Starbucks label inks Paul McCartney to deal
NEW YORK - Starbucks Corp. has signed former Beatle Paul McCartney as the first artist on its new record label, Hear Music, the coffee-shop operator said Wednesday at its annual shareholder meeting.
Appearing via satellite from London, McCartney said the album would hit stores in early June.
"I've been working on it for a little while," McCartney said. "The songs are a little bit retrospective, some are of now, and some hark back to the past. All of them are songs I'm very proud of."
Earlier this month, Starbucks announced it would partner with Concord Music Group to launch a record label. Concord controls several labels and helped Starbucks sell "Genius Loves Company," an album of Ray Charles duets that won a Grammy award.
Now, rather than putting the Starbucks brand on an album, the label will sign its own artists and sell records through Starbucks and other stores.
"The aim with my music is to reach the people out there in a new way," McCartney said.
After speaking with McCartney, Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz appeared star-struck. "Talking to a Beatle - wow," he said to the shareholders assembled at the meeting. "Who would have thought?"
The Seattle-based company kicked off the meeting with a performance by a shift supervisor from an Atlanta-area Starbucks, who said Starbucks allows her to follow her dream of being an artist.
The employee will be featured on an album entitled "Off the Clock," which features performances by people who work at Starbucks.