Top stars set for Virgin EMI label
6:54pm Monday 18th March 2013 in © Press Association 2014
Justin Bieber, Sir Elton John, Rihanna and Emeli Sande are to be brought together on a newly launched label in a major shake-up of the record industry.
They will become part of the combined roster of Virgin EMI, which brings together many international stars who have previously been signed to Mercury and Virgin Records.
The overhaul follows the acquisition of EMI last year by music giant Universal Music in a £1.2 billion deal.
The revamp of the labels has also meant the head of Mercury, Jason Iley, is leaving to set up a marketing and management firm after seven years in charge.
However, his departure could put a question mark over the next move for Irish rock act U2.
The band quit Island Records in 2006 after 26 years to follow label boss Iley, a close ally, when he moved across to the sister record firm. Mercury had announced last year that a new album was due from the Irish band in 2013.
Other acts who will get a new home at Virgin EMI will be Jake Bugg, Kanye West and Taylor Swift, as well as hotly-tipped trio Chvrches, Professor Green, Laura Marling and Empire Of The Sun.
It will be run by Ted Cockle, who has run Virgin - previously part of EMI until the takeover - since January.
Universal Music UK CEO David Joseph said: "Virgin EMI will be a creative powerhouse for the UK music industry."
Virgin EMI takes its place alongside Island, Polydor and Decca as Universal's biggest labels. Later this year it is to launch Capitol - already a well established name in the United States, where it was famously the home of The Beatles in the 1960s.