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Starbucks To Release CD By Hilary McRae

NEW YORK (AP) — After releasing albums by Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell, Starbucks' new record label is putting out a disc by newcomer Hilary McRae.

Hear Music, launched earlier this year by coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. and Concord Music Group, said the 21-year-old singer-songwriter's CD will be released next spring.

"Hilary has a great soulful sound and we are excited to play a significant role in the launch of what will be a long and successful career," Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment, said Tuesday in a statement. "Hear Music has a strong belief in fostering the talent of quality musicians and we believe we've found a gem in this artist."

McRae wrote all the songs on the album, which the label describes as a mix of contemporary pop and "old-school, horn-drenched R&B, all anchored by McRae's rich, soulful voice."

Starbucks will offer 1.5 million free downloads of McRae's song "Consider Me Gone" beginning Thursday.

James Taylor's "One Man Band" will be released next month.