Toby KeithToby Keith's sphere of influence is about to get even bigger. The country superstar has just announced that his record label, Show Dog Nashville, is merging with Universal South Records into one new label, Show Dog-Universal Music. The new venture will have Toby as Principal, with Mark Wright -- the President of the former Universal South, staying on as President.

"Show Dog-Universal will still have the feeling of being an independent label with strong and personal relationships with all our artists," Toby says. "That is what Show Dog Nashville and Universal South have always been about, but combine the two labels and you have a powerhouse with more staff and better opportunities for our artists. I look forward to working closely with my friend and partner Mark Wright."

Mark echoes Toby's enthusiasm. "I am delighted to be partnering with Toby, with whom I have shared a close friendship for many years, " he says. "His remarkable achievements as an artist and businessman define creative leadership at it's very best. He will be invaluable to taking this company to even greater heights."

There's no word yet on any expansions or reductions to the labels' artist rosters. Show Dog musicians include Toby, Trailer Choir, Mac MacAnally and Carter's Chord. Universal South's artists include Randy Houser, Joe Nichols, Eli Young Band, Jonathan Singleton and the Grove and Phil Vassar.