Sir Elton John could be one of several major artists to perform in-store shows at branches of crisis-hit music retail chain HMV in an effort to keep them on the high street.
HMV went into administration in early January after poor Christmas sales. Retail restructuring specialist Hilco took over the company’s £176 million debt, giving it effective control of the business, but not outright ownership.
Despite the announcement from administrators recently of 66 store closures and 930 job losses, the chain has the backing of the music industry, who would like it to remain in some shape or form.
Today David Joseph, chief executive of Universal UK, told The Guardian that this support is shared by at least one famous name:
“We’ve got lot of artist support for HMV. Last week one of our biggest global superstars said why don’t we get a lot of the biggest artists to start doing gigs in HMV, just to turn up and say these are music stores, come and get your music here.”
He later confirmed the artist was Elton John. The singer’s spokesman, Gary Farrow, also confirmed John would perform but could not provide more details:
“Elton has always been a big supporter of record shops. He will be doing something with HMV although as yet we cannot confirm what or when that would be.”
Joseph also said that he hopes there will be a groundswell of support among artists and fans alike for the beleaguered chain:
“How HMV emerges is going to be an important factor for us, our artists and our record fans. I’m hoping, and doing everything I can with them, to make this a bit of what happened with 6 Music, which looked like it was going away and all of our artists said it was a part of culture didn’t want to lose.”
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