Death Row founder Marion "Suge" Knight and Ron Winter, chairman of U.K.-based Irish/country record company Ritz Music Group Plc (RMG), are launching a joint-venture label, Death Row Records U.K., Bill

Death Row founder Marion "Suge" Knight and Ron Winter, chairman of U.K.-based Irish/country record company Ritz Music Group Plc (RMG), are launching a joint-venture label, Death Row Records U.K., Billboard Bulletin reports. The first release will be the single "Thank God It's Friday" from British R&B singer Mark Morrison, who has signed a five-year worldwide deal with the label. The single is due in January.

In the mid-'90s, Morrison made headlines for achieving five U.K. top-10 singles from his album "Return of the Mack," and later, for offenses that resulted in a jail sentence. Morrison is expected to perform at a showcase during the MIDEM conference next January in Cannes.

In other news, Winter has forged a joint-venture label with Dionne Warwick's DRW production company. The first release on DRW Entertainment, the single "What the World Needs Now Is Love," is due next month. Warwick's album "Dionne Sings Dionne" is expected in early 2002.