Grimes has signed with Columbia Records, a source tells Billboard. This marks her first foray into the major label system, having released albums only on independent labels previously.
After releasing two albums in 2010 on Canadian indie Arbutus Records, Grimes’ last three albums were released on 4AD — Visions (2012), Art Angels (2015) and Miss Anthropocene (2020). Collectively these projects have earned 736,000 album consumption units, of which 307,000 are in album sales and 554 million on-demand song streams in the U.S., according to MRC Data.
Reps for Grimes and Columbia Records declined to comment.
Although Grimes’ popularity has grown both as an artist and celebrity figure (she shares a child with Elon Musk), her music has not yet broken through to the mainstream in a demonstrable way. Visions in 2012 entered the all-genre Billboard 200 chart at No. 98 and the Top Alternative Albums chart at No. 17. Art Angeles in 2015 landed at No. 36 on the Billboard 200 and topped the Top Alternative Albums chart. And Miss Anthropocene in 2020 hit No. 32 on the Billboard 200 chart, topped the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and reached No. 4 on the Top Alternative Albums chart.
On Feb. 28, Grimes made a splash as one of the highest profile artists to enter the growing NFT (non-fungible tokens) marketplace. She sold 10 digital art pieces — including a one-of-a-kind video involving a cross, sword and flying cherubs and set to an original Grimes song for nearly $389,000 — for a total of $5.8 million.
News of Grimes’ deal follows news that Columbia recently signed Miley Cyrus on Thursday. Billboard also reported on Wednesday that Swedish House Mafia and the label had amicably parted ways. The Sony Music-owned label, led by CEO Ron Perry, also has artists Adele, AC/DC, Beyoncé, Blink-182, Calvin Harris, Harry Styles and 24kGoldn on its roster.