Billboard Bits: EMusic, RZA, Take 5

News on EMusic, Universal Music Group, Wu-Tang Clan, RZA, Take 5

As tipped here last week, Universal Music Group (UMG) and online music site EMusic have signed a definitive merger agreement. The acquisition gives Duet -- UMG's brand new joint-venture subscription service with Sony Music Entertainment -- an additional distribution platform, as well as additional content. EMusic -- a seller of indie-label downloads and subscriptions and the owner of and -- boasts a catalog of 13,000 albums and a paying subscriber base of 10,000.

-- Brian Garrity, N.Y.

While most American acts come to Europe with an all-conquering attitude, the Wu-Tang Clan is using local collaborators to help foster its presence across Europe. London rapper/producer Blak Twang is featured on the remix of the Wu's "Careful," which was released today (April 9) along with "I Can't Go to Sleep."

Wu-Tang principal RZA will be spending time this month in several European studios, recording various European artists for an international rap album he's working on. One of the confirmed artists is Diaz, who records for Norway-based Tee Productions. As previously reported, RZA will release a new album under his Bobby Digital alias, tentatively titled "Digital Bullet," on July 3 In The Paint/Koch.

-- Kwaku, London

A former member of the boy band Take 5 was arrested in Orlando, Fla., after a weekend scuffle. Stephen ''Stevie'' Sculthorpe, 18, was charged with burglary, battery, and felony mischief on Sunday, Orange County Sheriff's officials said. Sculthorpe, who left Take 5 a few months ago, is being held in the Orange County jail today (April 9).

Authorities said Sculthorpe, Jesse Henriquez, 22, and Adam Cady, 25, went to an acquaintance's house and accused him of a burglary at Henriquez's home. A fight broke out between the three and people at the home, during which several pieces of furniture were destroyed. Cady and Henriquez also were charged with burglary, battery, and felony mischief.

Take 5 is the creation of music promoter Lou Pearlman, the man who also launched the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. The group's Elektra debut, "Against All Odds," debuted at No. 26 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart last September.

Copyright 2001 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.>


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