As part of a continuing effort to provide its members early access to the hottest new artists, America Online has named four emerging acts to AOL Music’s popular Breakers program. Following swiftly on the heels of the monumental success of current Breaker artist Christina Milian, four diverse acts at the start of promising careers will be featured prominently in unique campaigns on AOL Music, the No. 1 online destination for music reaching an audience of over 16 million visitors each month.* French pop singer Cherie (Lava Records) and Australian rocker Butterfly Boucher (Interscope Records) have already been featured on the AOL Welcome Screen and can currently be seen and heard at AOL Keyword: Breakers. Rapper Jin (Virgin Records) and American rockers Silvertide (J Records) will debut in the coming weeks.
After just two years, AOL Music’s Breakers program has established itself as a reliable searchlight for hot new music talent. Christina Milian recently joined ranks with Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, Josh Groban, 50 Cent, Fefe Dobson and Jet, each of whom was named to AOL Music’s Breakers program at the beginning stages of their careers. Milian’s “Dip It Low” was streamed a remarkable 321,000 times in its first three days on AOL, and has achieved over 1.5 million streams since. Her debut album, It’s About Time, is set for release on June 15 on Island Records.
“AOL Music’s Breakers program is an invaluable way to gain exposure for a new artist,” commented Antonio “LA” Reid, Chairman of The Island Def Jam Music Group. “AOL’s commitment to Christina Milian and their ability to expose her to millions of new fans who have resonated with her music is critical to the launch of this album. I am incredibly impressed with the level of success that Christina achieved through the Breakers program and can’t think of better positioning for a new artist.”
Ben Jelen saw immediate success from his Breaker status as well. Just a week after Give It All Away hit stores, the album has already sold 9,455 copies, placing Ben at #1 on Billboard’s Top Heatseeker chart.
“Becoming a Breaker artist was one of the first things to happen for me as I began promoting my album,” said Ben Jelen. “It was overwhelming how quickly people responded. My own message boards filled up with new fans who had heard ‘Come On’ or seen the video on AOL. Best of all was recording the Sessions@AOL – everyone encouraged me to be creative and make it my own. I’ve only been on the road a bit, yet people who like the music have already sat in on an intimate performance with me through AOL.”
Each season, AOL Music handpicks three to four of the most promising new artists to spotlight as Breakers who are featured in innovative programming campaigns across the AOL Music network of properties which includes the AOL Music Channel, Netscape Music, CompuServe Music, AIM Music, and Winamp, in addition to exclusive areas on AOL for Broadband.
Representing a variety of styles, AOL’s latest group of Breaker artists will appeal to a range of musical tastes. French-born pop chanteuse Cherie, currently making an impact on Pop and Adult Contemporary radio, debuted as a Breaker artist in mid-March with audio for the upbeat single “I’m Ready,” which has been streamed over 170,000 times. The versatile multi-instrumentalist Butterfly Boucher, who will embark on a tour with Sarah McLachlan and Dido, launched on AOL at the beginning of April with audio and video for the catchy cut “Another White Dash.” In the coming weeks, the Asian rapper Jin will reveal to AOL members how far he’s come since winning seven amateur MC battles on BET’s “106 & Park;” and Philadelphia’s hard-rocking Silvertide, inspired by ’70s and ’80s rock legends, will set out to prove that rock is not dead.