In one of the most important deals in the young history of the contemporary Gospel music field, GospoCentric Records, LLC -- which includes the GospoCentric Records and B-Rite Music labels and is the home of urban Gospel megastars Kirk Franklin (whose 3 million-selling God Property is the biggest-selling Gospel album ever), Byron Cage, Tramaine Hawkins, the McClurkins, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and the best-selling Gotta Have Gospel series -- has been acquired by the Zomba Label Group (ZLG), it was announced today by Barry Weiss, President/CEO, Zomba Label Group.
GospoCentric was founded in 1992 by Vicki Mack Lataillade, who began her career in music as an intern with RCA Records in 1975, while attending UCLA. She has gone on to guide GospoCentric into a leading force in today's urban Gospel marketplace, with sales of more than 20 million albums. In 1996, her husband Claude Lataillade founded B-Rite Music, envisioned as a more eclectic and avant-garde label. The two labels were merged in 2001. Under terms of the acquisition, Mrs. Lataillade will stay on to run GospoCentric as president, based at its headquarters in Inglewood, California. She will report directly to Tom Carrabba, Senior Vice President, Sales/Marketing, and General Manager of the Zomba Label Group, which is based in New York.
"I am confident with the combination of an outstanding GospoCentric artist roster, Vicki's keen A&R instincts, and Zomba's marketing clout in the Gospel market, this makes a win win situation for all," said Barry Weiss President/CEO ZLG.
"I have come full circle from my start as an intern for RCA some 30 years ago, to selling my own successful label," said Mrs. Lataillade. "This has to be the American dream. I am proud to be apart of the Zomba family where I helped them start with their first Gospel artist years ago, before there was even a Verity Records. Furthermore, I am excited about continuing my long standing working relationship with Barry Weiss, Tom Carrabba, the GospoCentric staff, and the entire Zomba Label Group."
"I have had the fortunate pleasure of working with Vicki and The GospoCentric label's artists for the last several years in a sales/distribution capacity and now look forward to working closer under our new arrangement," said Mr. Carrabba. "Vickie possesses the passion, entrepreneurial spirit, and independent mind-set which is necessary to be competitive in today's marketplace."
GospoCentric made history when it became the first Christian label to have a single nominated for the Song Of the Year Grammy Award - Kirk Franklin's version of "Lean On Me" (with guest vocals by R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, and U2's Bono), from his mammoth double-platinum album, The Nu Nation Project, released in 1998 - marking the first time that an album from any Gospel label passed the million-selling plateau. That same year, Gospo Centric was named NARM's Small Entertainment Supplier Of the Year, and subsequently was named Billboard's #1 Gospel Label in 1999. In addition to all the aforementioned names, artists on the GospoCentric and B-Rite rosters also include RJ Helton, Bobby Jones, Kaleo, J Moss, Soul Seekers, David Talbert, Natalie Wilson & S.O.P., and The Family.
More recently, GospoCentric swept Gospel music's 2003 Stellar Awards when Franklin was named Artist Of the Year and Producer Of the Year, his album The Rebirth Of Kirk Franklin was named CD Of the Year, and its hit single "Hosanna" took Song Of the Year and Video Of the Year awards. Also at the 2003 Stellars, B-Rite's Dorinda Clark-Cole had the rare distinction of winning both Female Vocalist Of the Year and Traditional Female Vocalist Of the Year awards. The 2004 Stellar Awards were another sweep, as "Prince Of Praise" Byron Cage was named Male Vocalist Of the Year, and his self-titled GospoCentric debut was named both CD Of the Year and Contemporary CD Of the Year. Its key track "Presence Of the Lord" won for Song Of the Year and its composer (and fellow GospoCentric artist) Kurt Carr was duly named Producer Of the Year for his work on the album.
About Zomba Label Group (ZLG):
Zomba Label Group (ZLG) is one of the industry's most dynamic record companies, and its associated labels are comprised of Jive, LaFace, So So Def, Verity, Volcano, Violator Records and GospoCentric. These labels are home to a varied group of top entertainers, including 311, Backstreet Boys, Byron Cage, Ciara, Clipse, Jermaine Dupri, Eamon, Kirk Franklin, Buddy Guy, Anthony Hamilton, Fred Hammond, J-Kwon, Joe, Syleena Johnson, Kurt Carr, John P. Kee, Kelis, R. Kelly, Donnie McClurkin, Mystikal, Nivea, *NSYNC, OutKast, Petey Pablo, Pink, Britney Spears, Three Days Grace, Justin Timberlake, Tool, Usher, Hezekiah Walker and Weird Al Yankovic.