EMI Gospel, Motown Partner to Create Motown Gospel Label

(April 2, 2013) Motown Records and EMI Gospel have inked a 50/50 joint venture partnership to create new label Motown Gospel, according to Billboard.

Motown Gospel is expected to officially launch later today with a press reception in Los Angeles.

The team behind the former EMI Gospel label, headed by president Ken Pennell, is to handle day-to-day operations and report to Capitol Christian Music Group president and CEO Bill Hearn, who will report to Capitol Music Group chairman and CEO Steve Barnett.

Billboard reports that profits will be split between Island Def Jam/Motown and the Capitol Christian Music Group/Capitol Music Group.

Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Aaron Lindsey has been appointed as A&R VP.

Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group East Coast Label Group Barry Weiss told Billboard: “This is a great opportunity to create a fresh, new approach to gospel.

“We’re taking the pre-existing roster of the already strong EMI Gospel and will hopefully become a magnet for the best gospel talents in the world.

“And they will have access to the Island Def Jam promotion/marketing machinery, offering broader urban AC crossover potential and further opportunities and synergy between Motown Gospel artists and the Motown and Island Def Jam urban roster,” he added.

“I was given a mandate from [UMG chairman] Lucian Grainge that he wants our brands to be meaningful and powerful, not just logos,” said Weiss. “This is a step in that direction in terms of fortifying the Motown brand in addition to what [Motown senior VP] Ethiopia Habtemariam is doing with new artists like B. Smyth and Broadway’s upcoming ‘Motown: The Musical.’"

Source: Music Week
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