This capitol rules over a music nation. Capitol Records is a major recording label in the US, sporting a roster that includes such artists as Coldplay, Katy Perry, Lily Allen, the Beastie Boys, and the Decemberists. It also distributes R&B and hip-hop through sister label Priority Records, which boasts such top sellers as Snoop Dogg and Cypress Hill. (Snoop Dogg was appointed creative chairman of the newly resurrected Priority Records in 2009.) Capital is part of UK-based music giant EMI Group and operates as part of EMI Music North America. Founded in 1942, its offices are housed in the iconic Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, at the famed intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
Capitol Records is highly dependent on the success of its top artists. Many industry observers are doubtful that the label can rescue parent company EMI, which has struggled with crushing debt amid the prolonged economic downturn and sluggish music industry.
The venerable imprint was started by Hollywood producer Buddy De Sylva, songwriter Johnny Mercer, and music store owner Glen Wallichs and quickly rose to challenge its rivals, such as Columbia Records. Capitol's early roster included such legends as Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra. Acquired by EMI in 1955, it later helped popularize legendary rock bands The Beach Boys and The Beatles.
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