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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 13:46 GMT
Sony to launch gay record label
George Michael
The new label could discover the next George Michael
Music giant Sony is launching a venture aimed at promoting talented gay and lesbian recording artists.

Record label Music With A Twist will send talent scouts across the US to discover new musicians.

Matt Farber, president of media firm Wilderness, which is teaming up with Sony, said the company's clout will make the new venture a significant one.

Several compilation albums and a syndicated radio programme are also planned as part of the collaboration.

Mass appeal

The first release is expected to come out in June to coincide with National Gay Pride month in the US.

It is planned that musical artists from a variety of genres will be signed up by the new record label.

"It's a home that says to artists, 'We not only are okay with who you are, but we embrace that as part of your identity," said Mr Farber, who founded Logo, an MTV channel specifically designed for gay audiences.

He added that new acts signed to Twist could have mass appeal regardless of the artists' sexual orientation.

Mr Faber likened the gay label to being similar to other niche ventures, such as hip hop and urban music, which have been picked up by major labels and filtered into the mainstream.

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