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Virgin Records is a major record label first founded by English entrepreneur Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell and musician Tom Newman in 1972. The company grew to be a worldwide phenomenon over time with the success of its platinum performers such as Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison, Devo, Genesis, Keith Richards, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, dc Talk, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike Oldfield, Spice Girls and more on their list of artists. It was later sold to Thorn EMI in 1992.

Currently wholly owned by Universal Music Group after its purchase of EMI in 2012, UMG absorbed Virgin's British operations, Virgin Records, Ltd., to create Virgin EMI Records in March 2013, which in turn absorbed Mercury Records' UK operations.

Today, the operations of Virgin Records America, Inc. (a unit of Virgin Records, Ltd.) are still active and headquartered in Hollywood, California, as it operates exclusively under the Capitol Music Group since 2007. A heavily minor amount of artists remain on Virgin Records America's roster, which today is mostly occupied with European artists such as Bastille, Circa Waves, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ella Eyre, Grizfolk, Walking on Cars, Seinabo Sey, and Prides. US artists include Knox Hamilton, L'Tric and Rise Against.

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