Columbia Records (also known simply as Columbia) is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment (SME), a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, Inc., the United States division of Sony Corporation. It was founded in 1887, evolving from an earlier enterprise named the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, being the second major record company to produce recorded records. Columbia Records went on to release records by an array of notable singers, instrumentalists, and bands. From 1961 to 1990, its recordings were released outside the U.S. and Canada by the CBS Records label (which was named after the Columbia Broadcasting System) to avoid confusion with the EMI label of the same name, before adopting the Columbia name internationally in 1990. It is one of Sony Music's three flagship record labels alongside RCA Records and Epic Records.
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