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|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Distributor(s)||Virgin EMI Records|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
EMI Records is a British record label. It was founded by the EMI company in 1972 as its flagship label and launched in January 1973 as the successor to its Columbia label. The EMI label was launched worldwide.
The global success that EMI enjoyed in the 1960s exposed the fact that the company had the rights to only some of its trademarks in some parts of the world, most notably His Master's Voice and Columbia, with RCA Victor Records and the American Columbia Records owning the rights to these trademarks in North America. Complicating matters was the formation by American Columbia of its own operations in the UK by purchasing Oriole Records and changing its name to that of its then parent company CBS (the legal trademark designation bearing the full name of the parent company, "Trade Mark of Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc."), and as CBS Records International becoming highly successful, a serious rival to EMI, in the UK.
EMI Records picked up the English Columbia roster and signed new acts that became global successes, such as Kraftwerk, Queen, Olivia Newton-John, Iron Maiden, Kate Bush, Sheena Easton and Robbie Williams (though some of these acts were on different labels in the United States, not EMI's Capitol Records).
In 2010, EMI Records opened a country music division, EMI Records Nashville, which includes Troy Olsen, Alan Jackson, Kelleigh Bannen, and Eric Church on its roster. EMI Records Nashville runs as a sister label to Capitol Nashville.
Australia's most prolific artist, Australian country music singer Slim Dusty, signed with the Columbia Graphophone Co. for the Regal Zonophone label in 1946 and remained with EMI until his death in 2003 - selling over 7 million records for the label in Australia by 2007.
EMI Records is now the only record label (as Virgin EMI Records) to still have the EMI branding after Universal Music Group's acquisition of EMI on September 2012. EMI Christian Music Group was renamed Capitol Christian Music Group. EMI Classics was sold to Warner Music Group on February 2013. After EU regulatory approval, EMI Classics was absorbed into Warner Classics on July 2013.
Some EMI Records artists such as Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Marillion, Pink Floyd, and Kajagoogoo are considered part of Parlophone which also went to Warners. Kate Bush's first three albums were also part of the deal, but her remaining output (from 1981 onwards) was owned by her own company and merely licenced to EMI, with licences taken back in 2011. Queen had moved from EMI then Parlophone to Universal prior to the EMI sale and their catalogue is now managed by Virgin EMI Records (which absorbed Island) outside North America.
In Japan, Universal Music Japan did a label reorganization in February 2014, with more than half of the EMI Records Japan artists being transferred to Nayutawave Records, renaming to just simply EMI Records.