A Sony BMG insider said: “Annie is one of our most successful female artists ever and the last thing we would want to do is to lose her.”

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Yesterday Annie was quoted in Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper as saying:

“They totally ignored me. They didn’t even pick up my phone calls or emails for three weeks. It was bizarre.
“I’m trying to find out what’s behind it. Probably a good thing I’m no longer with them – mild understatement.”

Meanwhile, Annie has launched a charity record featuring twenty of the world’s best female singers – including Madonna, Celine Dion, Shakira and Pink – to help AIDS victims in South Africa.

She said: “I’ve seen the devastating effects that HIV and AIDS have on families and communities and I know we will not overcome poverty unless we win the fight against AIDS.

“That’s why I’m demanding that rich and poor countries’ governments live up to their promises and deliver healthcare for everyone, especially women. I’ve written a song, called ‘Sing’, about the AIDS crisis.”

‘Sing’ will be released in March as part of the BBC’s ‘Sport Relief’ programme.