EMI Records, one of the most fabled record company brands in history, is returning as a frontline label.
Universal Music UK today (June 16) announced that Rebecca Allen has been named President of EMI Records with immediate effect, moving over from her successful tenure as President of Decca.
EMI Records re-emerges as a rebrand of Universal’s Virgin EMI, which was the biggest label in the UK in 2019 in terms of album-equivalent market share.
Universal Music Group acquired both the Virgin Records and EMI Records brands as part of its £1.2bn ($1.9bn) buyout of EMI Music in 2012.
“The appointment of Becky Allen is a testament to our long-term commitment, and our adamance that the EMI name will mean as much to a new generation of artists and fans as it did for mine.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group, said today: “Growing up in London, EMI was the most iconic brand in British music. When we acquired the company, we committed to new investment, innovation, creativity and, of course, leadership. Not only have we delivered on that promise, but we continue to position EMI for the future.
“The appointment of Becky Allen is a testament to our long-term commitment, and our adamance that the EMI name will mean as much to a new generation of artists and fans as it did for mine.
“Becky is such a strong leader – creatively and commercially – and has the values, dedication and acumen to keep EMI as the unquestioned home for some of the UK’s greatest talent.”
MBW revealed on Friday (June 12) that Virgin EMI’s previous President, Ted Cockle, was leaving the label. The Virgin Records imprint, says Universal, will now continue under the EMI Records banner.
London-based EMI Records (formerly Virgin EMI) is home to artists such as Elton John, Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Florence + The Machine and Bastille, in addition to international repertoire from Justin Bieber, Lewis Capaldi, The Killers, Metallica, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Taylor Swift.
The label also handles marketing for the catalog of Queen, the global record industry’s fifth biggest artist last year according to IFPI data.
“Rebecca is an extraordinarily dynamic and creative executive with the vision and ambition to restore EMI Records to its position as a powerhouse of culture and music discovery.”
David Joseph, Universal Music UK
Reporting to Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph, Rebecca Allen is taking charge at EMI Records after 20 years at Universal Music.
She has spent the past three years as President of Decca, where she has worked closely with the likes of Gregory Porter, Ludovico Einaudi, Imelda May, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Jamie Cullum, The Lumineers, Melody Gardot, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Andrea Bocelli.
David Joseph said, “Rebecca’s track record at Decca speaks for itself but her string of successes don’t tell the full story: quite simply she is an inspirational leader and no-one has a greater understanding of what it takes to bring artists and music to new audiences.
“She is an extraordinarily dynamic and creative executive with the vision and ambition to restore EMI Records to its position as a powerhouse of culture and music discovery.”
Rebecca Allen said: “Being asked to reimagine one of the UK’s most important record labels is an incredible opportunity, as is the chance to work with some of the world’s biggest and most innovative artists.
“Being asked to reimagine one of the UK’s most important record labels is an incredible opportunity, as is the chance to work with some of the world’s biggest and most innovative artists.”
Rebecca Allen, EMI Records
“Working with artists, and finding and developing the talent of the future, is what drives me and I can’t wait to get started with building on what the brilliant Virgin EMI team have already achieved.”
Allen’s achievements saw her recognised as Businesswoman of the Year at Music Week’s Women In Music awards in 2017 and she was named as one of Billboard’s Power Players a year later.
After studying at the Trinity College of Music in London, Allen started her career at the BBC before joining Universal Music’s UCJ division in 1999.
She became General Manager of Decca Records UK in 2012 and was promoted to President in 2017.Music Business Worldwide