As I told you last week, there’s been a tug of war between Sony Music and Warner Music Group over Jay-Z.

But the tug of war is over, sources tell me: Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, with new up-and-coming artists, will go to Sony. His new album, ‘The Blueprint 3,’ will be released by Warner.

Jay-Z bought back ‘Blueprint 3’ from Universal Music for $5 million. So WMG has had to advance him at least that much for the CD. And it’s a one-off deal, just for this recording. Given WMG’s track record, it’s questionable they’ll be able to break even, let alone turn a profit.

For Sony, it’s a win. Roc Nation could supply them with desperately needed new artists. With Jay-Z’s imprimatur, the new artists should have an easier time being heard, and selling music.

Why did Jay-Z go to WMG at all? My guess is that Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs had something to do with it. The two hip-hop stars attended a Lakers game together on May 5’a rarity. But WMG spent $30 million on Combs’ Bad Boy label. They may have pressed him into the role of backchannel diplomat. And it worked.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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