Branson’s newly formed Virgin EMI Records is an immediate contender for the UK’s number one record label. The label launches with a roster of artists including MOBO and Brit Award winner Emeli Sandé, Brit nominated Jake Bugg, Pop legend Sir Elton John, and a host of US stars that include Rihanna, Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.
Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph, said “Virgin EMI will be a creative powerhouse for the UK music industry. It has an exceptionally strong A&R line-up, with sensational domestic and international artists, combined with the ethos which has served the company so well over the past 40 years,”.
The addition of the executives and artists currently working under the Mercury banner means Virgin EMI Records will be home to international repertoire from the Island Def Jam label and Virgin US. The new set-up also means Virgin, which became part of Universal Music following UMG’s 1.2 billion pound acquisition of EMI last year, will return to being a full-service record company for the first time since its heyday back in the ’70s.
Virgin EMI Records is headed by Ted Cockle, formerly of Island Records, said “Having filled the top two positions in the albums chart this month for the first time since the Spice Girls and The Verve did it in 1998, Virgin is already feeling ready to compete at the very highest level,”.
“In the label’s 40th year, to have this incredible line-up of British artists and US repertoire of such pedigree it feels like Virgin EMI will have everything in place to help the very best talent flourish fully.” Cockle added.
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