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Madonna confirms ground-breaking record deal
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Madonna has signed a multi-album, touring and merchandizing global partnership with Live Nation Inc. Tuesday, according to a company statement Tuesday.

The deal was officially announced in a joint statement by Live Nation and the Material Girl and was estimated to be worth US$120 million over 10 years including a three-album commitment, media reported.

The partnership between Madonna and Live Nation encompasses all of Madonna's future music and music-related businesses, including the new studio albums, touring, merchandizing, fan club/website, DVDs, music-related television and film projects and associated sponsorship agreements.

Madonna made her move after her longtime record company, Warner Music Group Corp., refused to match the terms of the Live Nation offer.

Madonna said in the statement that she was drawn to the deal with Live Nation because of the changes the music business has undergone in recent years.

"The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a business woman, I have to move with that shift," Madonna said. "For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited. I've never wanted to think in a limited way, and with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless. Live Nation has offered me a true partnership, and after 25 years in the business, I feel that I deserve that."

Los Angeles-based Live Nation said the deal will see Madonna become a shareholder in the company though financial terms were not released in the statement.

For Live Nation, the signing of Madonna was part of a push to forge similar deals with a range of artists, from superstars to emerging talent, under its new Artist Nation division.

"Madonna is the first step to making Live Nation into the next-generation music company," Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said during an investor conference call. "We believe it should help attract additional artists."

Madonna has been with Warner Music for 24 years, recording first for Sire Records and, since 1990, for Warner Bros. Warner Music congratulated Madonna in its own statement.

"She is one of the most remarkable artists of our time," the company said, reminding her fans that Warner Music will still issue her next album and owns her catalog of recordings from the past 25 years.

(Agencies via Xinhua October 17, 2007)

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