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"With a strong slate of upcoming releases we're in a great position to keep Sony Music in a leadership role through 2001 and beyond."
SONY & SHARE
Mottola's Crew Keeps The Hits Keep Coming

Sony Music has more hits than the "Naked News" website gets from HITS losers—and that's plenty.

Almost halfway through the first quarter, the company has a firm hold on #2 in U.S. marketshare, as all its divisions—Columbia, Epic, Nashville, International and Legacy—are hotter than Lenny Beer on Spanish fly.

Trailing only Universal's 28% distribution marketshare, Sony's 18% bests BMG (15.5%), EMD (12%) and WEA (11.5%). In terms of label marketshare, the company's flagship units, Columbia and Epic, are currently ranked one-two, with Columbia at 10.2% and Epic at 6.7%.

"Both Epic and Columbia have hit albums on the charts. Last week we had 40 of the Top 200 albums in America, and five of the Top 10 albums on the Latin charts as well," said Sony Music Entertainment Chairman/CEO Thomas D. Mottola, thinking he was talking to Billboard. "The success of Jennifer Lopez' smash second album, ‘J.Lo' is really amazing. The album entered the charts around the world at #1, the first single is getting incredible airplay in almost every territory and, to top it off, she stars in what has been the #1 movie for two weeks in a row. We've always executed global plans for our artists and have driven sales by tying new releases to major events. With a strong slate of upcoming releases, we're in a great position to keep Sony Music in a leadership role through 2001 and beyond. And give my regards to Timothy White while you're at it."

Propelling the company's triumphant start this year is a long list of artists from nearly all genres. Epic Records' Lopez, currently #3, leads the Sony stable, which also includes Sade (#8), Crazy Town (#13), Lil' Bow Wow (#22), Jill Scott (#27), 3LW (#33) and Ricky Martin (#42). The company's compilation "Now: Vol. 5" is also firmly planted in the top 10 at #6. Other acts seeing sales increases include Fuel, Mudvayne, Jagged Edge and Mary Mary.

As for Nashville, performers like the Dixie Chicks and Billy Gilman continue to carry sales that began last year—which is a little strange in Gilman's case, because last year he was still in diapers. And catalog label Legacy's five-CD box set, "Ken Burns Jazz" is quickly rising to Platinum status.

Sony will try to continue its winning ways with an upcoming release slate that includes Jeff Beck, Leonard Cohen, Mandy Moore, Barbra Streisand, Gloria Estefan, Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Maxwell, Bomfunk MCs, Our Lady Peace, Cappadonna, Jon B., Aerosmith, Shawn Colvin, Train, Korn, Michael Jackson, Shakira and the second soundtrack to "The Sopranos."

Hey, do we get our tickets to the Sony Grammy party now?

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