SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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CAPITOL RECORDS SIGNS LEGENDARY ARTIST NEIL DIAMOND TO LONG-TERM WORLDWIDE RECORDING AGREEMENT

Historic Contract Unites Diamond's Entire Columbia Records Catalogue With His Uni/MCA And Bang Masters From The 1960s And 1970s For First Time

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Neil Diamond, one of the world's premier recording artists, internationally renowned and record-breaking concert performer and revered songwriter - has signed a long-term recording agreement with Capitol Records, it was announced today by Capitol Music Group (CMG) Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett.

This historic contract unites Diamond's complete Columbia, Uni/MCA and Bang catalogues of recorded music for the first time, encompassing the artist's entire body of work, with his earliest recordings through the present day.  The agreement also returns the artist to Universal Music where he achieved numerous hit singles and albums with the company's labels in the late-1960s and early 1970s.  Diamond – a Grammy winner, Kennedy Center Honoree and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – has sold more than 128 million records worldwide, and garnered an astounding 72 Multi-Platinum, Platinum and Gold album certifications in the United States alone.

Diamond is currently writing songs and planning to enter the studio to record a new album later this year.  Concurrently, a comprehensive plan for the artist's catalogue is being conceived and executed by Capitol and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), in conjunction with Diamond and his management team.

According to Universal Music Group (UMG) Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge, "There are few moments in my career that make me as proud as having the opportunity to help bring Neil back to the Universal Music family.  His remarkable body of work and enduring appeal to fans around the world puts him in very rare company among the greats.  We're thrilled that Neil has selected Capitol and Universal Music as his home."

Barnett added, "I had the pleasure of working closely with Neil for many years and was delighted to see him achieve great commercial and critical success with albums that so beautifully showcased his distinctive songwriting.  I am genuinely thrilled that he has signed with us and is already at work on a new album.  All of us at Capitol and UMe pledge our full commitment to Neil as both a contemporary recording artist and as an iconic musician with a singular 50-year legacy of recordings."   

Throughout an illustrious and wide-ranging musical career, Neil Diamond has charted 37 Top 10 singles and 16 Top 10 albums in the U.S. His most recent studio releases, 2008's Home Before Dark debuted at #1 in the U.S. and UK, and 2010's Dreams, a collection of Diamond's favorite songs by other composers from the rock era, debuted in the Top Ten and was highly critically acclaimed.

A Grammy Award-winning artist, Diamond is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon songwriters.  Diamond's many other achievements include a Golden Globe Award, 13 Grammy nominations and 2009's NARAS's MusiCares Person of the Year award.  In 2011, Diamond received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor for his lifetime of contributions to American culture.

SOURCE Universal Music Group

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