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Artist imprints

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Alanis Morissette’s Grammy wins were also a score for fledgling mogul Madonna and Maverick Records, her joint venture with Warner Bros. That’s good news for the execs who’ve been handing out vanity labels as if they were a standard contract rider. The last three months alone have seen deals struck with Mariah Carey, Tori Amos, and Boyz II Men, among others. With artists doubling as CEOs, can singing label heads (Tommy Mottola With Strings!) be far behind?

MICHAEL JACKSON
MJJ
(Sony Music)

ARTIST ROSTER
Chart upstarts 3T and Brownstone; Jacko’s sister Rebbie; Nathan Cavaleri, Tasha Scott, Men of Vizion

OWNER’S M.O.
”If I see [an act] I like, I send it to Michael and he says yea or nay, and vice versa,” says MJJ president Jerry Greenberg. ”So far we’re battin’ 50 percent.”

HARD-PRESSED ACTS TO SIGN?
Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Jackie, Randy, La Toya… pick ’em.

TORI AMOS
Igloo
(Atlantic)

ARTIST ROSTER
L.A. rock trio Pet

OWNER?S M.O.
”Tori’s gonna get access to music that we as a company never will,” says Atlantic cochairman Val Azzoli. ”People feel so connected to her they want to make sure their music gets to her.”

HARD-PRESSED ACTS TO SIGN?
Fellow wacky creative types Brian Wilson, Daniel Johnston, Wesley Willis, and Roky Erickson

ELTON JOHN
Rocket
(PolyGram)

ARTIST ROSTER
Maudlin, guitar-playing singer-songwriters Ryan Downe and Daniel Cartier

OWNER?S M.O.
”He’s got his right-hand man [manager John Reid] running things, and he checks in with him every day,” says a publicist.

HARD-PRESSED ACTS TO SIGN?
Ben E. King, The Jets

SALT-N-PEPA
Jireh
(MCA)

ARTIST ROSTER
S-N-P DJ Spinderella, S-N-P backup singers Day Ta Day, K.E.I., and rock group Modern Yesterday

OWNER?S M.O.
”They’re very involved from a creative, A&R perspective. As far as mundane, business, day-to-day stuff, they don’t have time,” says a Jireh spokesperson.

HARD-PRESSED ACTS TO SIGN?
Donny-N-Marie, Captain-N-Tennille

ICE CUBE
Lench Mob
(independently owned)

ARTIST ROSTER
Rappers K-Dee and Causion

OWNER?S M.O.
”Total involvement; it’s his money,” says a Lench Mob jobber.

HARD-PRESSED ACTS TO SIGN?
Vanilla Ice, The Sugarcubes

NEIL YOUNG
Vapor
(independently owned)

ARTIST ROSTER
Perennial underdog and cult figure Jonathan Richman, Young (in his quirkier moments), and ”raw” rock & rollers the Customers

OWNER?S M.O.
According to a publicist, Young and manager Elliot Roberts will sign ”artists with strong songwriting talents” — a criterion that makes Young’s mission 100 percent unique.

HARD-PRESSED ACTS TO SIGN?
David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash

HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH
Breaking Records
(Atlantic)

ARTIST ROSTER
TBA

OWNER?S M.O.
”What I said to the guys in Hootie was, ‘Find me other bands like you.’ You know how many Hooties there are out there?” asks Azzoli. ”There’s lots of them!”

HARD-PRESSED ACTS TO SIGN?
The Hooters, The Blowmonkeys

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