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Columbia Records is an American recording label, under the ownership of Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group. It was founded in 1887, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company—successor to the Volta Graphophone Company.<ref>Bilton, Lynn. The Columbia Graphophone and Grafonola -A Beginner's Guide. Intertique.com website, 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2009.</ref> Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in recorded sound,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref>http://www.columbiarecords.com/timeline/#!date=1885-08-06_18:54:22!</ref> being the second major record company to produce recorded records.<ref>http://www.memory.loc.gov/ammem/berlhtml/berlgramo.html</ref> Columbia Records went on to release records by an array of notable singers, instrumentalists, and bands. From 1961 to 1990, its recordings were released outside the U.S. and Canada on the CBS Records label (for Columbia Broadcasting System, its parent from 1938 to 1988) before adopting the Columbia name in most of the world. It is one of Sony Music's three flagship record labels with the others being RCA Records and Epic Records.

Until 1989, Columbia Records had no connection to Columbia Pictures, which used various other names for record labels they owned, including Colpix, Colgems, Bell and later Arista; rather, as above, it was connected to CBS, which stood for Columbia Broadcasting System, a broadcasting media company which had purchased Columbia Records in the late 1930s, and which had been co-founded in 1927 by Columbia Records itself. Though Arista was sold to BMG, it would later become a sister label to Columbia Records through the mutual connection to Sony Music; both are connected to Columbia Pictures through Sony Corporation of America, worldwide parent of both the music and motion picture arms of Sony.

The artists signed to Columbia Records currently include Adele, A R Rahman, Barbra Streisand, Beyoncé, Bring Me the Horizon, Bruce Springsteen, Calvin Harris, Céline Dion, Daft Punk, Earl Sweatshirt, Electric Light Orchestra led by frontman Jeff Lynne,<ref>Jeff Lynne's ELO signs with Columbia</ref> Ella Henderson, James Arthur, J. Cole, Juicy J, Little Mix, Madeon, MKTO, One Direction, Passion Pit, Pharrell Williams, Rachel Platten, Rita Ora, the Neighbourhood, The Script, T.I., Train, and the casts of Fox's hit television shows Glee and Empire. In 2012, Columbia Records had the highest label share in Adult Contemporary radio in the US, and was ranked the number-one AC label that year.<ref>http://pdf.mediabase.com/YearEnd12/YearEnd12.pdf</ref>


Columbia Records sections
Intro  History  Logos and branding  List of Columbia Records artists  Subsidiaries  Affiliated labels  Recording studios  Executives  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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