THE #1 SELLING FEMALE ARTIST SIGNS WITH THE WORLD’S #1 MUSIC COMPANY
MARIAH CAREY AND HER NEWLY FORMED LABEL SIGN WITH ISLAND RECORDS BREAKING NEW GROUND IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WITH A UNIQUE ARRANGEMENT
New York, New York, May 9, 2002 – Vivendi Universal, one of the world’s leading media companies encompassing the #1 music company, has signed award-winning musical superstar Mariah Carey to an exclusive recording contract, it was announced today by Doug Morris, Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group, and Lyor Cohen, President & CEO of The Island Def Jam Music Group.
The multi-platform integration of Mariah Carey and her recently established media company into the Vivendi Universal system sets a new standard for the entertainment industry. It is a unique partnership between Ms. Carey and Vivendi Universal Entertainment Committee members Doug Morris, Lyor Cohen, Jimmy Iovine (Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M) and Jorgen Larsen (Chairman, Universal Music International), who will all work together with the various divisions of parent Vivendi Universal (VU) to handle the comprehensive coordination of Ms. Carey across a variety of VU’s print, television, film and online marketing brands.
“Mariah is an international treasure and when she became a free agent, all of us at Universal saw it as a onetime opportunity since artists of her caliber seldom become available,” stated Morris. “Therefore, our approach will exemplify the kind of comprehensive effort we’re uniquely positioned to deliver thanks to the commitment of Jean-Marie Messier (Chairman, Vivendi Universal) to building VU into a world leader. Our approach moves above and beyond the concept of a standard marketing plan by seamlessly integrating a variety of elements that will allow us to be more efficient and effective in our outreach to fans. They will see Mariah in places and ways they’ve never seen before.”
“Despite offers from many of our competitors, we are delighted that Mariah has chosen Island as the place to begin the next phase of her unprecedented career,” commented Cohen. “The hallmark of Island Records has always been to take the current model of bringing music to the fans, turning it on its head, and redefining it for a new generation. And thanks to the overwhelming support of Doug Morris, that’s exactlywhat we are going to do with Mariah by taking advantage of Vivendi Universal’s unparalleled brands and resources. This will literally be a company-wide effort at all levels.”
“The signing of a superstar like Mariah is testament to Doug Morris’ vision for UMG,” remarked Iovine. “Following the merger in ’98, Doug has successfully created the first global music company whose different divisions all operate with a level of cohesiveness that is unprecedented in the industry. We are all committed to supporting Lyor and ensuring that Mariah reaches her fullest potential in the marketplace.”
“Mariah is a global phenomenon and we are all excited about working with her,” added Larsen. “Every international territory will be serviced extensively, and we expect to drive record sales with this full-on approach.”
Mariah Carey’s records will be released on her label, which is distributed by Island Records. Jerry Blair, who helped Mariah make history when she achieved her record-breaking 15 #1 singles and most consecutive weeks at #1, will head up the team at the label. States Blair, “Quite simply, Mariah is the greatest singer of our time. She’s an incredible songwriter, producer and businesswoman. There is no one who has a closer relationship with her fans. The landscape has forever changed in the music business. This situation creates a new template, and is the guarantor of her legacy. It is a logical progression for Mariah to have her own company working in conjunction with the world’s biggest music entity. We will take advantage of every opportunity to connect with music fans around the globe, with every available facet of media.”
Carey, who is already in the process of recording her next album, stated:
“I’m incredibly happy. It’s a tremendous and unprecedented opportunity to be working in tandem with Doug, Lyor and Jimmy, and to have the benefit of their powerful international forces led by Jorgen Larsen. They have collectively helped redefine pop music and I am excited to be part of their family.”
As the world’s best-selling female performer of all time, Ms. Carey rose to superstardom on the strength of her stunning five-octave voice, prolific songwriting ability and far-reaching, versatile talent which allowed her to move easily through many different styles of music, ranging from pop, R&B, dance and ballads.
Her self-titled debut took the music industry by storm, launching no less than a whopping four #1 singles, including “Vision of Love.” Her immediate and unprecedented success earned Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. Ms. Carey went on to record Emotions and MTV Unplugged, which generated 2 #1 singles. Her third full-length effort, Music Box, added two more singles to her record of chart-toppers, with “Dreamlover” and “Hero.” She quickly returned to the studio to write and produce the holiday release Merry Christmas, scoring yet another smash with the seasonal hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Her fifth record, Daydream, marked yet another milestone in the superstar’s burgeoning career, as her first single, “Fantasy,” debuted at #1, making Ms. Carey the first female artist and just the second performer ever to accomplish the feat. The follow-up single, “One Sweet Day” — a collaboration with Boyz II Men — repeated the feat, and remained lodged at the top of the charts for a record-breaking 16 weeks. Continuing to build upon her reputation as one of the industry’s most prolific singer/songwriters, Ms. Carey released Butterfly, another staggering success and her most personal album to date. This was followed by #1’s, a collection featuring her 13 previous chart-topping singles as well as “The Prince of Egypt (When You Believe),” a duet with Whitney Houston. With “Heartbreaker,” the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow, Ms. Carey became the first artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s; the record also pushed her ahead of the Beatles as the artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop Billboard Magazine’s coveted Hot 100 Singles chart. Ms. Carey emerged into the next century with her 15th #1 single, “Thank God I Found You.”
The Island Def Jam Music Group consists of a multi-cultural and diverse family of artists formed little more than three years ago, and has fast become one of the most successful and profitable labels in the industry. It is comprised of Island Records, Def Jam Recordings and Def Soul, and is in partnerships with American Recordings, Lost Highway Records, Roc-A-Fella Records, Java Records, Murder Inc, Bloodline Records and Roadrunner Records. The roster boasts an array of talented artists including Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Ludacris,Ryan Adams, Nickelback, Musiq, Ashanti, Slipknot, Method Man, Hoobastank, Ja Rule, Sum 41, Slayer, Kelly Price, Saliva and DMX.
The Island Def Jam Music Group is a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal 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 UM3 (outside the U.S.).
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.