LABEL UPDATES: Anita Cochran Signs With Warner Bros. Records & More!

Anita Cochran has signed with Warner Bros. Records. She is represented by the Bobby Roberts Company.





Bad Boy Entertainment And Arista Records Finalize Split


Arista Records and Bad Boy Entertainment have ended their joint venture effective immediately. As a part of the deal, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, founder and CEO, Bad Boy Entertainment, has acquired his company, Bad Boy Records, including the complete artist roster and the entire catalogue.
"I have enjoyed my successful partnership with Arista and most recently working with LA Reid," said Combs. "I decided it was time to move my company to a new home and I wish L.A. the best and look forward to working with him in the future."

There are reports that Bad Boy Entertainment has been in talks with other labels, including Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music and Interscope Music and that Combs is asking for the companies to commit more that $100 million.


"The history of Bad Boy and Arista over the past ten years resulted in a revolutionary shift in the music business. P. Diddy and his Bad Boy Records remain at the forefront of the rap and hip-hop movement, whose culture and climate continue to influence today's musical scene," said Antonio "L.A." Reid. "I value my relationship with Sean and I wish him well in his future endeavors."

In this thoroughly amicable parting, Arista will continue to provide sales, promotion and marketing support services on an interim basis for current active projects on the charts by Bad Boy artists P. Diddy, Faith Evans, and others. Arista will also continue to provide distribution on an interim basis (via BMG) for the Bad Boy catalog, which includes P. Diddy, Faith Evans, 112, Carl Thomas, Notorious B.I.G., Dream, and others. In addition, Mr. Combs will continue to be available to Arista artists in his multi-faceted role as record producer, songwriter, remixer extraordinaire, and so on.


Created in 1991, Bad Boy Entertainment began its relationship with Arista in 1993; in 1996, the two companies announced they entered into a 50/50 joint venture named Bad Boy Records. To date, virtually all of the releases under the Arista/Bad Boy imprint have reached gold status or higher.




Dixie Chicks/Sony Contract Scrutinized


The Dixie Chicks and Sony Music Group have reportedly settled their differences with the group getting its own record label, Wide Open Records. The terms of the contract were not released, but the Los Angeles Times has reported some very lucrative numbers in favor of the Chicks–Emily Robison, Martha Seidel and Natalie Maines Pasdar.

The Firm, the trio's management, worked on a new contract, which the Times estimated at a $20 million signing advance. Interestingly, the Times reports that "the pact requires that the musicians reimburse Sony for about $15 million from record sales before collecting royalties. In addition, the trio's managers and lawyers are expected to reap fees estimated at $3 million, or about 15% of the $20-million transaction, sources said. Sony agreed to significantly boost the Nashville trio's royalty rate to about 20%, sources said."

The Dixie Chicks have sold nearly 20 million albums, generating more than $175 million in revenue for Sony since 1997. The Grammy-winning trio, which signed a seven-album deal with Sony in 1997.

The Dixie Chicks' lawsuit with Sony began in July 2001, after the trio sent Sony a letter that the act would no longer record for the company. Sony responded weeks later by suing them, alleging it was owed damages for five undelivered albums, the value of which the company estimated at more than $100 million.

A month later, the Dixie Chicks countersued, accusing Sony of engaging in "systematic thievery" to "swindle" recording artists out of royalty earnings.

In their suit, the country-pop singers said Sony cheated them out of more than $4 million by underreporting sales figures and overcharging for company services. Sony's "fraudulent accounting gimmicks" were uncovered, the suit said, during an audit, financed by the singers, of the company's financial records.

The singers said they caught Sony trying to hide money from them with bogus accounting tactics on 30 separate occasions since 1997.




Sol Records: New Latin Hip-Hop Label


Helen Yu, one of the entertainment industry's top cutting-edge attorneys, along with prolific music producer E-Dubb, have formed an innovative new venture, Sol Records, a label that will showcase one of the hottest new genres of modern music: Latin Hip-Hop.


The first release of the label is a compilation of Latin Hip-Hop, including artists such as Spanish Fly, Mr. Shadow, DOWN, Bad Boy, and Lil Rob. The debut release is being distributed nationally by Southwest.


