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Starbucks signs first developing artist: Hear Music, the label started by Concord Music Group and Starbucks, has signed Hilary McRae as the company’s first developing artist. As far as the future of the label, Lombard says the goal is to release records by eight artists in the next year. (Billboard)

Tension between Epic and Jennifer Lopez: According to insiders Epic Records is fed up not only with J Lo’s dwindling album sales, but with the amount of money it’s costing to promote her. “She costs too much money and doesn’t sell enough,” says the source, who is familiar with the issue. “Her last album cover alone cost $60,000 in hair and makeup, lighting, photographers, re-touching, etc. The video budget was in the neighborhood of $300,000.” Lopez performed on “Good Morning America” earlier this month, and all the costs were absorbed by the label. “Epic had to eat the cost for that entire performance”. Her new album ‘Brave’ was her first studio album to not debut in the top 10 on Billboard’s charts.

New signings: Young actress Evan Rachel Wood is reportedly signing with Interscope Records. Story of the Year formerly on Maverick has signed to Epitaph Records. Metal act Gwen Stacy has signed to Ferret Records. Arizona rock act 32 Leaves who is currently in the studio with Elvis Baskette have been upstreamed to Republic Universal.

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