RCA folds Jive, Arista, J

Label's artists will now fall under RCA Records banner

Sony Music Entertainment’s RCA Records is clearing its decks with the elimination of its Jive, Arista and J Records imprints.

While the acts will remain with RCA, the expunged imprints all carry some historical weight.

Jive was helmed for nearly two decades by Barry Weiss, who ankled Sony Music earlier this year to become chairman-CEO at Universal Music’s Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown units.

Jive — purchased from Clive Calder by Sony Music’s onetime partner BMG for $2.7 billion in 2002 — has been home to such major acts as N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

Arista was founded in 1975 from the ashes of Bell Records by former CBS Records topper Clive Davis; it developed Whitney Houston into a major superstar. After Davis was dethroned at Arista in 2000, he founded J Records, which launched Alicia Keys’ multiplatinum career.

RCA did not address Davis’ ongoing role at Sony Music in its brief statement on the decision to fold the imprints. The veteran exec, who turns 80 next year, is chief creative officer. In 2008, Weiss took his role as chairman-CEO of what was then called BMG Label Group.

“In an effort to refresh RCA Records, all label imprints will now be under the iconic RCA Records label,” the company said.

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