News: Jive, Arista & J Records Shut Down, "It's A Clean Slate Here"

Friday, Oct 7, 2011 5:15PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

The music industry's ailing condition continues to come to light as RCA has shut down its subsidary labels Arista, Jive and J Records.

Reports of the mega label's decision landed online Friday (October 7).

RCA executives have announced that the company is shutting down Arista, Jive and J Records, and that all of the artists currently signed to those labels will be folded into the RCA Records roster. "The path we've taken is to refresh RCA, so we're going to retire those brands," RCA president and COO Tom Corson told the Hollywood Reporter. "There may be a reason down the line to bring them back, but it's a clean slate here." (Rolling Stone)

RCA's president also said the signed artists were informed of the move.

In the digital age, one might think these closures mean there is little value, awareness or loyalty to a label by name, but the execs insist it's quite the oppposite. "The concept is that thereis value in branding RCA and not having it confused or diluted by other labels," says Corson. "The artists have all been supportive. We didn't make this move without consulting our artists, and we haven't had any push-back. Frankly, they're the brand. We're defined by our artists." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Additional reporting claims a few select label imprints will not be hit by the closures.

The changes do not affect the Arista Nashville label, or the other three country music labels that are under the Sony Music Nashville umbrella: RCA, Columbia and BNA. "Arista Nashville and its respective roster are not impacted in any way," Gary Overton, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Nashville, said Friday in a statement. "Our four-label Sony Music Nashville operations remain unchanged." (Los Angeles Times)

The three labels were home to music superstars like Britney Spears, Jamie Foxx and Alicia Keys.

Pop music legend Clive Davis founded Arista in 1974, signing artists like Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow and his protege Whitney Houston to the label. Davis also created J Records in 2000, where singers like Alicia Keys, Jamie Foxx and Leona Lewis were signed. All acts on Jive, Arista and J will now call RCA home. (USA Today)

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