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April 16, 2010

Unexpected Disney Musical Artists

Everyone knows Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers are part of Disney's musical stable. With multiple labels including Walt Disney Records, Hollywood Records, and Buena Vista Records, digging a little deeper (as Mama Odie from The Princess and the Frog would say) turns up some interesting names.

The Hollywood Records label, home to Miley, Selena Gomez, and many others is also home to Atreyu. Wikipedia refers to Atreyu as "an American metalcore band from Orange County, California, formed in 1998." Their latest album is titled Congregation of the Damned and is quite the opposite of the Jonas Brothers.

Also on Hollywood Records is Breaking Benjamin, an alternative-rock/post-grunge band from Pennsylvania. A few of their better-known songs include "So Cold", "The Diary of Jane" and "I Will Not Bow".

Walt Disney Records, in addition to releasing the soundtracks to Disney movies, hosts a few artists. None of them are very surprising. The list includes Billy Ray Cyrus, the Imagination Movers, and Hannah Montana. Apparently Hannah is a different entity than Miley, which is not all that surprising when you think about it. It gives Miley some freedom and keeps Hannah's "image" squeaky clean. The only unusual name under Walt Disney Records is a band called KSM. Their best known song is a cover of "I Want You to Want Me" for the ABC Family series 10 Things I Hate About You based on the movie of the same name. To me they look like a rock version of the Spice Girls.

Most surprising to me, however, is another group on Hollywood Records: Queen. Even though Queen is not currently writing and recording new material, the sales from people wanting to replace their records and tapes (and even CDs in some cases) and new listeners is worth having Queen as an artist.

The examples above are why record companies have many labels. It allows record companies to define a label's image. Breaking Benjamin wouldn't fit on Walt Disney Records, home of the Disney soundtracks. The Imagination Movers don't really fit in on Hollywood Records even with the stable of Disney Channel stars that populate the label. It's good business sense to have multiple labels; by just reading Hollywood Records on a Queen album, most people won't even associate it with Disney. It gives Hollywood Records freedom to work without the Disney name but still generate profits for The Walt Disney Company.

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