Actor, singer, composer and politician Ruben Blades, possibly the single, best known name in contemporary salsa, has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing administration agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), has learned.

The agreement includes most of Blades' back-catalog, amounting to approximately over 300 works, including legendary compositions like "Pedro Navaja," "Plástico" and "Juan Pachanga," many recorded when Blades was signed to Fania Records in the 1970s. "Siembra," the album Blades recorded with Willie Colón, is cited as the best-selling salsa album of all time.

"From the lyrics to the arrangements and depth, his music changed the sound of salsa," says Eddie Fernandez, senior VP of UMPG Latin America, who negotiated the deal with David Renzer, chairman/CEO UMPG.

The Universal deal does not include songs from Blades' last three albums, released on Sony, which will remain under Sony/ATV. It does, however, include all works going forward.

Blades is currently the Minister of Tourism of Panama and has been actively involved in his country’s politics, to the degree that he ran for president in 1994.

But he has said he plans to return to music and acting once his term ends at the end of the year. He is currently working on at least two albums of new material, one together with Puerto Rican singer Cheo Feliciano.