UNIVERSAL SOUTH JOINS WITH SHOW DOG TO LAUNCH SHOW DOG-UNIVERSAL MUSIC
New Label Will Speed Artist Development & Expand Artist Services
New York, New York, Friday, December 18, 2009 –Toby Keith and Mark Wright have announced today that Show Dog Nashville and Universal South will merge into Show Dog-Universal Music, a combination that will create a more effective and efficient home for developing and marketing new and established talent. Toby will serve as a Principle of the new label and Mark Wright as President. It is a move that underscores their shared commitment to expanding the marketplace for new music.
“Show Dog-Universal will still have the feeling of being an independent label with strong and personal relationships with all our artists. That is what Show Dog Nashville and Universal South have always been about, but combine the two labels and you have a powerhouse with more staff and better opportunities for our artists. I look forward to working closely with my friend and partner Mark Wright,” said Toby.
“The launch of this new company creates even more value for our combined artists, employees and business partners,” stated Mr. Wright. “Together, our best-in-class team will create even more opportunities for our artists, while expanding the services we offer. This is truly one-plus-one equaling three. Moreover, I am delighted to be partnering with Toby, with whom I have shared a close friendship for many years. His remarkable achievements as an artist and businessman define creative leadership at its very best. He will be invaluable to taking this company to even greater heights.”
Toby Keith has been among the top musical performers in any genre throughout this decade, and is ranked among the top selling artists in all-genres at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 Artists of the Decade. He was also named Billboard’s #1 Country Artist of the Decade and #1 Country Songwriter of the Decade, and was honored by Nashville Songwriters Assn. International (NSAI), which awarded him its prestigious Songwriter/Artist of the Decade Award. He is also a three-time BMI Country Artist/Songwriter of the Year with his catalog generating more than 65 million performances. Keith’s business empire is as expansive as his hit making ability, encompassing restaurants, movies, a clothing line and his own record label. This year, he landed the 27th No. 1 single of his career with “American Ride,” the track off his 15th studio album of the same name that debuted at the top of the Country Albums chart. His previous album, the critically acclaimed That Don’t Make Me A Bad Guy, boasts back-to-back No. 1 hits “She Never Cried In Front Of Me” and “God Love Her.” In this decade alone, his singles have spent more than a year at No. 1 on the charts. And his tours continue to be among the top-drawing concerts in the world of entertainment. In 2009, Keith’s U.S. America’s Toughest Tour played to more than a million people, marking the ninth consecutive year the hard-touring artist crossed the impressive million ticket threshold. Overseas, Keith embarked on his first European tour in November where he sold-out a two-week run that included nine shows in six countries. He recently returned from Norway where he performed at the 16th annual Nobel Peace Prize concert.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s leading global music publishing operation.
Universal Music Group’s record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Latino 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 includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalog 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, its new media and technologies division; Bravado, its merchandising company; Twenty-First Artists, its full service management division; and Helter Skelter, its live music agency.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.