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Lionsgate Ups Volume on Music Unit

19 Apr, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Akeelah and the Bee

Lionsgate April 19 upgraded its fledging music operations when it announced a non-exclusive deal with Red Distribution, a unit of record label Sony BMG.

The first album under the pact for Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate Music is the soundtrack to Akeelah and the Bee, which the mini-major bows theatrically April 28.

Lionsgate Music previously released the soundtrack to Madea's Family Reunion through Motown Records.

The Akeelah soundtrack features acts such as The Jackson 5, The Spinners, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Al Green, Brothers Johnson and Aretha Franklin. Notable singles include Heather Small's "Proud" and the movie's young star Keke Palmer's debut single "All My Girlz.”

In addition to traditional retail, the album is being carried at approximately 5,000 Starbucks locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, becoming the first official motion picture soundtrack to be featured in the coffee giant's music promotion program.

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