop trio Years and Years, who joined the likes of Adele, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding.
Superwoman - Musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson has been announced as guest director of the Brighton Festival. Known for the 1981 hit O Superman and her use of technology in her music, Ms Anderson, Lou Reed's widow, was NASA's first artist in residence. After appearing at the Brighton Festival in 2011 and 2015 she said she was "so happy" to be appointed as guest director for this year's event. The festival takes place between 7 and 29 May, and will also feature her work. Ms Anderson said, "I'm so happy to be serving as guest director of Brighton Festival in its historic 50th year...Our theme of home and place is especially relevant with so many people in the world on the move now looking, like all of us, for a place we can belong."
No Monkey Business - Blackpool is to stage a "reimagining" of the King Kong story, thanks to a £680,000 Arts Council grant. The funding will see the town's Grand Theatre produce the work about the giant gorilla in 2017, using "multiple art forms in a variety of locations". A theatre spokesman said a "surprise" show for a "secret and fantastical site" was also planned for this year. The theatre was given the funding after applying to the council's Ambition For Excellence fund, which is aimed at "stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector in England".
Sleeve Art - The bird-themed cover of Rattle That Lock, the fourth solo album from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, has won a prize for the year's best album artwork.The artwork was selected from 50 entrants i