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Russell Simmons Returning To Music With New Label

russell-2

Hip-Hop mogul Russell

Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records clothing company Phat Farm & Rush Communications, is plotting a return to the music industry with a new label, The Russell Simmons Music Group

(RSMG).

"I love music

and I love the artists," Simmons told AllHipHop.com. "I’m looking

for a place where I can really fit in and serve."

Simmons told AllHipHop.com

that he already has several unnamed acts signed to the new label.

Simmons, whose

contract with Universal expired several months ago, has been in talks with executives

at several of the major record labels.

Many of Simmons’

business associates from Universal have relocated to Warner in the past year,

including Lyor Cohen, former Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group and

Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald, both former executive vice-presidents of the

Island Def Jam Music Group and new executives at Warner Music Group.

According to sources,

talks of a new label deal between Simmons and Universal eased after the departure

of Liles.

Universal purchased

Def Jam from Simmons in 1999 for over $100 million dollars and merged it with

Island, forming the Island/Def Jam Music Group.

Warner Music Group,

a former Time Warner Inc. division, was sold to private investors for $2.3 billion

dollars this year. The label is headed by Edgar Bronfman Jr., former head of

Universal Music.

In related news,

GQ magazine recently named Simmons Man of the Year, along with film distributor

Bob Berney, actor Dustin Hoffman and others.

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