Cee-Lo Helps Relaunch Elektra Records

AllHipHop Staff

The Atlantic Records Group has announced the rebirth of Elektra Records, the iconic label which was absorbed into Atlantic in 2004.

In its new incarnation, Elektra will be helmed by industry vets Mike Caren and John Janick, who will serve as the label’s co-presidents.

Elektra has already announced its first three signings: Grammy Award-winning artist Cee-Lo, of Goodie M.O.B. and Gnarls Barkley fame; popular French electronic duo Justice, and British dance group Little Boots.

According to Caren, who most recently served as Atlantic’s Executive Vice President of A&R, the signings indicate a dedication to continue Elektra’s legacy of diversity.

“The Elektra logo has always stood for quality and integrity, defining genres while crossing and transcending them,” Caren said. “John and I are devoted to seeking out original and compelling artists from all walks of music and giving them a place to call home.”

Elektra Records will mark its 60th Anniversary in 2010,” added Janick, “and it feels like the perfect time to recapture and reignite the spirit which made the label a beacon of great music and eclectic artistry. Elektra has always been first and foremost about its artists, supporting their vision and giving them the freedom to do their best work.”

As before the merger, Elektra Records will be a division of the Warner Music Group, operating as a freestanding label within the Atlantic Records Group.

The imprint will also benefit from Atlantic’s services and support. Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald, Atlantic Records’ CEO and COO respectively, explained that even when the two labels merged in 2004, the plan was always to bring the brand back to live.

Both agree that Caren and Janick are the best candidates to run Elektra.

“John and Mike are two of the most passionate, creative, forward-thinking young executives in our business,” they said in a joint statement. “They both started their careers as teenagers and have gone on to champion some of the most exciting new music of the last decade. The independent, entrepreneurial spirit that long defined Elektra is in great hands, and we are truly thrilled to see the label take flight once again.”

Elektra Records was founded in 1950 by then 19-year-old Jac Holzman, who currently serves as the Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Warner Music Group.

Since then, the label which vowed to “continue to offer disks of unusual and worthy musical fare” on its very first release, has been home to The Doors, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Anita Baker, Tracy Chapman, Keith Sweat, Missy Elliot, Gerald Levert, and Yolanda Adams, to name a few.

In 1994, the Elektra Entertainment Group made history when Sylvia Rhone was appointed the company’s chairman, becoming the first African American woman to hold that position at a major label group.