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(Port Washington, NY) June 20, 2006 – KOCH Entertainment Distribution is pleased to announce that it has expanded its audio roster by signing exclusive North American distribution agreements with HBD Label Group, Worldwide Music, Inc. and Taxi Records.

HBD Label Group represents a cross-section of vibrant urban and electronic labels that have established themselves as innovators and tastemakers in an increasingly saturated and hyper-competitive marketplace.  Comprised of three industry veterans (Charles Tremblay, Kevin Shand, and Jonathan Gray), HBD offers practical knowledge, proven relationships and passion for music grounded in the stark realities of trying to succeed in today's challenging business environment. 
HBD's burgeoning label roster and well established overseas distribution network is the perfect complement to the sophisticated physical and digital distribution system that KOCH is famous for in North America.  Currently, HBD has albums on deck from such classic hip hop icons such as Sadat X, Mic Geronimo, and Da Beatminerz [Black Moon, Boot Camp Clik] to new school masters like Nicolay and Exile.

Kevin Shand, HBD's head of business affairs commented, "KOCH is the perfect solution for our operations in North America.  Our internal knowledge of retail marketing and project management coupled with KOCH’s ubiquitous reach, strength and remarkably efficient distribution system has allowed us to create the ideal distribution scenario for our member labels."

Worldwide Music, Inc., is one of the world’s largest independent Gospel recording labels.  The label became a Gospel industry powerhouse in 1998 with hit releases that included the debut project by Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson and the Spiritual Voices, Through the Storm and Evelyn Turrentine and The Warriors, God Did It.  That same year also marked the debut of Gospel Truth Magazine. Worldwide Music’s founder and Gospel Truth Magazine Publisher, Kerry Douglas, quickly emerged as one of the Gospel Music Industry’s leading marketing moguls.

Initial titles and artists scheduled to be released under KOCH will include the chart-topping sophomore project by Jimmy Hicks and the Voices of Integrity, Born Blessed, and a much- anticipated release from Shawn McLemore.  McLemore’s debut release on Worldwide Music, Inc. will be a collection of live and studio recorded tracks featuring songs from the multi-platinum producer, Fred “Darkchild” Jerkins, as well as other industry hit makers. 

“We are very proud about this new agreement with KOCH Entertainment,” Douglas commented and further adds, “With this agreement, not only will we be able to take Worldwide Music and its artists to higher levels, but also open the doors for others seeking national distribution and consulting.  It’s a perfect combination…KOCH Entertainment, Worldwide Music, Inc. and Gospel Truth Magazine.”

Taxi Records is one of the oldest and most famous reggae labels in the world. The label is owned by two-time-Grammy-winner SLY & ROBBIE. With many albums previously released by Island Records / Universal, this is the very first time that the label has released its own works independently in the USA in its 30 year history. Forthcoming releases by Taxi Records via KOCH will include "Sly & Robbie - Rhythm Doubles” featuring Wyclef Jean, Bounty Killer and Beres Hammond, and a tribute album “Greetings to Led Zeppelin + Queen ".
“We are proud to tag team with KOCH - the best distributor now takes care of the best reggae label in the world,” comments Robbie Shakespeare, a founding partner of Taxi Records.

Michael Rosenberg, President of KOCH Entertainment Distribution added, “We’re very pleased to welcome this eclectic addition of independent labels to our distribution roster as KOCH continues to strengthen its position as the leading independent home for independent labels.”
KOCH Entertainment is the leading and fastest-growing independent music and video company in the U.S. and its operations encompass record and video labels as well as physical and digital distribution companies in the U.S. and Canada. KOCH Entertainment is the market leader among independents in both the U.S. and Canada and its record labels had the largest number of Billboard charting albums among independents in 2004/2005.

For more information please contact James Scileppi at (516) 484-1000 Ext. 243 or email james.scileppi@kochent.com .

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