Jive, Arista and J Records, which became a home to Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Pink and Alicia Keys among other big stars, have been closed down. New RCA Records CEO Peter Edge and longtime colleague Tom Corson announced the shut-down on October 7.
Corson explained their decision to axe the three giant labels to The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview, saying, "The path we've taken is to refresh RCA, so we're going to retire those brands." The exec added, "There may be a reason down the line to bring them back, but it's a clean slate here."
Jive was primarily known for releasing records from Britney, Justin, Breezy and Jordin Sparks. Arista, meanwhile, had taken such legends as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Barry Manilow under its wing. In recent years, it signed Usher and Pink. As for J Records, it had Alicia, Leona Lewis and Pitbull at time of disbanding.
Talking about the artists' reaction, Corson assured they "have all been supportive." He said, "The concept is that there is value in branding RCA and not having it confused or diluted by other labels. ... We didn't make this move without consulting our artists, and we haven't had any push-back. Frankly, they're the brand. We're defined by our artists."
Admitting that the restructuring happened because business had deflated, Corson stated, "We've learned to work with less and hopefully accomplish the same or more. But by definition, the business has shrunk - the staffing has shrunk, our rosters are smaller. But we're still profitable." The artists who survived the boot will all be relocated to RCA Records.