Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Katherine Jenkins Denies Being Dropped by Record Label
Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 05:43 PM
Welsh crossover singer Katherine Jenkins, who in 2008 signed what is believed to be the biggest classical recording deal in history, has parted ways with her label, Warner Brothers.
In a message to her fans on Twitter, the 32-year-old mezzo-soprano wrote, "I have reached the end of my three-album deal with Warners. I’m super excited about where I’m going next but am currently sworn to secrecy.”
Jenkins denied reports that she been dropped by Warner because of expensive "diva demands" and falling sales. “This is a happy time for me personally and as an artist so do not be concerned by nonsense reports in the press.”
A report in the Daily Mail suggested that the singer demanded more than $2,000 a day in personal styling, makeup and hair care during her promotional events and concerts. An industry source told the tabloid she had lost Warner more than $3 million.
Though never achieving a major breakthrough in the US, Jenkins is widely believed to be Britain's all-time best-selling classical artist, bolstered by a stream of TV appearances since 2006 on shows like “The Apprentice” and “Popstar to Operastar.” She competed in the 2012 US edition of “Dancing with the Stars,” finishing in second place, as part of a plan to break America.
Jenkins signed to Warner in 2008 in a three-album deal reported to be worth around $8.8 million. Her first two albums released under Warner - "Believe" and "Daydream" - both reached number six on the UK album chart. But her last recording, “This is Christmas,” released in December, peaked only at number 26.
Critics have argued that Jenkins’s success is more the result of physical beauty than vocal talent, pointing to her reliance on microphones and scant experience on the opera stage. Yet her fans believe that she brings operatic-style singing to a wider audience.
Writing from Japan on Thursday, Jenkins offered a parting shot to the tabloid press.