Biz Vets Form 'Upper-Demo' Label Sovereign

New album by Heart due in June.

Five music-industry veterans have established Sovereign Artists, an "artist-friendly" independent label aimed at upper-demographic listeners. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Sovereign bows in late June with "Jupiter's Darling," the first new studio album in 11 years by Heart.

Sovereign's executive team includes musician Tommy Funderburk; former Warner Bros. Records VP of national sales Charlie Springer; ex-House of Blues in-house counsel Geoff Cline; Ken LeMunyon, who previously held key finance positions at Hollywood Records and Warner Bros. Records; and Internet marketing specialist Paul Angles.

Sovereign's product will be handled in the United States by Synergy Distribution, an indie firm with offices in Denver and New York. The label expects to seal an international distribution deal within the next two weeks.

The second Sovereign release, a tribute to Buddy Holly's band the Crickets, will be issued in late July. The collection will feature tracks by Eric Clapton, Phil Everly, Graham Nash and the late Waylon Jennings, among others.

An album and DVD by jazz keyboardist and bandleader Don Grusin is set for mid-August.

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