Helen Yu is at the forefront of entertainment law. She recently orchestrated a precedent-setting seven-figure publishing deal for 19-year old writer and choreographer Wade Robson, who wrote numerous chart-topping hits, including 'Nsync's "Gone" and "Pop."


Ms. Yu's previous accomplishments include her tenure at Virgin Records America, an associate at the well-known entertainment law firm of Cohen & Cohen and at Sony Pictures. In March of 1999, Ms. Yu founded North Hudson Music, a music publishing administration company.


E-Dubb has been a pioneer in the world of Latin Hip-Hop since its early days. The southern California native began his music career as a DJ, where he spun Latin Hip-Hop to appreciative listeners. He then began nurturing the talent by selling compilations of artists at swap meets across the state. Before long, E-Dubb was helping to sell 50,000 units a year to eager fans.
The next step for E-Dubb was getting the music on the air. He enlisted his friend, DJ Khool-Aid of Los Angeles' KPWR 105.9, the top urban station of the #2 market in the country, to help. Soon, they had a show, "Pocos Pero Locos," that showcased Latin Hip-Hop stars such as Bad Boy and Lil' Rob.

"The phone line went nuts," says E-Dubb. "Less than two years later the show has expanded to two hours and is currently rolling into additional markets across the country, including San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas."

"Sol Records is so exciting because it will serve as a springboard in getting Latin Hip-Hop heard by the masses," says Yu. "It feels like we are at the beginning of a major music revolution – almost like the rap scene 20 years ago. I'm thrilled to be working on the forefront of this virtually untapped market and showcasing the talents of Latin Hip-Hop artists to the world."




Lava Records Expanded With Warner Music Group


Warner Music Group's The Atlantic Group has expanded Lava Records into a multi-faceted recording company within The Atlantic Group. Under the new structure, Lava will increase its staff and artist roster, and will add dedicated radio promotion, publicity, and marketing departments. In addition, Lava president and founder Jason Flom has signed a new long-term agreement with The Atlantic Group under which he will lead the expanded Lava.

The Los Angeles Times reports that The Warner Music Group paid Flom $50 million to buy the share of Lava (50 percent) that it did not already own and signed him to a five-year contract. It also reports that Lava would add 35 employees.

Val Azzoli, co-chairman and co-CEO of The Atlantic Group, to whom Flom reports, said, "It
has been a real pleasure to watch Jason grow Lava into a label known not only for its exceptional breadth and depth of talent, but for its innovative A&R team. Jason embodies all of the principles of a true entrepreneur, and his track record in discovering and developing artists is truly extraordinary. We are thrilled to recognize his many achievements as he takes Lava to a new level."

Roger Ames, Warner Music Group chairman and CEO noted, "In just over five years, Jason has built Lava into an A&R
powerhouse with a series of successful artist signings that are simply amazing. His leadership skills, combined with his understanding of artists and the creative process, make expanding Lava a logical next step for this talented executive."

"I'm eager to be moving into the next phase of my career and doing it with the incredible team at Atlantic," commented
Flom. "Working with Val and everyone at Atlantic has been, without a doubt, one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career. I've formed close working relationships with people for whom I have tremendous respect. I now look forward to the next set of challenges, and I am very grateful to Roger and Val for the privilege of expanding Lava's horizons even further."

Flom's Lava Records was established in 1995 as a division of The Atlantic Group. Since its inception, Lava has been
responsible for breaking a remarkable string of new artists who have collectively sold in excess of 80 million records worldwide, 50 million in the U.S. alone. Among the label's signings are: Kid Rock (whose Lava debut, Devil Without A Cause, is RIAA-certified 10 times platinum); Uncle Kracker (whose debut album, Double Wide, has surpassed the 2 million sales mark); matchbox twenty (whose debut, Yourself or Someone Like You, has been certified 12 times platinum, and whose latest release, Mad Season, has surpassed the 4 million mark); Sugar Ray (whose last three Lava releases have sold more than 5 million units); Edwin McCain (whose Lava releases have sold in excess of 2 million copies); The Corrs (one of Warner Music Group's biggest acts, selling more than 30 million records worldwide to date); and the holiday season perennial Trans-Siberian Orchestra (certified platinum). Lava has also released a number of highly acclaimed tribute albums, including Tapestry Revisited, Legacy: A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, and Schoolhouse Rock Rocks, a tribute to the Emmy Award-winning children's television series. Lava has just released the soundtrack to the #1 box-office smash, Scooby Doo, with upcoming label releases including Uncle Kracker's sophomore effort, No Stranger To Shame, Swedish superstar Titiyo, and the major label debut from one of the most successful long-standing independent artists in Europe, Porcupine Tree.

