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Escapology, will come out in March, while the first single, "Feel," will be released in January.

WILLIAMS A VIRGIN

Worldwide Superstar’s First Release Under New Deal Gets New Imprint
Robbie Williams’ first album under his new "groundbreaking" multi-million dollar deal with EMI will be released on Virgin Records in the United States.

The album, Escapology, will come out in March, while the first single, "Feel," will be released in January.

You’ll recall that Williams’ previous Stateside releases, Sing When You’re Winning and The Ego Has Landed, were issued on Capitol. Parent EMI Recorded Music has chosen to release Escapology on Virgin to help bolster that label’s roster. Insiders point out that on such a high-profile release, corporate prefers the proximity of Virgin’s New York headquarters to EMI’s London digs.

Written and produced by Williams and partner Guy Chambers, the album will be released in Europe on Monday (Nov. 18), and EMI is expected to ship 3 million units. "Feel" will follow in December, making a play for #1 during the holidays.

Escapology is the first record to come of the much-talked-about deal the singer signed with EMI in October. EMI Recorded Music honchos Alain Levy and David Munns signed the pop star to an innovative pact that sees EMI sharing in the returns from his non-recording activities, including touring, publishing and merchandising. Insiders placed the advance in the $50 million range, with the overall value of the deal reported at $125 million by Reuters, which made it the largest in British music history.

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 Top Five in 11 other countries. That album was never 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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