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AOL(R) Music Unveils Next Round of Hot New Artists as This Season's Breakers

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2005--
Six Up-and-Comers, Ranging from Socially Conscious Rapper to Country Singer/Songwriter, Named to Groundbreaking, Online Artist Discovery Program

AOL(R) Music has placed its bets on the new artists poised to make the most noise in 2006 by naming six developing acts to showcase through its innovative Breakers program, which appeals to a vast audience of dedicated music fans on AOL Music (http://www.aolmusic.com).

This season's Breaker artists include Country singer/songwriter Jace Everett, songwriter/performer Ne-Yo, socially conscious rapper/songwriter Rhymefest, Country girl-next-door, and star of AOL Music's "This is Shannon Brown" online reality series, Shannon Brown; singer/songwriter Teddy Geiger; and revered underground rockers Thrice. 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.

The latest round of Breakers builds upon AOL Music's legacy of successfully showcasing emerging artists, including three of this year's Grammy nominees for Best New Artist - John Legend, Sugarland and Fall Out Boy - to mainstream audiences early in their careers. The Chicago alt-rockers Fall Out Boy are the program's latest success story, with their music garnering nearly 7.4 million on-demand plays in 21 weeks, and attracting an audience of over 2.3 million listeners through AOL Radio alone since being named Breakers in June.

"It's been an amazing year, and we really appreciate having the support of AOL Music," said Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. "Being a part of Breakers has exposed us to millions of new people online."

"We're excited to be able to announce such a strong lineup of artists to the Breakers program," said Jack Isquith, Executive Director of Music Industry Relations for AOL Music. "Music discovery is at the heart of every thing we do, and each one of these acts truly represents new, original music at its very best, across genres."

AOL Music newly named Breakers are:

Rhymefest (J Records/Allido Records): Rhymefest is a mainstay on the Underground and Mixtape circuit and won a Grammy for co-writing Kanye West's smash "Jesus Walks." Hailing from Chicago, and utilizing a powerful blend of music and message, he delivers one of the freshest voices and provocative points of view in Hip-Hop. Rhymefest's forthcoming album, Blue Collar, is heavy on both style and substance, and features guest turns from hip-hop heavyweights Kanye West, Twista, Common, Q-Tip and the late O.D.B.

Thrice (Island): The Orange County, California band is one of America's most revered underground rock acts. Having cultivated a dedicated fanbase and achieved over 125,000 "friends" on MySpace, Thrice is primed to break into the mainstream. With Vheissu, currently in stores, AOL Music declares that Thrice has delivered the rock record of the year.

Jace Everett (Sony Nashville): Country's new bad boy has rich baritone voice, model looks and unconventional worldly perspective that's unique for the genre. Born in the heartland, Everett found his passion in Texas and has experience more in his 32 years than most people do in a lifetime. He's a father, a divorcee, a former hardcore fundamentalist Christian who once pursued life as an evangelist and an expatriate whose gigs across Europe won the hearts of fans in France and Italy. Luckily, his travels landed him back in Nashville, where he weaves his sophisticated brand of Country, Blues and Rock for American audiences. His self-titled debut is currently available digitally, and will be available in physical formats in February.

Teddy Geiger (Columbia): At 17, Teddy is already writing sophisticated songs weathered with insights beyond his years. A fan of many musical genres, Teddy combines cutting edge new school pop with a love and an understanding of the soul of rock's glory days. His warm intimate vocals, candid and conversational, create a sound and sensibility uniquely his own. He plays guitar, piano, bass and drums on his new album, Underage Thinking, set to hit shelves this spring. With a rapidly growing fanbase and a featured role on the upcoming CBS series, Love Monkey, Teddy Geiger's grassroots buzz is becoming a roar.

Ne-Yo (Def Jam): Born in Arkansas, and raised in Las Vegas, NV, this versatile young performer sings and dances with theatrical flair. But separating Ne-Yo from his contemporaries are his exceptional abilities as a songwriter, penning songs for such artists as Mary J. Blige, B2K, Faith Evans, and Musiq, as well as Mario's number 1 hit, and Billboard Award winning song, "Let Me Love You." With sample-free production and gift for storytelling, Ne-Yo creates a unique sound and sentiment for his records. His anticipated solo debut, In My Own Words, is planned for release on February 28.

Shannon Brown (Warner Nashville): This Spirit Lake, Iowa native has powerful vocals and a rebellious attitude that belie her all-American, girl-next-door looks. With rockers "Corn Fed" and "Big Man" and ballads like "Turn to Me," Brown brings a new voice to country music. AOL Music has already been following her path to the big time with its exclusive Web series "This is Shannon Brown," which was recently named the most innovative artist launch of the year by Billboard Radio Monitor. Brown's debut album, Corn Fed, is scheduled for release on February 28.

AOL Music (http://www.aolmusic.com) is a leading online destination for music, reaching millions of 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.

America Online, Inc.

America Online, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate a leading network of Web brands and the largest Internet access subscription service in the United States. Brands include the AOL(R) service, the AOL.com(R) website, and the AIM(R), MapQuest(R), Moviefone(R), Netscape(R), CompuServe(R) and ICQ(R) services. America Online offers a range of digital services including the TotalTalk(R) voice service. The company also has operations in Canada and Europe. America Online, Inc. is based in Dulles, Virginia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

Deana Graffeo, 732-485-2131

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