Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the United States division of Sony Corporation. It was founded in 1887 from an earlier enterprise named the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company.
From 1961 to 1990, Columbia’s recordings were released outside the U.S. and Canada under the name CBS Records to avoid being confused with the Columbia Graphophone Company in the UK. Columbia is one of Sony Music’s three flagship record labels with RCA and Epic.
Musicians who have recorded for Columbia include AC/DC, Adele, Beyoncé, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Susan Boyle, David Bowie, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Erroll Garner, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and Pharrell Williams.
Columbia was a division of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). Columbia Records and Columbia Pictures are connected through their parent company, Sony Corporation of America, which is the parent of both the music and motion picture arms of Sony in the United States.
Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, being the second major company to produce recorded records.