Jason Flom's music industry career began 23 years ago this July, when he was hired by Atlantic Records as a field merchandiser. Within a year, Jason was awarded his first platinum record for designing a full-page trade ad for AC/DC containing the memorable line, "the Highway to Hell is paved with Platinum." While he was still hanging posters in record stores, he discovered and brought his first act to Atlantic, Zebra, whose label debut was certified gold. Moving to Atlantic's A&R department, Jason proceeded to sign a string of multimillion-selling rock bands, including Twisted Sister, Skid Row, and White Lion. By the late 80's, Flom had begun to expand the musical scope of his signings, most notably with the inking of British pop group The Escape Club, and Tori Amos, who became one of modern music's most influential and popular artists. Flom's signings in the early 90's included acclaimed Irish group Clannad, who broke through to RIAA gold and Grammy-winning status in the U.S. He was also instrumental in bringing Ireland's Celtic Heartbeat label to the Atlantic Group, which led to the release of the hugely successful, Grammy Award-winning "Riverdance" project. Under Flom's watch as head of A&R and then Atlantic Senior Vice President, the label signed multi-platinum rockers Stone Temple Pilots and Collective Soul. In 1995, Val Azzoli announced the establishment of Flom's own label within Atlantic, Lava Records.

Flom serves on the Board of Directors of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (F.A.M.M.), a group established to oppose the mandatory drug sentencing laws. Flom was recently honored alongside legendary film director Martin Scorsese with the ACLU Foundation's Torch of Liberty Award, and he was also presented with the first Music Visionary of the Year award from the United Jewish Appeal Federation (UJA-Federation). In addition, Flom serves on the boards of the Legal Action Center and The New School.




Listen.com Signs Licensing Agreement With Sanctuary Records Group



Listen.com has signed a content licensing agreement with Sanctuary Records Group, a division of Sanctuary Group plc, that will dramatically expand the amount of music available to consumers through its Rhapsody digital music service.

Listen.com's agreement with Sanctuary will add thousands of masters from artists in several important genres on Sanctuary Records and its affiliated labels, including Sanctuary Records, CMC International, Metal-Is, Castle Music, Trojan Records, Rough Trade Records and Noise Records. The Sanctuary Records Group's digital catalog includes a diverse mix of artists in the metal, reggae, rock, and punk genres, from Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Queensryche and Motorhead to Joey Ramone, Bob Marley, Widespread Panic, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pet Shop Boys, and The Kinks.

"With the largest and most diversified independently owned catalog of music in the world, we appeal to countless fans that are increasingly active in the digital arena," stated Sanctuary President Tom Lipsky. "Services like Rhapsody are helping deliver on digital music's early promise. We're glad to be working with Listen.com, and pleased to be giving fans another exciting channel for hearing our artists' music."

Rhapsody gives music fans unlimited and unrestricted access to one of the world's largest libraries of legally available digital music, spanning more than 150,000 tracks from many of the world's best-known recording artists. Rhapsody is the only service to offer consumers legal access to music from four of the five major music companies, including BMG, EMI Recorded Music, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. Listen.com has also signed licensing agreements with more than 50 independent labels.

"To satisfy the diverse tastes of online music fans, you need to offer a broad and varied mix of artists and musical styles," said Sean Ryan, chief executive officer, Listen.com. "Licensing Sanctuary's wide-ranging catalog of digital recordings gives Rhapsody subscribers access to a library of music that's a cut above what's available through other online music services."

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