Universal Music Group Preorder Controversy: Questionable Demi Lovato and Lana Del Rey Autographed Items

Though this is being discussed in other threads, I though it might be best to have a specific topic dedicated to this, as the issue involves one particular label and their clients - who happen to be two of the biggest young music stars in the world right now.

Many fans and autograph collectors were excited to see Lana Del Rey and Demi Lovato offering autographed preorders at rock bottom prices, seemingly a gift to their devoted fans as well as a great promotional tactic to boost album sales. Of course, these were enthusiastically purchased quickly, with Lana's preorders selling out in a matter of about a day. Strangely, sales for Demi's preorders continued for weeks afterward without being cut off, raising question of how a huge superstar who does not like signing tons of autographs planned to tacking what was presumably tens of thousands of orders (these included autographed CDs, vinyl and, most recently, posters priced at only $10).

After weeks of delays, the Lana Del Rey orders began to ship. After hearing one fan contend that the UK signed CDs appeared to be a mixture of authentic Lana signatures and questionable signatures, I was not thrilled when I saw what Universal Music Australia sent me (scan pictured). Without extensive knowledge of Lana's signature, the fact that the signature was slowly drawn in what appeared to be an attempt to duplicate a signature immediately raised red flags. This was certainly not the signature of a young woman who has signed her named numerous times over the past few years. After consulting with a few longtime fans - a couple of whom had met Lana many times - there was little doubt that this autograph was not from the artist herself.

In the following weeks, the UK lithographs became to ship, just before the US releases (CDs and lithos). The immediate consensus was the same - they were not authentic. Many fans with little to no knowledge of what to expect or look for were oblivious to this (or perhaps didn't really care), while others raised immediate questions on social media. Something was decidedly off. 

Meanwhile, the pessimism among some fans crept up regarding how UMG would handle Demi's preorder. If they shipped quickly, they would almost assuredly be autopens or preprints. If Demi actually tried to tackle all of these, it would likely take months - maybe longer. It would appear that the answer is the former. One fan immediately ID'ed the Demi Lovato signatures as distinct autopen patterns (I believe two have been identified thus far) as the first shipments arrived. 

Both Universal and Lana have contested that the signatures are real, which, in my opinion - and that of others - is a pure tactic to cover their backs. Personally, I don't appreciate big companies and big artists using such low tactics to pad album sale stats. And someone clearly didn't put on their thinking cap when considering the possible PR fallout. It never ceases to blow my mind how many of these young, egocentric musicians say they care about their fans while treating them like they're idiots. I've seen enough of it over the years to have virtually no tolerance for it. Fraud, deception and greed should and will be called out.

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Put it on eBay it's real now lol.
Yeah right. Who takes a PSA or Beckett opinion seriously anymore?
Everyone on eBay. If it's not PSA it's not real on there.
Cause those dopes are sticker collectors
Love him or hate him...Steve Grad is pretty high profile. If anyone is friendly enough with him to get his opinion and even post about this crap it may help the ball rolling to stop these companies from screwing over their fans.

but if he says its fake and universal music goes after him saying there not ,he can be sued into the next lifetime wich would be fun in my opinion to see how it would shake out.

they will get him and beckett for millions .its one thing says some joe shmucks fake but going up against a billion dollar company he better gave irion clad proof .not just of his stupid letters saying well  its not real becuase of  pick any  of reason i listed on the rejection letter.

the courts would have a field day with it

Maybe with Lana...The Demi is clearly autopen. Won't be that hard to prove, but I agree it is all mostly futile. The rich get richer and nothing can be done without any "professionals" willing to stick their neck out.

The only thing Universal might have going for them is their legal team. And the last card they'd want to play is threatening anyone, since the evidence is pretty decidedly not in their favor here.

knowing universals legal team  unless somebody on the inside comes foward there not worried.

Regarding Grad, I don't think his opinion or statement on this would matter one way or another. You have a lot of fans expressing doubts or flat out calling out the artists on social media, with accompanying photos. In Demi's case, it doesn't really require an expert to point out that all the signature patterns are exactly the same and that the odds of this are essentially nil. I think the best strategy is to continue to keep this topic fresh and continue to make it obvious that there is an issue and someone's not being upfront. Multiple people probably. 

Examples of the same autopen pattern for the Demi Lovato CDs. These were posted on RACC and Twitter.

basically as good as confirmed fakes......

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