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Madonna to quit Warner Music

The pop diva would reportedly ink a landmark deal with Live Nation to cement her status as a highest paid female singer.
AFP | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON OCT 11, 2007 07:47 PM IST

Pop diva Madonna will sever her ties to Warner Bros and sign a landmark $120-million 10-year deal with concert promoters Live Nation, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The newspaper's online edition reported that the 49-year-old music superstar was close to finalising the details of what it described as a "virtually unprecedented" deal, citing people familiar with the deal.

The decade-long pact with Live Nation would see Madonna cement her status as the world's highest paid female singer, giving her a lucrative mix of cash and stock, the report said.

In return, Live Nation would be granted the rights to three studio albums as well as the right to promote concert tours, sell merchandise and license Madonna's name, the report said.

Spokesmen for Live Nation and Warner Music were not immediately available for comment.

The report added that record labels were clamouring to sign artists on similar deals as the music world adjusts to the new realities of the digital download revolution, which has led to plunging sales of CDs.

It said that in the past headline acts like Madonna would release new work through a major label before brokering separate deals for touring and merchandising with specialist companies.

Increasingly however, music industry players are seeking to secure wide-ranging deals that allow them to tap into multiple revenue streams, such as endorsement deals, concert ticketing and merchandising.

Since the release of her 1982 debut single Everybody, Madonna has become one of the most successful female singers in history, releasing a string of chart-topping albums and singles.

According to recent figures her album sales alone have topped more than 200 million while her most recent world tour, 2006's "Confessions Tour," was the highest-earning tour by a female artist.

Madonna is widely regarded as the world's highest-earning female singer while Forbes magazine estimated her worth at $325 million, in its ranking of the wealthiest women in entertainment, behind chat-show queen Oprah Winfrey, Harry Potter creator JK Rowling and lifestyle guru Martha Stewart.

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