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"EMI is looking forward to working with Robbie and continuing our unprecedented success, which has broken all records in five short years. There's only one Robbie Williams, and we're proud to be his label."
——EMI U.K. head Tony Wadsworth

EMI SWINGS WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS

Brit Music Group and Global Star Ink Innovative Deal, With a Reported $50 Million Advance
The music business may be going down the tubes, but the record-shattering deals continue.

As first reported right here, EMI Recorded Music honchos Alain Levy and David Munns have re-inked worldwide superstar Robbie Williams in what is being trumpeted as "a truly groundbreaking deal." Insiders have placed the advance in the $50 million range, with the overall value of the deal reported at $125 million by Reuters, which would make it the largest in British music history.

The innovative pact, following a spirited bidding war that at one point had Williams headed to Universal, with V2, BMG and Sony also reportedly in pursuit, sees EMI working closely with Robbie, and sharing in the returns from, his non-recording activities, including touring, publishing and merchandising.

The deal continues a trend many record executives have been championing, calling for an integrated relationship in the entertainment business that will provide a multi- platform approach to the respective elements of recording, live work, film and television. The release goes on to boast, "There are only a handful of artists in the world [who] could achieve this level of ownership and control of their own careers and record companies that could make it work."

EMI Recorded Music U.K. & Ireland Chairman/CEO Tony Wadsworth confirmed the label would be releasing Williams’ anticipated new album, Escapology. "It’s a fantastic record. EMI is looking forward to working with Robbie and continuing our unprecedented success, which has broken all records in five short years. There's only one Robbie Williams, and we're proud to be his label."

Added Williams: "I’m delighted to be with EMI. I am now rich beyond my wildest dreams. We look forward to making and breaking new records together."

The material on Escapology, Williams' fifth album, was largely written by the artist with partner Guy Chambers. It will be released in the U.K. on Nov. 18, with a domestic release on Capitol early next year.

Said EMI’s Levy and Munns, in impeccable two-part harmony, "Robbie Williams is an extremely talented and versatile artist with a wonderful catalog of albums. We are delighted to have signed a new deal on terms which are good for both parties and to be working with him for many years to come."

Williams has sold nearly 20 million albums worldwide. Both Sing When You're Winning and his most recent album, Swing When You're Winning, debuted at # 1 in Germany, the latter selling over 1.2 million copies in that territory, while charting in the Top Five in 11 other countries. Neither was released in the U.S.

In the U.K. alone, Williams has sold 10 million albums, each bowing at #1. He has won an unparalleled 13 Brit awards, nine as a solo artist and four as a member of Take That. He also beat the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and John Lennon in a recent poll of VH1 viewers of the all-time top 100 men in music.

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