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Arista signs deal with the Neptunes

The Neptunes, the hit-making songwriting and producing duo comprising Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, on Tuesday said they formed a joint venture label with Arista Records to be called Star Trak Entertainment.

The Neptunes, and manager Robert Walker, have signed an exclusive deal that calls for the duo to produce artists signed to Star Trak Entertainment as well as Arista Records and its other labels, and develop new repertoire.

The Neptunes are credited with creating a string of megahits for Babyface, Usher, Kid Rock, Janet Jackson, Limp Bizkit, ‘N Sync and Britney Spears.

Under the deal, Arista, a unit of the BMG Entertainment division of Bertelsmann AG, will assume marketing, promotion, sales and distribution responsibilities for the Star Trak Entertainment label, which will be based in New York.

The Neptunes and Walker will co-head the label, with Walker assuming day-to-day operations as president, while maintaining his role as manager of the duo.

Star Trak Entertainment has already signed its first acts, The Clipse, a rap duo from Virginia Beach whose first album is due out in April 2002 as well as Spy Mob, a four-man rock group from Minneapolis.

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