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EMI Pays $3.75 Million Over Payola Charges

EMI — home to artists like Coldplay, Gorillaz, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, among others — agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle pay-for-play charges by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that they secretly paid radio stations to air their artists’ music. The music monolith became the last of the four biggest music groups (Sony BMG, Warner Brothers, Universal) to settle with Spitzer’s office over the payola scandal, according to Reuters. EMI allegedly provided illegal “financial benefits to obtain airplay and boost the chart position of its artists by bribing radio station employees with concert tickets, video games and hotel, and air fare expenses,” Spitzer’s office said. Among EMI’s artists who reportedly benefited from the secret payments are Coldplay, the Rolling Stones, and Gorillaz.

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