Yesterday morning, MBW reported that the comeback of one of the biggest UK stars of the past decade, Duffy, was underway.
Having last released a piece of original music in 2010, the Grammy-winning Welsh singer/songwriter, full name Aimee Ann Duffy, has contributed three tracks to the soundtrack of new Brit gangster drama Legend.
She’s recorded the songs – Are You Sure?, Make The World Go Away and comeback single Whole Lot Of Love – while acting in the role of singer Timi Yuro.
A tentative toe-dip back into music industry waters?
Perhaps it’s more than that.
Duffy’s return appears to be something of a special project for French media giant Vivendi, which is encouraging collaboration between two of its key subsidiaries: StudioCanal – the producer of Legend – and Universal Music Group.
In fact, Duffy’s name was specifically dropped in a investor call this month by none other than Arnaud de Puyfontaine.
Who’s he? Vivendi’s CEO.
Or as he’s also known… Lucian Grainge‘s boss.
“Legend is produced by Studiocanal and UMG artists, including Duffy, have [recorded] the original soundtrack,” confirmed de Puyfontaine.
“UMG and Studiocanal are actively working together on other soundtrack albums.”
“I am sure that duffy will make a successful comeback. All eyes will be on it.”
Now, MBW hears that Vivendi and Universal will be getting a bit of heavyweight help when it comes to resurrecting Duffy’s career.
Sources tell us that one of the most admired management pairings in the business, New York-based Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch (Metallica, Muse and Red Hot Chili Peppers), recently took on the act as a client.
The duo are the founders of the influential Q Prime organisation, which also manages the likes of Snow Patrol, Foals, The Black Keys and Dawes.
Duffy was one of the world’s biggest new stars in 2008, with her multi-platinum debut LP Rockferry becoming the UK’s bestselling album of the year.
She won a Grammy in 2009.
But by the time her second album arrived, 2010’s Endlessly, she’d split with much of the industry team that helped forge her early success – including manager Jeannette Lee.
The release was a flop, and Duffy hasn’t issued any official recordings since the lead single from Endlessly, ‘Well, Well, Well’, failed to chart in the Official UK Top 40 five years ago.
During this period, she was managed for a short while by Angela Becker (Pet Shop Boys) – a relationship that ended up in court.
Now, though, with Vivendi and Peter Mensch in her corner, Duffy’s time might just have come again.
A source close to the singer told MBW: “Duffy is very talented musically – she has so much talent it’s out of control. She also has an extremely high level of intelligence, intimidatingly so.
“I am sure she will make a successful comeback. All eyes will be on it.”
Judging by the popularity of MBW’s story in our industry newsletter yesterday, they sure will.Music Business Worldwide