Backed by two blockbuster surprises, RCA’s top two gave the label a new look
A rebranded RCA Records’ 2013 comeback was bookended by two seismic occurrences: Justin Timberlake’s return and the reinvention of teen star Miley Cyrus. Those and other projects helped Peter Edge and Tom Corson deliver on their early 2013 pledge: to boost RCA’s 2012 6.4% market share of total albums with TEA. And the pair did just that, vaulting the label from sixth to third place with 7.3%.
“Justin selling 1 million in one week in today’s record business, Miley game-changing the culture and becoming a Time Person of the Year finalist—you want things like that but never expect it,” Edge says.
“It was an exciting year,” Corson adds. “Everyone worked hard to evolve RCA into something different than what it’s been in the past.”
The fruits of that hard work began blooming early last year with rap phenom A$AP Rocky’s No. 1 Billboard 200 bow. Next came Timberlake’s hit single “Suit & Tie” and his million-selling "The 20/20 Experience" in March, followed by its sequel in the fall. In between, P!nk, Billboard’s Woman of the Year, continued her onslaught on the charts and on tour. Then came Miley 2.0, of whom Edge correctly predicted in 2013: “She will surprise people.”
For RCA in the coming year, new surprises include projects from Usher and Shakira, who recently released her first RCA single, “Can’t Remember to Forget You” (featuring Rihanna). Edge says, “This will be a huge project for us in the first quarter, and a whole new musical pocket for Shakira.”
Also coming up: Sia, newcomer Tinashe and the rebuilding of RCA’s rock roster, highlighted by Bleachers, a new project helmed by Jack Antonoff of fun.