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TikTok is now blurring the faces of artists signed to Universal Music Group

After removing UMG music, the identities of artists are next to disappear from the app

  • 1 April 2024
TikTok is now blurring the faces of artists signed to Universal Music Group

TikTok has started to blur the faces of artists signed to Universal Music Group (UMG) as the two companies continue their row over music royalties.

Fans began to notice a slight blur on artists such as Billie Eilish, Adele, and Megan Thee Stallion on Saturday (March 30), which has grown more severe across the past 24 hours.

Reports now suggest that The Weeknd's face is "completely unintelligible" — though it's unknown if the Canadian singer has adopted the look for his latest album run.

The move comes after TikTok began removing music owned by UMG, reportedly at the request of the major label, amid an ongoing license dispute over music royalties.

Read this next: Universal Music Group has threatened to remove music from TikTok

TikTokers have coined the name of this worldwide blurring sensation as “#UMGone" — with the hashtag quickly becoming one of the platform's most-used in the last 24 hours.

A dance has even been created to mark the disappearance of UMG artists' faces, though as TikTok hasn't rolled out a blur feature for regular users, the dance instead involves spinning in a circle to the build-up of Skrillex, Justin Bieber and Diplo's 'Where Are Ü Now' and quickly hiding around a corner for the drop.

Luckily this track is not signed to UMG so it continues to be possible to use on TikTok.

Read this next: James Blake launches music subscription platform in response to "unfair" royalty rates

So far, Taylor Swift, Rosalía and even TikTok newcomers, The Beatles, have been blurred on the app.

One TikToker told Mixmag: “I thought blurring videos was a new trend or something. I even posted my content with a blur in the hope of it going viral — but then I got a copyright strike because I have glasses and TikTok thought I was Elton John."

Many Drake fans were led to believe that his blurred videos are about his upcoming It’s All A Blur tour, however, the artist has since shared: “Nah this app is whack. At least I still have my alter ego, Anita Max Wynn.”

Mixmag has reached out to UMG and TikTok for a comment.

Hugo Tabekidin is Mixmag's viral sensation, follow him here

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