Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Pink are among the many singers who are suddenly looking for a new recording home. Even some winners of American Idol are in jeopardy, with Lee DeWyze the first complete casualty.
What is causing this major shake-up? The Hollywood Reporter says it's because RCA has decided to shut down three of its major labels. Those are Arista, Jive and J Records.
Those labels have carried some high-powered talent in the past. Dido, Aretha Franklin and Barry Manilow recorded for Arista. Jive enjoyed the musical stylings of major boy bands like The Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. J Records offered some of the freshest new talent on the market today with the likes of Alicia Keys and Leona Lewis.
However, artists like Justin Timberlake don't really have any real worry. They'll be picked up by RCA direct. As for the retiring labels, the company says they are shutting them down to "refresh" RCA.
Tim Corson, RCA's COO stated, "the concept is that there is value on branding RCA and not having it confused or diluted by other labels." He noted that the company had contacted their artists before make the change and indicated that most were "supportive."
"We didn't make this move without consulting our artists, and we haven't had any push-back. Frankly, they're the brand. We're defined by our artists," said Corson.
In reality, the label shut down is more likely in response to layoffs that RCA has made recently, as a result of the restructuring of its parent company, Sony Music. Sadly, many large companies and corporations are facing similar rearrangements and down-sizing. It is a sign of things to come in a world-wide economy that isn't rebounding.
Lucky for Justin Timberlake and others that a loyal fan base keeps them noteworthy. For the moment, at least, that insures them a place somewhere within RCA.