Deals: Martina McBride to Universal Republic, Queen Leaves EMI

Universal snags country star and veteran rock act.

Universal Music has been on a signing spree of late. On Monday morning, it was announced that Queen is leaving EMI, its home of nearly four decades, to join Universal Music Group.

The band will appear on the Island Records label, with plans to remaster and reissue all15 of their studio albums, starting with the first five -- Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races -- due out in March 2011.

Queen celebrates its 40th anniversary next year and several events celebrating their career -- including a BBC documentary and a Hollywood film starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury -- are planned. The deal covers North America.

Elsewhere in the UMG empire, country star Martina McBride has joined the Big Machine/Republic Nashville roster. The announcement was made at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in front of industry and press just as CMA Week begins in Music City.

McBride is up for Vocalist of the Year at the Country Music Awards on Wednesday. She will begin recording her new BMLG/Republic Nashville album in December with producer Byron Gallimore

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