Elton John has a surprise in store to rescue HMV
The HMV chain of music shops may be thrown a lifeline by Sir Elton John after it emerged that the singer plans to perform in one of the company's British stores.
He has suggested that big artists could play a role in keeping Britain's last major music retailer on the high street by playing a series of in-store gigs.
David Joseph, the chief executive of Universal UK, to which John is signed, said: "We've got lot of artist support for HMV. Last week one of our biggest global superstars said, why don't we get a lot of the biggest artists to start doing gigs in HMV, just to turn up and say these are music stores, come and get your music here."
He confirmed it was John.
The singer's spokesman, Gary Farrow, confirmed John would perform but could not say when or in what capacity. Any show was likely to be "intimate", he said. "Elton has always been a big supporter of record shops. He will be doing something with HMV."
Joseph said major and independent record labels were in close discussion with HMV in an attempt to ensure its future on the high street and hoped for a "6 Music moment" - referring to the outpouring of support for the BBC radio station when it was threatened with closure.
"How HMV emerges is going to be an important factor for us, our artists and our record fans," he said. "I'm hoping, and doing everything I can with them, to make this a bit of what happened with 6 Music, which looked like it was going away and all of our artists said it was a part of culture we didn't want to lose."
Joseph said HMV had to rediscover its roots as a music and film destination, with more knowledgeable staff and a better system for recommending music to fans.
HMV is believed to have been in discussions with labels about artists performing in stores.