UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUBLISHING GROUP CONCLUDES LANDMARK, HISTORIC PUBLISHING DEALS WITH TWO STRATEGIC SIGNINGS
LOS ANGELES, November 14, 2005 – Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed two new, long-term, exclusive, worldwide agreements to administer the post-1974 publishing interests of world-renowned, multiple Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/composer Elton John, and renowned songwriting collaborator, Bernie Taupin.
Each songwriter controls his own interest in the songs they’ve written, and separate arrangements were entered into with each. As UMPG already owns the copyrights in Elton’s and Bernie’s songs written up to 1974, these new agreements will put the entire Elton John catalogue under one roof, making this a landmark, history-making publishing agreement.
The pact was announced today by David Renzer, Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group and Paul Connolly, Managing Director U.K./Executive Vice President, Universal Music Publishing Group.
Through this new arrangement with Elton John, the company will administer all his songs written between 1974 and 1992 (as well as new works), with immediate effect, and his songs written between 1993 and 2004 commencing in 2006. More than 250 copyrights are covered by the arrangement.
Through the new arrangement with Bernie Taupin, the company will administer all of his songs written between 1974 and the present, as well as new works written with or recorded by Elton John. Bernie’s deal was negotiated by long-term manager, Michael Lippman.
Both deals were previously administered by Warner Chappell.
Elton John’s recordings, from the inception of his career, are released through Universal Music Group globally.
David Renzer said, “By concluding these new publishing deals with both Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Universal Music Publishing Group is now in the enviable position of being the new world-wide administrator for two of our industry’s most accomplished songwriters. Elton John’s and Bernie Taupin’s music embodies a true treasure trove that UMPG is proud to represent and we look forward to aggressively promoting their catalogs.”
Paul Connolly said, “Elton John and Bernie Taupin encompass one of the most prolific and influential songwriting teams ever – they are true legends. This deal represents a considerable coup for us and has added a remarkable catalogue to our roster. I’m thrilled and excited at the prospect of working with such a rich catalogue of classic tunes and future songs.”
“Elton John and Bernie Taupin are among the most important songwriters of all time,” stated Zach Horowitz, President and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Music Group. “It is a special privilege for UMG to now represent their entire songwriting catalogue as well as all of Elton John’s recording catalog on a global basis. We couldn’t be more thrilled that Elton and Bernie call Universal their home.”
The new agreement covers such classic songs as “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” and “Blue Eyes.” Taupin’s lyrics include such memorable hits as “Candle in the Wind,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “Something About The Way You Look Tonight,” and 1969’s “Your Song,” the songwriting team’s first hit.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin met in 1967, and an uninterrupted quarter century of creativity ensued with Elton John selling more than 200 million records, being awarded 23 Gold albums and 13 Gold single records. He and lyricist,Bernie Taupin comprise one of the longest-running and most successful songwriting teams ever – John and Taupin have to date collaborated on over 30 albums.
Taupin continues to reign as one of the premier lyricists in the entire spectrum of popular music. Aside from his Elton John collaborations, Bernie has co-written with pioneering rockers like Rod Stewart and Alice Cooper, and country singer John Anderson. Bernie co-composed “We Built This City” for Jefferson Starship and “These Dreams” for Heart, both No. 1 singles in America. Bernie also contributed three songs to Willie Nelson’s 2002 album, The Great Divide, co-composing the Grammy winning lead single “Mendocino County Line.” All three No. 1 songs are administered by UMPG through the new agreement with Taupin.
With a career spanning five decades and 60 million albums sold, Elton John is one of Britain’s most successful, and acclaimed, songwriters. Signed as a recording artist to Universal Music Group’s Island Records and Mercury Records U.K., he maintains extraordinary levels of popularity and accomplishment, evidenced by his recent albums, Peachtree Road (2004), Songs From The West Coast (2001) and One Night Only (2000). Both have sold more than two million copies apiece worldwide, while Greatest Hits 1970-2002 has sold in excess of four million copies.
This year, one of Britain’s most successful films was turned into “Billy Elliot – The Musical” with music by Sir Elton John. A huge box-office hit, the show is currently booking through April 2006. Elton John and Bernie Taupin also recently announced plans for “Lestat,” the musical inspired by the vampire characters of novelist Anne Rice and the inaugural Broadway production of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. The world premiere of the musical — which has lyrics by Taupin and music by John — will be at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre, followed by a Broadway run.
Elton John continues to tour extensively, and has also undertaken a three-year residency with “The Red Piano” show in Las Vegas.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame awards are presented annually to recognise the work and lives of composers and lyricists who have made outstanding achievements in popular music. Both Elton John and Bernie Taupin were inducted in 1992. In recognition of services to music, Elton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.