Columbia Records is an American record label that was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia Records is the oldest surviving brand name in pre-recorded sound, being the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. From 1961 to 1990, the label’s recordings were released outside the U.S. and Canada on the CBS Records label before officially being renamed Columbia Records on January 1, 1991. Today, Columbia Records is one of the most respected and successful record labels in the world, being home to established superstars and exciting new talent. Columbia Records operates as an imprint of the Columbia/Epic Label Group under Label Group Chairman Rob Stringer and is owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.