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Yet another proud Bajan has joined the growing ‘major label club’.

October 25, 2008

Versatile singer and four-time Barbados Music Award winner Hal Linton signed a “multi-million-dollar”, five-album deal last week with one of the world’s biggest music labels, Universal Motown.

Linton, who was personally signed by Universal Motown president Sylvia Rhone, now becomes label mate to fellow Barbadian singer Shontelle Layne, whose new hit “T-shirt” is steadily rising on the charts, as well as recording stars such as Lil Wayne, Nelly and Ashanti. Parent company, Universal Music Group, has also boasted artistes such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Toni Braxton and Elton John.

In an exclusive interview with, Linton expressed satisfaction at attaining the goal he set out to achieve over three years ago when he put out the single Cardiac Arrest, which first gained him attention in Barbados.

“When I put that song out three years ago, this was my goal. I wanted the world to sit up and take notice,” he said during a telephone interview from New York City, where he has been based for over a year, working with manager Teneille Doyle to get to this point. Doyle paid tribute to Invest Barbados, which provided the financial backing for Linton which allowed him to focus on developing his product and image.

“They put their financial support behind Hal and believed in the vision we had. They trusted us even though this is still a new thing to Barbados. It has been almost a year since they approved the funds for Hal Linton’s project and I’m glad to say that the objective we had when we went to them – we did it,” Doyle told

Since May, Linton has been working with the Syndicated Rhythm Productions of team Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. Rogers, who is married to Barbadian Jackie Rogers, is well known in musical circles as the man who discovered Rihanna and who was also instrumental in helping Shontelle

land her contract with Universal Motown. He also had a hand in helping shape Linton’s sound as he prepared for his major label debut.

“Everybody should be very proud and excited. You’re going to hear some great music from Hal Linton,” said Rogers.

Linton’s deal makes him the fifth Barbadian artiste to be signed to a major label in the last four years, the others being Rupee, who signed to Atlantic Records in 2004, Rihanna with Def Jam in 2005, Shontelle with Universal Motown in 2006, and Livvi Franc with Jive Records in 2007.

Rogers said this was a clear indication of the depth and diversity of musical talent in Barbados.

“For Barbados, I think it’s huge that this small island has all these artistes signed to major labels and they’re all different. Barbados is producing all kinds of diverse musical styles.”

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