"Barry is a rare type of executive, who brings a uniquely fresh perspective to the discovery and nurturing of artists. Together with his creative energy, and our exceptional executive team, we are convinced that we have a winning combination."
——Mel Lewinter

GETTING DEEP INTO THE BLACKGROUND

Universal Records Inks Deal to Distribute Hankerson’s Blackground Records

Universal Records has entered into an agreement with Barry Hankerson’s Blackground Entertainment to distribute Blackground Records, the companies announced today.

One of the industry's most successful entertainment companies, Blackground has developed and managed the multi-Platinum careers of such artists as the late actress/singer Aaliyah, Timbaland & Magoo, R. Kelly, Ginuwine and Toni Braxton.

"We are thrilled to be in business with Blackground and its dynamic roster of talent," said Universal/Motown Records Group Chairman Mel Lewinter. "Barry is a rare type of executive, who brings a uniquely fresh perspective to the discovery and nurturing of artists. Together with his creative energy, and our exceptional executive team, we are convinced that we have a winning combination."

"Working with Barry to take Blackground to the next level is a very exciting proposition for all of us," said Universal Records President Monte Lipman. "Over the years, he has built an incredibly diverse company with an amazing track record. We are looking forward to even greater success in the coming months."

A spokeswoman for Blackground Founder & CEO Barry Hankerson said: "Barry is thrilled to be working alongside Doug Morris, Mel Lewinter and Monte Lipman. Blackground's future will not only be built on the energies and inspiration of our present roster of artists and executives but also on the memory of his beloved niece Aaliyah and the eight others who lost their lives in the tragic plane crash. Together with Universal, Blackground will memorialize them by continuing to make music that endures."

Upcoming Blackground releases will include the highly anticipated second album from Tank and an Aaliyah project.

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