UMG Closes DreamWorks Nashville

The Universal Music Group began dismantling its DreamWorks Nashville imprint almost as soon as Toby Keith officially left the label to start his own company, Show Dog Records. Although Keith, DreamWorks' flagship artist, had made his intentions known months ago, his new label officially launched Wednesday (Aug. 31). The remaining artists on the DreamWorks roster -- Darryl Worley, Tracy Lawrence, Jessica Andrews, Jimmy Wayne, Hot Apple Pie and Tori Baxley -- are expected to be moved to UMG's other Nashville-based labels that include MCA, Mercury and Lost Highway. Even without Keith's departure, UMG was already facing a deadline to relinquish use of the DreamWorks name as stipulated in a 2003 agreement to purchase the label when it was separated from DreamWorks' film division. Keith's new label will be distributed by UMG.

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