Robbie Williams has inked a record deal with Sony Music UK’s Columbia Records for his upcoming eleventh solo studio album.
The deal sees Williams, who has sold some 70m albums as a solo artist, part ways with Universal – where he signed back in 2011.
As speculated on MBW last month, Williams was left as a free agent after two successful album campaigns via UMG’s Island Records.
2012’s Take The Crown charted at No.1 in eight countries, including the UK. The 2013 follow-up, Swings Both Ways, was a No.1 in five territories.
Before Williams signed to UMG, he released eight solo albums through EMI labels.
Universal ended up acquiring this catalogue as part of its $1.9bn (£1.2bn) buyout of EMI in 2012, making UMG the home for Robbie’s entire recorded music output – until now.
JAson Iley, Sony Music UK
That fact makes Williams’ move to Sony Music UK all the more interesting – and all the more of a coup for CEO Jason Iley and his team.
Said Williams (pictured with Iley and Sony Music UK COO Nicola Tuer): “The team at Sony are professional, incredibly hungry, and have a great energy. They’re inspired, I’m inspired.
“I’m more ready than I ever have been and I’m totally convinced I’m in the right place. I look forward to working on this album, which is an album I’m immensely proud of, in this exciting new partnership with Sony Music.”
Chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK Jason Iley said: “We are delighted to be working with Robbie. This is a once-in-a-lifetime signing with the biggest male solo artist of our generation.
“Robbie Williams is one of the most charismatic, unique and creative artists this country has ever produced and his incredible achievements continue to make him one of the most successful in the world today.
“When he met the team, there was an immediate connection and we are immensely proud to be releasing what is sure to be an album that defines an exciting new chapter for Robbie.”
Williams, who has won no less than 17 BRIT Awards and 3 Ivor Novello Awards, is collaborating in the studio with long-term songwriting partner Guy Chambers.Music Business Worldwide