U.K. tenor Russell Watson has signed a long-term world wide record deal with Epic Records and Sony Music Entertainment U.K.

Under the terms of the deal, the classical crossover artist will start to record his first album for Epic early in 2010 for release later in the year.

Prior to signing with Epic, Watson was signed to Universal Music Group-owned Decca Records. According to a spokesperson for Sony Music Entertainment U.K., he has sold over three million albums in the United Kingdom and close to seven million worldwide during his career.

Commenting on the deal, Sony Music U.K. & Ireland chairman Ged Doherty said in a statement: "Russell is one of the biggest artists in the world, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Sony family."