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NEW DELHI — Universal Music Group (UMG) and U.K.-based Desi Hits, an east-west entertainment platform, have signed a worldwide recording agreement with top Bollywood actress and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra.
As part of this global deal, Chopra will release her debut album in North America with Desi Hits through Interscope Records and in other international markets on Island Records UK (distributed in India via Universal Music India).
A trained Western classical singer, Chopra is currently in the studio, writing and recording her debut pop album, which will be sung in English.
Troy Carter, CEO of talent management agency Atom Factory, which also manages Lady Gaga, has signed with Chopra to manage her career worldwide.
Founded in 2010 in partnership with UMG, Desi Hits has been producing remix collaborations featuring top stars like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, with their tracks getting an Indian-flavored makeover by DJs and producers with Indian/South Asian roots.
Recent Desi Hits projects include a remix of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” by Mumbai-based DJ Aqeel, known for his many remixes of Bollywood tunes. The latest Desi Hits promoted remix features top Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam on a makeover of Britney Spears’ latest track “I Wanna Go.”
“It has been a long cherished dream which is finally coming true,” said Chopra who is the first major international signing for Desi Hits. “I am truly excited to have an opportunity to present my musical dimension on a world platform.”
“Pop music has always had a love affair with Indian culture and with Priyanka’s unique talent and experience, we have the opportunities to push the boundaries of popular culture,” said Interscope-Geffen-A&M Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine who co-produced the Eminem-starring 8 Mile in addition to albums by U2 and Dire Straits.
“Priyanka is an international superstar who has captivated millions around the world. Her foray into the American music industry meets the vision of our company, which strives to fuse the best of eastern and western culture to create magic,” added Desi Hits CEO Anjula Acharia-Bath.
“Bollywood has had Priyanka to itself for too long,” said Universal Music UK chairman and chief executive David Joseph. “She has exceptional talent and we look forward to launching her recording career around the world.”
Chopra’s passion for singing is well-known and in an earlier interview with THR she said, “If I get the right opportunity to further nurture my love for music, I would go for it.”
As one of Bollywood’s top actresses, the award-winning Chopra recently featured in acclaimed Bollywood film-maker Vishal Bhardwaj‘s Saat Khoon Maaf (Susanna’s Seven Husbands), the script of which was co-written by veteran Hollywood screenwriter Matthew Robbins (The Sugarland Express).
In addition to promoting environment awareness initiatives, Chopra is the National Ambassador for UNICEF in India.
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