UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP APPOINTS MARK WRIGHT PRESIDENT OF UNIVERSAL SOUTH RECORDS
Thursday, November 2, 2006…Universal Music Group announced today that Mark Wright will be named President of Universal South Records. Mr. Wright will succeed Universal South co- founders Tim Dubois, who is leaving the company to attend to family matters, and Tony Brown, who has decided to focus on production work and is in discussions to sign a new arrangement to continue his long relationship with Universal Music Group. Both Mr. Dubois and Mr. Brown will help Universal South during the transition period until early next year when Mr. Wright will end his current contractual obligations to Sony/BMG Nashville. Mr. Wright will report to Doug Morris (Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group) and Zach Horowitz (President & COO, Universal Music Group).
“Mark has established himself as one of the industry’s most formidable music executives,” stated Mr. Horowitz. “He is a world class creative executive who has helped to rewrite the rules for developing talent. As a talent finder, producer, songwriter and executive, Mark can do it all. We couldn’t be more excited that Mark is coming home to UMG to lead Universal South to new heights.”
“I am very fortunate to be starting the next phase of my career back in the Universal family and look forward to building upon the great work already done by Tim Dubois and Tony Brown at Universal South,” added Mr. Wright. “It’s always been a dream of mine to run a record company and I feel that my whole career has been leading up to this moment. I’d like to thank Doug and Zach for the privilege of being given the reins of Universal South.”
As one of Nashville’s most prolific and respected creative executives, Mr. Wright is credited with more than 30 million units in sales and over fifty-five #1 hit singles that he’s written and produced. As a talent finder, the breadth and diversity of his signings include such gold and platinum artists as Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack, Josh Turner and Gary Allan. As a songwriter, he has won over a dozen BMI Awards (seven of them ‘Million-Airs’) for such songs as Mark Chesnutt’s “Goin’ Through The Big D,” the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Lucky Moon,” and “Today My World Slipped Away,” recorded by both George Strait and Vern Gosdin. He also produced Lee Ann Womack’s dazzling chart-topper, “I Hope You Dance,” which earned Mr. Wright multiple honors, including the 2000 CMA Single of the Year and a Grammy nomination as a producer.
Mr. Wright has also shaped hit records for such superstar artists as Montgomery Gentry, Clint Black, Mark Chestnutt, Gary Allan, Los Lonely Boys, Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood and Van Zant, among many others. His most recent accomplishments include discovering and developing Grammy Award-winning superstar Gretchen Wilson, for whom he produced her chart topping 5x platinum debut album, Here for the Party. That album debuted at #1 on the country album charts and put the country music sensation in an elite club, since only five other female country artists in the history of Soundscan have ever debuted at #1 with their first release. Mr. Wright also produced her multiplatinum-selling follow-up, All Jacked Up.
Mr. Wright began his career as a songwriter, penning songs for the likes of Alabama, Amy Grant, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and George Strait. In 1984, he joined RCA Records in the A&R department and his tenure there included co production of the highly acclaimed multi-platinum debut of Clint Black.
After leaving RCA to become an independent producer, he had platinum success with artists like Mark Chestnutt and Lee Ann Womack. In 1994 he joined the Universal Music Group family, first as Senior Vice President of Decca Records, Nashville, and then, as Executive Vice President of A&R for MCA Records Nashville. In June of 2003, he assumed his current position as Sony Nashville’s Executive Vice President of A&R.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 75 countries. 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 Music Group, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, 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.