Nashville, TN – March 5, 2007 – Arista Nashville has agreed to release Phil Vassar from his contract, in order for him to sign with newly reorganized Universal Records South.

“Arista’s been my record label from the beginning, and it’s been an amazing seven years – from ‘Carlene’ on to last year’s ‘Greatest Hits’ and going number one with ‘Last Day of My Life,’” Vassar says. “I think that as artists change and grow musically, it’s important to shake things up on the business side, too. And a career mile marker like the ‘Hits’ disc just makes the timing feel right to make a fresh start.”

This change marks a new creative step for Vassar as he begins his relationship with Universal Records South.

“I have admired Mark Wright and his production for years,” Vassar adds. “I am excited to be able to work with Mark both as my label president and my producer. Fletcher Foster [GM of Universal Records South] was one of the people who signed me to Arista. His passion and excitement is contagious.”

Wright, President of Universal Records South, said, “Phil has written, for himself and others, songs that have shaped the sound of country music as we know it today. His live performance and incredible vocal abilities round out the triple threat it takes to be a superstar. We’re very honored that he has chosen to join the Universal Records South team.”

Vassar’s star continues to rise in 2007 as ongoing critical acclaim praises him for his innate songwriting abilities and addictive, enthusiastic performances, with the NEW YORK TIMES calling him “both a winsome singer and a successful songwriter,” and the CHICAGO TRIBUNE stating “Phil Vassar has the talent of a legend.” He is rarity in country music as his instrument of choice is the piano and he has proven himself as a performer and songwriter — having been named 2006 NSAI Songwriter/Artist Of The Year.

Vassar and Wright are recording a new album of original material scheduled for release in 2007.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is the world’s largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s largest global music publishing operation.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Emarcy, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, Universal South Records and Verve Music Group, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division, and Universal Music Mobile.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.