Giant Records Closes; Artists Will Go to Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Nashville president Jim Ed Norman has confirmed that Giant Records will close its offices today (April 13) after eight years of operation as a country label. Warner Bros., which initially

co-owned Giant with talent manager Irving Azoff, has signed an agreement to purchase the label's remaining shares.

All Giant artists will be transferred to the Warner Bros. Nashville roster initially, and an evaluation of the talent pool will take place in the coming weeks, but no artists were let go today.

According to a list Giant provided country.com in January, its roster then consisted of Clay Walker, the Wilkinsons, Georgia Middleman, the Johnny Staats Project, Neal McCoy, Adam Hughes & Sarah Majors, Liz Byler, Keith Harling, Joe Nichols, Blake Shelton and Christy Sutherland.

Walker, the label's highest-profile and bestselling act, has just released an album, Say No More. The Wilkinsons are scheduled to

release a new album on May 22, and a single from the set, "I Wanna Be That Girl," is on Billboard's country chart this week. Shelton

also has an album in the pipeline, and mandolin whiz Staats was reportedly working on his second album for the label.

"Our first responsibility is to deal with artists who have records out and focus on them -- Clay, the Wilkinsons and Blake Shelton,"

Norman said. "We'll jump in, full steam, with those people to determine how we assume responsibility for marketing and promoting

their work."

The CMA Album of the Year for 1994, Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, a tribute to the country-rock group by country

artists, appeared on the Giant imprint.

Jay Orr contributed to the story.

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