By 1998, Motown had added stars such as 702, Brian McKnight, and Erykah Badu to its roster. In December 1998, PolyGram was acquired by Seagram, and Motown was absorbed into the Universal Music Group. Ironically, Seagram had purchased Motown’s former parent MCA in 1995, as such Motown was in effect reunited with many of its MCA corporate siblings (Seagram had, in fact, hoped to build a media empire around Universal, and started by purchasing PolyGram). Universal briefly considered shuttering the floundering label, but instead decided to restructure it. Kedar Massenburg, a producer for Erykah Badu, became the head of the label, and oversaw successful recordings from Badu, McKnight, Michael McDonald, and new Motown artist India.Arie.
Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations had remained with the label since its early days, although all except Wonder recorded for other labels for several years. Ross left Motown for RCA from 1981 to 1988, but returned in 1989 and stayed until 2002. Robinson left the label in the early 1990s, and the Temptations left a second time in 2004. Wonder is, today, the only artist from Motown's early period still on the label.
Q-Tip was the final artist on the label, releasing The Renaissance.