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A new Christian Music Label is about to take flight.

LOS ANGELES, April 23 /PRNewswire/ — Universal Music Christian Group (UMCG), a division of Universal Music Group Distribution, the award-winning sales and marketing arm of Universal Music Group, has partnered with pioneering entertainment executive Max Siegel to launch Imago Dei Music Group (iD Music Group), a division of Max Siegel Inc. The announcement was made today by Jim Urie, President, Universal Music Group Distribution, Rhoda Lawrence, Vice President of UMCG, and Max Siegel, Chief Executive Officer, iD Music Group.

In the company’s first joint venture, UMCG has partnered with Mr. Siegel, an executive with years of experience in virtually every area of the entertainment industry, including sports, music, television and film. iD Music Group was brought to UMCG by Next Plateau’s president, Eddie O’Loughlin, who will play a key A & R role.  The label will begin looking for new artists immediately and plans to release their first albums in 2010.

“We’re thrilled to be in business with an executive of Max’s caliber,” stated Mr. Urie. “He is a true renaissance man whose track record of accomplishments speaks for itself. We are delighted to welcome him to the UMGD family.”

Max L. Siegel is the former President of Global Operations at Dale Earnhardt Inc., one of the top motor sports franchises in NASCAR. As one of the most influential executives in the entertainment and sports industries, Siegel made history as the highest-ranking African American executive in NASCAR. Siegel oversaw the entire organization including competition, marketing, sales, sponsorship and distribution for all DEI’s properties including motor sports teams, licensing, promotion, business development and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation.

An accomplished entertainment executive, attorney, author, conference organizer and television and film producer, he is one of the most sought after persons in the entertainment industry. He is a cum laude graduate from Notre Dame Law School. With more than 15 years of brokering deals and project management, Siegel is known for his sharp and savvy business expertise.

“Lifestyle entertainment has always been a passion of mine,” commented Mr. Siegel.  ”Aligning iD Music Group with the “best in class” was a priority for launching the label.  We have done just that by partnering with Universal Music Group.  This partnership will allow us to fully integrate music into the lifestyles of people around the world in a unique and positive way.”

The former Sony BMG/Zomba Label Group executive held dual positions as Senior Vice President of Zomba Label Group and President of Zomba Gospel. During his tenure at Sony BMG, Siegel helped the company score more No. 1 hits and gold and platinum records than ever before. Siegel served on the executive team that produced top gospel and pop artists including Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, John P. Kee, Vikki Winans, Kelly Price and more.

Initial releases from iD Music Group will include “Champion,” from Darwin Hobbs (June 22) as well as BET “Sunday Best” winner Y’Anna Crawley’s debut album (July 13).