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Before taking the Columbia job, Newton was reportedly courted by Warner Bros./Reprise Records—though, contrary to rumor, was never offered the vacant label presidency under Tom Whalley.
COLUMBIA’S TOOTIN’ FOR NEWTON
Highly Sought After A&R Exec Is Lured to Columbia by Stringer, Barnett and Rubin
Ashley Newton is headed for the Columbia Records Presidency, a post he will assume sometime before the end of year. The highly regarded A&R exec will fill the role left vacant when Steve Barnett was first named Chairman/CEO of the label in 2005.

Under Barnett, Columbia has been successful with iconic superstars Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, AC/DC and Tony Bennett, guiding them to recent chart-topping albums. The label, which has been close or near the top in marketshare during his reign, has also scored hits with Beyonce, Maxwell, Dixie Chicks, Il Divo and John Mayer, as well as new and developing acts Adele, MGMT and The Ting Tings.

Newton comes to the label from RCA Music Group, where he had been EVP A&R since January 2003, when he was hired by Clive Davis, then also worked under RCA/JIVE Label Group Chairman/CEO Barry Weiss. He is both well-liked and highly regarded within industry circles as a multi-genre expert who is equally adept at rock, pop and alternative. The well-connected A&R exec is a top player in his field because he’s considered a great song man.

Before taking the Columbia job, Newton was reportedly courted by Warner Bros./Reprise Records—though, contrary to rumor, was never offered the vacant label presidency under Tom Whalley. Instead, he was persuaded to move from RCA by Columbia/Epic Label Group chief Rob Stringer as well as Co-Chairmen Barnett and Rick Rubin, both of whom he’ll report to.

While at RCA, he A&R'd multi-platinum, platinum and gold artists, including the Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Daughtry, Velvet Revolver and David Cook along with breakthrough artists Ray LaMontagne and Imogen Heap. His most recent accomplishment was overseeing A&R for the highly anticipated debut album from American Idol finalist Adam Lambert.

Newton began his A&R career at Island Records in London under label founder Chris Blackwell.

He went on to hold the position of Co-Managing Director of Virgin Records U.K., having joined the company as co-owner of joint venture label Circa Records.  Newton was subsequently appointed Co-President of Virgin Records America and SVP A&R of the Virgin Music Group Worldwide.

While at Virgin, his signings included the Spice Girls, Massive Attack, Everything But the Girl, Chemical Brothers, Shaggy and Neneh Cherry. He also worked with Janet Jackson, N.E.R.D., Gorillaz, Lenny Kravitz, Peter Gabriel, The Verve, D'Angelo, Fatboy Slim, Smashing Pumpkins, Soul II Soul, 30 Seconds to Mars and Daft Punk.

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