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Toby Keith says he will start record label

May 17, 2005 at 7:19 PM

NASHVILLE, May 17 (UPI) -- Country singer Toby Keith said he will start his own U.S. record label that he says will be a staff- and artist-friendly label.

In an interview with the Nashville Tennessean, Keith said he has approached several artists to join his new label.

"At some point, we're gonna get in charge of our music again. Let's make it good for everybody," Keith said.

Keith explained he had been wronged by label chiefs dozens of times and his talk of a new label is not just "negotiating in the media."

Universal Music Group, which owns Mercury Records and DreamWorks Records, is currently in negotiations with Keith. "We are in negotiations, and we are unavailable for further comments at this time," the label group said in a statement.

Keith said the straw that broke the camel's back was when his "Greatest Hits, Vol. 2." was released on the same day labelmate Shania Twain's greatest hits package was released.

"Not everybody's got $40 to lay down on two CDs, "said Keith. "Middle America, blue-collar country people have enough trouble buying one CD."

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