UMG to provide multifaceted, global support and distribution across sugar’s recorded music division and historic catalogues

New exclusive agreement focused on developing the sugar roster and label footprint worldwide

Iconic scores from the golden age of Italian cinema including la dolce vita and 8½ and celebrated composers including Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota & Luis Bacalov to be re-introduced and distributed worldwide through Decca Records/UMG

Sugar’s celebrated artist roster will now be distributed domestically via UMG Italy

Filippo Sugar

SANTA MONICA / MILAN, June 29, 2020 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a strategic global partnership with leading Italian music company Sugar, one of the most prestigious independent music companies in the world.

This expansive new worldwide agreement will provide Sugar with the industry’s best resources and expertise across their iconic recorded music and film soundtrack catalogues, alongside global support for the label’s celebrated contemporary artist roster.

This extends a 25-year relationship between the two companies, having forged a successful working partnership across numerous groundbreaking projects with world-renowned Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli – including, his record-breaking, live-streamed Easter performance earlier this year from the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy, and the global chart-topping success of ‘Si’, Bocelli’s most recent studio album, which was nominated for a Grammy and reached number one in both the official U.S. and U.K. album charts, for the first time in his distinguished career in October, 2018.

The partnership marks the beginning of a new era of creative collaboration between the two companies, with UMG distributing the entirety of Sugar’s celebrated catalogues from throughout the label’s extraordinary 88-year history.

Founded in Milan in 1932 by Ladislao Sugar, Sugar has been at the forefront of Italian music culture for decades. It is home to one of the most prestigious Italian and French catalogues of soundtracks: CAM Sugar. With over 2,000 original soundtracks, it documents the sound of Italian cinema and captures film history like no other. La Dolce Vita, Amarcord, Mondo Cane, Il Postino, and Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) are but a few of the works from over 400 music maestros such as Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Luis Bacalov, Riz Ortolani, Piero Piccioni, Armando Trovajoli, Piero Umiliani, Stelvio Cipriani, Fiorenzo Carpi, Philippe Sarde, and many more.

As part of the far-reaching agreement, UMG label Decca Records and Sugar will work closely together to explore this vast, and largely untapped collection of music, in order to rediscover and re-conceptualize some of the most recognizable and magical recordings from the world of Italian and European cinema for future release, re-introducing these cinematic masterpieces to a new generation of music and film lovers around the world.

Sugar Music is also renowned for its wide-ranging contemporary roster of leading Italian artists, whose music will now be distributed via UMG Italy. One of its most enduring performers Andrea Bocelli (signed to the label in 1992) is now the number one Italian artist in the world.

Future recordings from Sugar’s frontline roster of artists will now be distributed domestically via UMG Italy, with support from UMG’s global network of labels to reach new audiences around the world. Current artists include developing rapper and songwriter Madame, Italo-French rapper Speranza, Australian singer-songwriter Michael Leonardi, indie singer-songwriter Lucio Corsi, young pop-r&b artist Sissi, NYV, techno-pop trio Fuera and electric harpist, Kety Fusco, whilst Sugar’s dynamic roster also includes established artists including Negramaro, Italy’s biggest pop-rock stadium act, eclectic pop star Malika Ayane, pop-jazz artist Raphael Gualazzi and indie rocker, Motta.

A family-run business which embraces innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, Sugar Music Group is led today by third generation music executive, President and CEO, Filippo Sugar. Commenting on the new partnership with UMG, Sugar says,

“I believe that in today’s marketplace, the greatest opportunity for an independent label is to develop its artists and repertoire globally. Having one, truly unique, worldwide distribution solution for the entire breadth of Sugar recordings is a very important step, as we look to grow our reach and visibility into new territories. Having worked with Universal on various projects for over 20 years, I felt this was the right time to turn the page and write a new chapter. As soon as I had the opportunity to lay out my vision with Lucian, in a matter of minutes, the ball started rolling. I wish to thank Lucian for having always been there for me, and very much look forward to working with the many talented Executives within the UMG family, to bring to life some new innovative projects from Italy. We have some great new music on the way.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said,

“We are thrilled to expand our long-standing relationship with Filippo and Sugar Music, and to provide support for their artists and rich catalogues worldwide. A true family business, Sugar has helped introduce the world to Italian music culture throughout its eighty-year history. Over the years, they have been a great partner to us for Andrea Bocelli, and we look forward to many more successes together in the future.”

Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics & Jazz, Universal Music Group, added,

“We are delighted begin a new partnership with Sugar Music after 25 years of long-standing collaboration. It is a privilege to work with Filippo Sugar, his incredible roster of contemporary Italian artists, and the historic Sugar film catalogue which includes some of the most iconic scores ever written. We look forward to sharing this remarkable music with the world.”