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"I accept this unprecedented opportunity and will, together with this extraordinary team of executives who join me, justify this faith of BMG by making J Records a powerful and hospitable home for the stars of tomorrow."
—Clive Davis

CLIVE DAVIS' J IS
NOW SMOKING AT BMG

Legendary Record Exec Launches New Label As 50/50 Joint Venture With BMG
That wasn't a very long summer vacation.

Former Arista Records head clive davis',390,400);">clive davis',390,400);">Clive Davis and BMG Entertainment Thursday officially announced the formation of "instant major" J Records, a 50-50 joint venture deal.

While terms of the agreement were not disclosed, sources said funding of the deal totals between $150 and $175 million.

"It is an unprecedented and historic arrangement," Davis told hitsdailydouble.com in an exclusive interview. "The funding is three or four times larger than any company that's ever been started before, coupled with the team of executives that are joining me and the artists that we are beginning with--there's no beat that's missed."

Sources said the former Arista artists joining Davis at J Records include LFO, Next, Deborah Cox, Jimmy Cozier, Alicia Keys, Q-Tip and Shannon Curfman. Davis has also signed O-Town, the band featured in ABC's "Making the Band" TV series. O-Town's debut will be one of J Records' first releases slated for October.

Davis is also expected to announce a major joint venture agreement with a "well-known performer/producer" next week.

"[BMG Entertainment Chiefs] michael dornemann',390,400);">michael dornemann',390,400);">Michael Dornemann and strauss zelnick',390,400);">strauss zelnick',390,400);">Strauss Zelnick have been at my side, supporting and facilitating every major decision, for much of the incredible 25-year Arista experience," Davis said. "And now, from the very first day the contract negotiations began, they have put teeth in their resolute desire to be in business together by offering me a 50% equity in the largest new record company ever launched in industry history. I accept this unprecedented opportunity and will, together with this extraordinary team of executives who join me, justify this faith of BMG by making J Records a powerful and hospitable home for the stars of tomorrow."

Former Arista Records Exec VP/GM Charles Goldstuck will serve as President/COO of J Records. Other Arista senior staffers joining Davis include Alan Newham as Sr. VP Finance & Administration; Tom Corson as Sr. VP Worldwide Marketing; Richard Palmese as Sr. VP Promotion; Julie Swidler as Sr. VP of Business & Legal Affairs; Keith Naftaly as Sr. VP of A&R; and Peter Edge and Hosh Gurelli as VPs of A&R.

Davis told hitsdailydouble.com that he expected to continue to work with some of the artists that he helped launch at Arista.

"With the new label I will still have the ability to continue my creative relationship with Whitney [Houston] and Carlos [Santana], whose next album I'll be producing," Davis said. "I couldn't expect BMG to [hand over] Whitney or Carlos. What's important is that the creative relationships we have continue. I also fully expect to work with L.A. Reid on producing Monica's next album."

While Davis will continue to search out talent, he said, contrary to reports, he hasn't approached superstars like Mariah Carey and George Michael to join his new venture. "There has been no business discussions with Mariah or George," he said. "But, with this new deal, we are equipped and sufficiently funded to sign important artists."

"We are proud to call clive davis',390,400);">clive davis',390,400);">Clive Davis an esteemed member of the BMG family," said Dornemann. "Clive's passionate drive and vision as a businessman and his unique relationship with the creative community promise a bright future for J Records."

Added Zelnick: "We are thrilled to continue our relationship with clive davis',390,400);">clive davis',390,400);">Clive Davis on this exciting, new endeavor. Clive brings to J Records a peerless reputation as arguably the most influential music executive of a generation. With his intuitive understanding of the music market and the creative process, we are confident J Records will be a strong force in the industry. And no, we don't have a succession plan in effect just yet."

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