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"I am proud of all our labels and their ongoing accomplishments. This is really a testament to our label heads and the strong teams they have assembled."
——Doug Morris
UMG’S FOURTH-QUARTER POUNDER
Marketshare Leader Shows No Mercy at Crunch Time, No Crunch at Mercy Time Either
For the red-hot Universal Music Group, when it reigns, the hits pour. The music conglom looks poised to soar above the 30% marketshare pinnacle, thanks to an incredible end-of-year release slate, starting with this week’s chart debuts for MCA’s Mary J. Blige, Roadrunner/ IDJ’s Slipknot, Motown’s Brian McKnight, Interscope’s Puddle of Mudd, DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith and Universal’s Afroman—amazingly, all in the Top 10.

"UMG has had unprecedented success in breaking and developing artists and in bringing our star talent to new levels," said UMG chief Doug Morris after we told him we were Timothy White. "I am particularly excited about the strong release schedule that we have lined up for the fourth quarter. I am proud of all our labels and their ongoing accomplishments. This is really a testament to our label heads and the strong teams they have assembled. And by the way, love your redesign."

The 2001 Q4 release schedules for UMG labels Interscope, Island Def Jam, Universal, MCA, DreamWorks, Hollywood and JCOR include such heavy hitters and up-and-comers as Jay-Z, DMX, Sting, Garbage, Smash Mouth, Rob Zombie, No Doubt, 2Pac, Ludacris, Ja Rule, Shelby Lynne, Hot Boyz, Temptations, Elton John, Warren G, Stroke 9, Mack 10, Leona Naess, Cranberries, Eagle Eye Cherry, Melky Sedeck, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Swizz Beatz, Jennifer Paige, Suicide Machines and Eightball & MJG.

  • Interscope: A massive fourth quarter release slate is topped off by Platinum rockers No Doubt (slated for December), Garbage (10/2), Smash Mouth (10/30), a live Sting album (mid-Nov.), Days of the New (9/5) and Rob Zombie (10/20). Rap-wise, look for a two-CD 2Pac set (mid-Nov.) and Vol. 3 from the best-selling Ruff Ryders camp (mid-Nov.). On the Pop front, there’s Enrique Iglesias (11/6), the soundtrack to Michael Mann’s "Ali" biopic (11/6) and teen dreams S Club 7 (late-Oct.). Also look for the first release from Timbaland’s Beat Club label, Bubba Sparxx, coming Sept. 18. In addition, there’s a Limp Bizkit remix album tentatively slated on Flip.
  • Island Def Jam: The House of Jim and Lyor once more has its patented year-end hip-hop double-play of Jay-Z (9/11) and DMX (10/23) on tap. Look for the sophomore album from Def Jam South rapper Ludacris (11/13), the third effort from emerging superstar (and J.Lo collaborator) Ja Rule (10/2) and new records from ex-Geto Boy Scarface (10/23) and veteran hip-hop icon Noreaga (12/4). Also, discs from Def Soul stars Montell Jordan (11/13), Kelly Price (a Christmas album coming 11/20) and touted newcomer Christina Milian (10/9). There are also highly anticipated rock records from newly acquired Roadrunner acts Nickelback (9/11), Deicide (9/25), Machine Head (10/2) and Fear Factory (12/18). In addition, Grammy-winning Best New Artist Shelby Lynne returns with her Island/IDJ follow-up (11/13).
  • Universal: On tap are Cash Money’s Hot Boyz (11/20), Motown’s legendary Temptations (11/20), rapper Mack 10 (11/13), rockers Stroke 9 (11/6) as well as new albums from G-Funk man Warren G (11/13) and Rock Hall of Famer Elton John (10/2).
  • MCA: Leona Naess follows up her acclaimed debut, "Comatised," with a sophomore effort (10/9), as does Melky Sedeck (11/6), while comebacks are the order of the day for the Cranberries (10/23) and Eagle Eye Cherry, who makes his label bow 10/30. MCA Nashville has a pair of heartland contenders in the latest from country stars Reba McEntire (10/23) and George Strait (11/20).
  • DreamWorks: The Sublime survivors, Long Beach Dub Allstars, hit next week (9/11), while rap producer Swizz Beatz’s bow hits Nov. 13.
  • Hollywood: Look for the sophomore effort from "Crush" girl Jennifer Paige (9/11) as well as punkers Suicide Machines (9/25) and the soundtrack for Ben Stiller’s "Zoolander" (9/25).
  • JCOR: Jay Faires’ new label hits with Eightball & MJG (11/20).
  • Verve: Grammy-winning jazz artist Diana Krall’s "The Look of Love" (9/18) is the follow-up to her Album of the Year-nominated When I Look In Your Eyes."

Concluded UMVD President Jim Urie (after we told him we were Ed Christman): "We have releases in every genre—great rock, unbelievable hip-hop, amazing country and some fantastic adult records. The challenge for us is to take care of the ones that need taking care of and not letting anything fall through the cracks. And if history is any indication, we’ll manage to break some new artists along the way. We’re going to be un-fucking-beatable. Now when do I get my complementary Billboard subscription?"

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