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Vivendi Universal's Music Sites and Maverick Records Team to Sell First Major Label MP3

Maverick Records and the Music & Media Group of Vivendi Universal Net USA (VUNet USA) today announced that celebrated bass phenom Meshell Ndegeocello is the first major label recording artist to offer her fans a downloadable track for sale in the MP3 format.

Starting today, a special dance version of the song “Earth” remixed by Lazy Dog (Ben Watt & Jay Hannan) will be available exclusively for purchase and download for 99 cents from VUNet USA’s music and media Web sites – MP3.com, RollingStone.com, GetMusic.com and MP4.com. Additionally, the 50,000 subscribers to VUNet USA’s EMusic MP3 music service will be able to download the track as part of their memberships. The track is in the popular MP3 digital audio format, giving music fans the flexibility to easily burn it to CD-ROM or transfer it to a portable MP3 player.

The original version of “Earth” appears on Ndegeocello’s forthcoming album, “Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape”, due June 4th on Maverick/Warner Bros. Records.

“Meshell Ndegeocello is well known for breaking new ground and bringing people together with her music – it is fitting that she is involved in exploring a new channel to deliver music to her fans,” said Jeremy Welt, head of new media at Maverick Records. “We chose to work with VUNet USA’s music sites because they too are leaders in pioneering new ways to discover and enjoy music.”

“This is a bold step for Maverick Records and Meshell Ndegeocello,” said Derrick Oien, president of VUNet USA’s Music & Media Group. “They deserve recognition for giving digital music fans a simple way to collect and enjoy this previously-unreleased new song.”

“Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape”

On Tuesday, June 4, Maverick/Warner Bros. Records will release “Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape”, the fervently-awaited new album by Meshell Ndegeocello. The first single “Pocketbook”, rich with alluring tones and unabashed eroticism, has been remixed and produced by two-time Grammy winner, Missy Elliot and Rockwilder. The sultry track features rap superstar Redman and background vocals by Tweet, a Missy Elliot protege and Elektra newcomer.

With its finely tuned lyrics and resonance, “Cookie… ” boasts an eclectic array of contributors including Karen Wheeler (Soul II Soul), Lalah Hathaway, Marcus Miller and Funkadelic guitarist Michael Hampton. Highlights include the socially conscious track “Hot Night” which contains politically insightful verses, courtesy of Talib Kweli, and a throbbing beat too penetrating to ignore and “Trust” a sexually explicit love song, not for the weak of heart.

“Cookie… “, Meshell’s fourth release follows “Plantation Lullabies” (1993), “Peace Beyond Passion” (1996) and “Bitter” (1999) which have earned Meshell a fiercely loyal fan base and wide critical acclaim.

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