Grimes parts ways with Columbia Records

She first signed with the label in 2021

It has been confirmed that Grimes has left her deal with Columbia Records.

The news was broken by Billboard earlier this week (April 25), after the alternative pop star’s manager, Daouda Leonard, confirmed rumours.

Grimes — whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher — had only been with the label since March 2021 and, at time of writing, no reason was given for their split.


The partnership marked the first major label deal for the Canadian artist, and came after releasing five albums on independent labels. 2010 albums ‘Geidi Primes’ and ‘Halfaxa’ both arrived on the indie label Arbutus, while her last three LPs — ‘Visions’ (2012), ‘Art Angels’ (2015) and ‘Miss Anthropocene’ (2020) were released with 4AD.

During her time with Columbia, Grimes only released two singles — ‘Player Of Games’ and ‘Shinigami Eyes’. It remains unclear whether she will continue to release music independently or with another record label.

The news of the split comes just days after the Canadian singer weighed in on the ongoing AI debate — explaining to fans that she is happy for them to use her voice in AI-generated songs, providing they give her 50 per cent of any royalties made.

Grimes. CREDIT: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

“Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings,” she wrote on Twitter on Monday (April 24). “I think it’s cool to be fused [with] a machine and I like the idea of open sourcing all art and killing copyright.”

The update was written in response to an article, also shared in the post, which was centred around a song called ‘Heart On My Sleeve’, which used AI to generate vocals inspired by Drake and The Weeknd.


Posted to TikTok recently, the track soon became a huge viral hit, however, was later taken down by Universal Music Group, who accused the song of representing “a breach of our agreements”, “a violation of copyright law” and “denying artists their due compensation”.

In other news, Grimes is set to present a closing keynote speech on artificial intelligence later this week. Taking place at the International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza tomorrow (April 28), the 35-year-old will close the three-day conference with a presentation — sharing her thoughts on music tech, AI and the metaverse.

The alternative pop artist — who has two children with tech mogul and Twitter owner Elon Musk – has also been promising to release her forthcoming sixth album, ‘BOOK 1’, soon. Offering many status updates during her time at Columbia, she confirmed on social media that the project was done and may be released in two parts.

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