Ariana Grande Tops List of Most Streamed Female Artists on Apple Music (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Ariana Grande is the most-streamed female artist in the four-year history of Apple Music, the service announced on Friday — just in time for International Women’s Day.

The 25-year-old “Thank U, Next” singer edges out Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Beyoncé on Apple Music’s “Top Women in Streaming” list, announced as the service is set to showcase several visionary female artists during March on its radio shows and curated playlists.

Grande is the first and only female artist to cross the 3 billion total streams threshold since Apple Music launched in mid-2015, according to an individual familiar with its streaming figures. She’s joined by Swift and Rihanna as the only three women in the 2 Billion or More Streams Club.

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Of course, Grande’s streaming numbers have been goosed by the success of her latest album, the Scooter Braun-produced “Thank U, Next,” which set an Apple Music record in its own right when it debuted in February with 185.4 million worldwide streams in its first week — the most by any male or female pop artist ever. That easily tops Ed Sheeran’s 107.5 million global streams — the most for a male pop artist — in the first week after “Divide” came out in 2017.

Nicki Minaj, meanwhile, edged out her rival Cardi B to close out the top 5. Cardi B still has some bragging rights, though: Her 2018 album “Invasion of Privacy” set an Apple Music record as the most streamed female R&B/hip-hop album in its first week of release, pulling in more than 100 million global streams.

Other noteworthy results include Lady Gaga coming in at number nine, Selena Gomez at number 14, and 17-year-old singer-songwriter Billie Eilish cracking the top 20. And for anyone wondering who is Apple Music’s most streamed artist, male or female, of all time, it’s Drake.

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As March continues, Apple Music will also release more than 100 Apple Music playlists, spanning upwards of 3,000 song, dedicated to female artists.

Below you can check out the full top 20 list of Apple Music’s “Top Women in Streaming”:

1)         Ariana Grande

2)          Taylor Swift

3)          Rihanna

4)          Beyonce

5)          Nicki Minaj

6)          Cardi B

7)          Adele

8)          Sia

9)          Lady Gaga

10)        Halsey

11)       Lana Del Rey

12)        SZA

13)        Demi Lovato

14)        Selena Gomez

15)        Katy Perry

16)        P!nk

17)        Camila Cabello

18)        Mariah Carey

19)        Ella Mai

20)        Billie Eilish

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Drake Documentary Producers Accuse UMG of Trying to Suppress Film in New Lawsuit

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The producers of a documentary about music star Drake have filed a lawsuit against UMG Recordings, accusing UMG of “unlawful efforts to censor free speech through the intentional misuse of copyright law” and attempting to suppress the documentary.

In the lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in California, production company Symettrica Entertainment says that its documentary, “Drake: Rewriting the Rules,” has been targeted by UMG via takedown notices sent to Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime Video, “unlawfully demanding that those platforms cease exhibiting the Documentary.”

“Coerced by Universal’s baseless blanket threats of liability, Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime Video have in fact removed the Documentary from their platforms as a matter of course,” the suit reads.

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According to the suit, the takedown notices were sent “under the guise of alleged copyright infringement because the Documentary uses short clips of Drake’s music and videos.”

However, the suit contends, the brief excerpts of Drake’s music and videos were used “to illustrate points and commentary in the Documentary” and their use “clearly falls within the parameters of the fair use laws and constituted fair use.”

The real reason for the takedown notices, the suit contends, was “to silence and suppress viewpoints and speech in the Documentary with which Universal and/or Drake apparently disagree.”

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“Universal’s censorious misuse of copyright law to subvert free speech has effectively removed the Documentary from meaningful public exhibition, causing substantial harm and damage to Plaintiff while further interfering with Plaintiff’s contractual rights and obligations,” the suit continues.

The suit goes on to accuse Universal of failing to undertake the “requisite good faith analysis of fair use before reflexively issuing bad-faith takedown notices strategically designed to suppress disfavored speech.”

According to the suit, the takedown notices were served last month, the day after the documentary was released on Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime Video.

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TheWrap has reached out to a UMG spokesperson for comment on the suit.

Alleging misrepresentation and intentional interference with contractual relations, the suit is seeking a judicial declaration that the use of the excerpts constitutes fair use, as well as unspecified damages.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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