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6/19/2005

 
AOL Music Spotlights Six New Artists as This Season's Breakers

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 17, 2005--America Online, Inc.:

-- Innovative Breakers Program to Introduce the Most Promising Up-and-Coming Artists to Vast Audiences on aolmusic.com

-- Success of Breaker Band Sugarland Paves Way for Fall Out Boy, Yummy Bingham, Trey Songz, Natasha Bedingfield, The Veronicas and Keith Anderson

Further solidifying its reputation as the premier destination for music fans to discover and experience music, AOL(R) Music is spotlighting six diverse up-and-comers through its innovative Breakers program.

Dedicated to providing a vast audience of music fans with early access to the hottest developing artists, AOL Music is showcasing music by Australia's 20-year-old Pop-rockers, The Veronicas; contemporary Country singer Keith Anderson; Hip Hop singer/songwriter Yummy Bingham; British Pop chanteuse Natasha Bedingfield; R&B singer/songwriter Trey Songz and Chicago Pop-punks Fall Out Boy. These artists and their music will be featured in high-profile campaigns, normally reserved for more established hit makers, on aolmusic.com and across the AOL Music and Radio Networks.

"It's amazing that AOL chose us as part of the Breakers program. We feel that with their involvement, we can reach another level of fans who might not have heard us," said Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz. "We are honored that they are behind us and it's a winning combination for all."

"With traditional TV, radio and touring pipelines growing narrower in their willingness and ability to support new music, it is especially satisfying to serve artists with our Breakers program," said Jack Isquith, Executive Director of Music Industry Relations for AOL Music. "The mainstream audience for music has moved to the Web and opened a new world of opportunity for developing acts to connect with fans. We feel strongly that this is our most impressive group of Breaker artists to date, and we remain committed to championing new music to our ever growing audience."

Joining ranks with AOL Music Breakers alumni including Josh Groban, The Game, Michelle Branch and John Legend, Sugarland is the program's latest success story. The first Country group to be named to AOL Music's Breakers program, Sugarland made their debut on AOL Music in September of 2004. The band's hit song, "Baby Girl" made its exclusive debut on the program and garnered significant attention from the AOL Music audience before taking off at radio. The song quickly shot up to the #1 spot on the AOL(R) Radio Network chart and was recently certified Digital Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, selling more than 100,000 digital downloads. www.aolmusic.com is currently featuring an All Sugarland video channel, including their exclusive AOL Music Sessions performances of the songs "Baby Girl," "Just Might Make Me Believe," "Fly Away," "Speed of Life" and "Something More," as well as a full CD Listening Party of the Twice the Speed of Life, the band's debut album, which is certified Gold by the RIAA with sales of over 500,000 and is rapidly approaching Platinum.

"AOL Music has been an invaluable partner in helping to bring Sugarland to the masses," said Luke Lewis, Co-Chairman of Universal Music Group Nashville. "They are incredibly dedicated to developing artists, and have the expertise to create compelling campaigns that really resonate with music fans online. There's no denying that the band's success is due in part to the ability to interact with millions of music fans through the Breakers program."

AOL Music's newly named Breaker artists include:

The Veronicas (Sire Records) - Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, The Veronicas are 20-year-old twin sisters that blend the mass pop-rock appeal of Avril Lavigne with the attitude of Debbie Harry from Blondie. Lisa and Jess Origliasso co-wrote the songs on their debut album while working with star producers such as Don Gilmore (Good Charlotte, Linkin Park), Billy Steinberg (Madonna), Clif Magness (Lavigne), Max Martin (Britney Spears) and Dr. Luke (Kelly Clarkson). The Veronicas debut album, titled The Secret Life of The Veronicas, is scheduled for release this fall on Sire Records.

Trey Songz (Atlantic) - Songz is a young, charismatic R&B singer/songwriter that is already starting to generate big buzz on AOL Music and Rhythmic radio. He has delivered a strong AOL Music Sessions performance, which includes exclusive takes on the album tracks, "Gotta Make It," "Gotta Go" and "Let's Make Love Tonight." Like Brooke Valentine, he was named to AOL Music's 21 Under 21. His debut album, I Gotta Make It, will be released on July 26 and will feature guest appearances by Twista, Aretha Franklin and Juvenile.

Fall Out Boy (Island) - Fall Out Boy are primed to follow in the footsteps of My Chemical Romance and Simple Plan as the next breakthrough, mass appeal Pop-Punk band. They have a ferocious fan base, and are already selling out shows of over 1000 seat capacity. Through AOL Music Breakers, which is already promoting a Full CD Listening Party for the debut album Under the Cork Tree, and audio and video for the hit single "Sugar, We're Going Down," the band is poised to take things to the next level.

Natasha Bedingfield (Epic) - The multi-talented singer/songwriter's self-penned debut album, Unwritten, debuted at #1 upon its September 2004 UK release, and by the second week it was platinum. Bedingfield is only the third solo singer in history to debut in the UK's top chart position. Now, as an AOL Music Breaker, she sets her sights on the U.S. "These Words," the first single off her debut album, Unwritten, is one of the catchiest songs of the year. The album is scheduled to land on this side of the pond on August 2.

Keith Anderson (Arista Nashville) - Country's next breakout star, Keith Anderson, is already making a splash with his Top 15 single, "Pickin' Wildflowers." No stranger to hit songs, having co-written the Grammy-nominated Garth Brooks/George Jones hit "Beer Run," as well as Gretchen Wilson's "The Bed," Anderson's debut album, Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll, is true to its title, offering a powerful showcase for his colorful lyrics and charismatic delivery.

Yummy Bingham (Motown Records) - 19 yr old singer/songwriter Yummy Bingham is music royalty. As the godchild of Chaka Khan and the "New Jack Swing King" Aaron Hall, she has been surrounded by music since birth. She's worked with a wide range of musical luminaries including Mary J. Blige, Amerie, Patti LaBelle, Busta Rhymes, JC Chasez and her mentor, superstar producer Rockwilder (Grammy winning producer for 50 Cent, Destiny's Child, & Jay Z). Her influences range from classic R&B to rock and roll, and her debut album, First Seed, contains songs that are playful, edgy, melodic and soulful.

Each season, AOL Music handpicks the most promising new artists to spotlight as Breakers. These artists are featured in high profile campaigns across the AOL Music network. Elements of these innovative campaigns include song and video debuts, AOL Music Sessions appearances and rotation on the AOL Radio Network. Past AOL Music Breakers include Avril Lavigne, Josh Groban, 50 Cent, Michelle Branch, Jet, Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, The Game and Brooke Valentine.

AOL Music is the #1 online destination for music, reaching more than 24.2 million music fans a month* through a rich array of programming, products and services that make it easy to discover, experience, listen to and buy music online. AOL Music's offerings, which include original programs such as AOL Music Sessions, AOL Music LIVE! and AOL Music Breakers; and special features such as First Listen and First View, are available through aolmusic.com, the AOL Music Channel, the #1 ranked AOL Radio Network*, Netscape(R) Music, CompuServe(R) Music, AIM(R) Music, ICQ(R) Music, the Winamp(R) Media Player and SHOUTcast(R) streaming audio system. Integrated commerce makes it easy for consumers to purchase the music they hear on AOL Music through Musicnet@AOL, iTunes on AOL and the AOL Shop: Music, DVDs and Videos.

About America Online, Inc.

America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

* comScore Media Metrix, May 2005
Contacts
America Online, Inc., Dulles
Deana Graffeo, 212-652-6394
DeanaGraffeo@aol.com




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