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Image: Jessica Simpson
Frazer Harrison  /  Getty Images
Jessica Simpson's 2003 album “In This Skin” sold 2.9 million copies.
By By Melinda Newman
Billboard
updated 3/25/2006 5:25:18 PM ET 2006-03-25T22:25:18

Jessica Simpson has shifted from Columbia, for which she’s recorded since 1999, to Epic Records.

The artist is working on the follow-up to 2003’s “In This Skin,” which has sold 2.9 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The as-yet-untitled set is expected before the year’s end, but in the meantime, a source says an R&B-oriented first single is “not far away at all.”

Simpson’s move from Columbia to Epic, both of which fall under the Sony Music umbrella, mirrors that of new Epic president Charlie Walk, who formerly was executive VP of creative marketing and promotion for Columbia Records Group.

“I love all my friends and supporters at Columbia. I will miss them as I start this new relationship,” Simpson told Billboard. “Charlie Walk was my first hero at Columbia. He believed in me before I really even got to meet the rest of the company.

"I couldn’t think of anyone I would trust more than Charlie to present my new music to the world. Epic is in a new place with a new leader. It just seems the right place for me as I begin my new journey.”

© 2013 Billboard

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