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New Sony Label Geared Toward Gay Artists

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Sony Music has teamed with the founder of a gay cable network to form a record label geared toward developing gay, lesbian and transgender recording artists.

The label, dubbed Music With a Twist, plans to employ talent scouts nationwide to find emerging artists who have generated a buzz in the gay community and have the potential for mass appeal.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The recordings will be released in a marketing partnership with the Sony Music Label Group, which includes Columbia Records Group, Epic Records, Sony Nashville and Sony Urban Music.

"It's a home that says to artists, 'We not only are OK with who you are, but we embrace that as part of your identity,"' said Matt Farber, president of Wilderness Media & Entertainment and founder of Logo, the MTV Networks channel targeting gay audiences.

Farber compared the concept of a record label focusing on gay artists to that of urban labels formed to nurture rap or hip-hop acts.

Twist plans to sign artists covering a variety of musical genres and also release compilations with songs by established artists.

Sony Music has also agreed to become a charter sponsor of a syndicated radio show, dubbed Twist, produced by Wilderness Media. The show is launching this weekend in several markets and online.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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