UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP DISTRIBUTION (UMGD) EXPANDS WITH LAUNCH OF UNIVERSAL MUSIC CHRISTIAN GROUP (UMCG)
Initial Releases Include Projects from Patti LaBelle, Mahalia Jackson, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Al Green, Dixie Hummingbirds, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, and the Reverend C.L. Franklin
New Distribution Deals to be Announced Shortly
Los Angeles, CA, December 14, 2006…Universal Music Group Distribution (UMGD), a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, today announced its further expansion into the Christian music market with the launch of Universal Music Christian Group (UMCG).
“While we have had significant success selling Christian and Gospel music in the past, we felt that the time had come to expand our activities in this area and hire a staff dedicated to this music,” stated Jim Urie, President of Universal Music Group Distribution. “The launch of UMCG demonstrates our commitment to this important genre and belief that it will continue to be a strategic priority for us. While we have a literal treasure trove of music to mine from UMG and our partner labels, we’re also excited by the quality of the other Gospel and Christian labels currently in the marketplace and look forward to providing them with the most innovative and service-oriented home in the business.”
“Launching Universal Music Christian Group provides us with a great opportunity to further extend the reach of artists and our partner labels’ brands in the marketplace,” added Rhoda Lawrence, VP Urban Sales & Marketing at UMGD. “With a dedicated and inspired staff, we’ll be able to take full advantage of the many distribution platforms available to us, from physical retail to digital.”
UMCG’s first project is Patti LaBelle’s highly-anticipated release from industry veteran Jheryl Busby’s Umbrella Recordings/Bungalo. Putting her mark on the Gospel front, “The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle” hit stores on November 21, and features the Grammy Award winner teaming-up with such chart-topping artists as Kanye West, Mary Mary, Yolanda Adams, Wynonna Judd and CeCe Winans, for an inspirational album like none other. Presently, Ms. LaBelle is on “The Gospel According to Patti” Mega Church tour presented by Chrysler and American Airlines which wraps up in Denver on March 31, 2007. On December 22 & 25, the Word Television Network will air a one-hour special to promote the album.
Upcoming releases include projects from such legendary artists as Mahalia Jackson, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Al Green, Dixie Hummingbirds, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, and the Reverend C.L. Franklin, among many others. In addition to signing new labels, UMCG will also work closely with its current partner labels and divisions (Universal Music Distribution, Fontana, Vivendi Visual Entertainment) to develop new and exciting projects. Among these are Hidden Beach’s Sunny Hawkins and Onitsha, and Music World/Spirit Rising’s “Pastor Rudy Experience” from Houston based Pastor Rudy Rasmus and a double CD from Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s largest 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 Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, 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 district divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group includes eLabs, the new media and technologies division, and Universal Music Mobile.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.