Paul McCartney Brews Starbucks Deal

By | March 21, 2007 at 8:28 AM

Paul McCartney’s upcoming new album is already generating caffeine buzz.

The erstwhile Beatle has become the first artist to sign with Starbucks’ fledgling Hear Music label, a new venture between the latte purveyor and Concord Music Group, the company said Wednesday, confirming rumors surrounding the deal.

McCartney made an appearance via video link from London at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders in Seattle, where the announcement was made.

“For me, the great thing is the commitment and the passion and the love of music, which as an artist is good to see,” McCartney said of his decision to sign with the label. “It’s a new world now, and people are thinking of new ways to reach the people and for me that’s always been my aim.”

McCartney’s next album, due in stores early this summer, will be the inaugural release for the Hear Music label.

“Having the honor of releasing an album by Paul McCartney as our first project under the Hear Music label is in a word, remarkable,” Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment, said in a statement.

“This demonstrates how Hear Music can present even the most successful recording artists of all time with unique opportunities to reach existing fans, as well as a new audience of listeners.”

Starbucks Corp. unveiled its new label earlier this month, stating its intent to sign both established and emerging artists for distribution within its stores and in conventional music retailers.

The venture is an extension of Starbucks’ prior partnership with Concord Music Group on albums including the Grammy-winning Ray Charles collaboration, Genius Loves Company.

As McCartney enters his new relationship with Starbucks, he continues his efforts to extricate himself from his old relationship with Heather Mills.

Earlier this month, reports claimed the warring couple had reached a settlement in their divorce, with Mills accepting McCartney’s offer of $56 million in cash and property and joint custody of their three-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

Neither camp has confirmed the reported settlement.

Mills and her artificial leg made their much anticipated debut on the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars Monday, earning middling marks from the judges.

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