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For better or worse, once you get signed, everything changes even though multi-million dollar deals don’t always add up to fast money for the artist. Still, backing from a major label can add the muscle needed to turn an artist into a star, and ultimately help bring in the bread. 

Labels get a lot of flack, but that doesn’t mean they’re unnecessary. And with the music not really boosting its revenue over the last four years, the race to pluck out new talent shouldn’t slow down. The contracts have gotten smaller though.

Recently a 15-year-old rapper who got big on the Internet signed $1 million five-album deal with Warner/Chappel. Not bad for a first round. On the other hand, a million isn’t as big  if you  consider what contracts used to look like, as recent as two or three years ago.

Let’s travel down memory lane. Hit the gallery to view some examples.

Photo: YouTube

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