×

Whitney trills $100 mil from Arista

Songstress to produce 6 albums, 2 greatest hits for label

Inking what appears to be the biggest recording deal in the history of the music biz, superstar diva Whitney Houston has reupped with Arista Records in a contract worth a whopping $100 million.

Under the terms of the pact, Houston will deliver at least six albums and two greatest-hits compilations for Arista, which has been home to the R&B chanteuse since the start of her career. She is expected to head into the studio within weeks to begin work on her first LP under the new deal, to be exec produced by Arista topper Antonio “L.A.” Reid.

Contract eclipses the reported $80 million-plus offer used by EMI imprint Virgin Records to woo Mariah Carey from Sony Music in April. Carey, whose first release under the deal is the soundtrack to her upcoming film “Glitter,” suffered a physical and emotional breakdown earlier this week, and is being treated in a New York-area hospital.

Deal reps a mammoth bet on the future for Arista parent BMG Entertainment, which is facing a $150 million loss for the year and planning to lay off hundreds of employees worldwide.

News of the Houston resigning also quashes speculation that the singer was mulling a defection to J Records, the year-old startup founded by her former mentor, Arista founder Clive Davis.

Reid said Houston was committed to staying with the label all along.

“We didn’t have to fight for it,” the exec told Daily Variety. “Whitney was a big supporter of the company from the get-go — there was never any conversation about her leaving.”

Davis was ousted from the top spot at Arista and replaced by Reid in May 2000 amid a disagreement with execs at BMG over succession at the label.

At the time, speculation ran high that many top Arista acts, including Houston and multiplatinum-selling guitarist Carlos Santana, might bolt the label out of loyalty to the former chief. To date, Arista has managed to hang on to most of its major acts.

Houston is one of the biggest-selling solo artists of all time, shifting more than 140 million albums, singles and videos in her 18-year career at Arista. Her most recent release, a double-CD greatest-hits compilation that bowed in April 2000, has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.

More Music

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

  • Gary Clark Jr.Gary Clark Jr.in concert

    Gary Clark Jr. Brings the Austin Flame to a Hollywood Heat-Wave BBQ (Watch)

    When you have Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich, rocker Michael Des Barres and a flock of dancing young women all rushing the stage at a private event, that’s a good sign you’ve got it going on. Even L.A.’s biggest heat wave of the year so far couldn’t keep a mixed music industry audience away from the [...]

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk – and success — hanging [...]

  • Rihanna House

    Rihanna Seeks Renter for Hollywood Hills Villa

    Not having had any luck selling, Rihanna now seeks a well-heeled renter for a Hollywood Hills residence that is now available to rent at $35,000 per month, after it popped up for sale for late last year at almost $7.5 million. The mono-monikered Barbadian pop superstar and international style icon, also a savvy beauty, fashion [...]

  • Post Malone

    Post Malone Announces Fall Arena Tour With Swae Lee

    Post Malone has announced a fall arena tour, where he’ll be joined by Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh, kicking off Sept. 14 in Tacoma, WA and running through November, where it’ll wrap up with southern California shows No. 16 at the Honda Center and Nov. 20 at the Forum. The “Runaway Tour” will also make [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content