Billboard Bits: Robin Thicke Pacts with Universal Publishing, BMG Chrysalis Signs Ben Harper

Robin Thicke

Anthony Mandler

Universal Publishing, Robin Thicke Renew Terms

Universal Music Publishing Group has renewed its ex-North America publishing administration agreement with songwriter, producer and artist Robin Thicke, whose sixth studio album, "Blurred Lines," is set for release July 30. The title track, "Blurred Lines” ft T.I., Pharrell, is already a hit in 28 different countries according to the announcement.

Under the new agreement, UMPG will continue to administer Thicke's catalog as well as his future works.

"Robin is an extraordinary talent and a quintuple threat as a songwriter, singer, producer, arranger and performer," UMPG North America president Evan Lamberg said in a statement.

Lamberg also acknowledged the vision of the Interscope Records team for believing in Thicke, who began his career working primarily as a songwriter and producer, collaborating with artists like Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, before hitting platinum on his own with the release of “The Evolution of Robin Thicke” in 2006.

BMG Chrysalis, Ben Harper Sign Co-Publishing Agreement

BMG Chrysalis U.S. has signed songwriter, singer and guitarist Ben Harper to an exclusive, worldwide co-publishing agreement. Earlier this year, Harper, in collaboration with Charlie Musselwhite, released the “Get Up” album.

The album "showcases a special musical chemistry between two legendary artists who complement each other's unique talent and style while pushing artistic boundaries," said BMG Chrysalis U.S. creative director Jill Pedone in a statement. "It is a rare opportunity to work with a songwriter such as Ben who flourishes with any musical genre."

In another move, BMG Chrysalis U.S. re-upped an administration deal with Nashville-based songwriter Hillary Lindsey, whose song successes include “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “American Honey,” "A Little Bit Stronger,” and “This One's for the Girls.”

"Hillary is one of the most respected songwriting talents of our generation and her music has greatly impacted the Nashville community and beyond," BMG Chrysalis North America president of creative & marketing Laurent Hubert said in a statement.

Finally, BMG Chrysalis U.S. also signed British singer Chris Braide who has worked with such artists as David Guetta and Christina Aguilera, and is currently contributing to upcoming albums from Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson.

Reach Music Publishing Forges Administration Deals

Reach Music Publishing has penned a few worldwide administration agreements. First off, it pacted with all the individual members of O.A.R for the entire catalog in a deal that includes creative synch services. It also signed a global admin deal with producer songwriter Marcus Killian, for his previously unrepresented share of the song “Whistle,” by Flo Rida, according to the company. And it also entered a worldwide publishing admin deal with David Ellefson, a founding member and bass player for Megadeth. The deal includes Ellefson's contribution to Megadeth's Super Collider, which has scanned about 40,000 units since its June 4 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Finally, Reach Music signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with Micah Otano, who co-wrote the Frank Ocean single “Lost.” In addition to that song, the deal includes future Otano songs.

ICMP Honor for Ralph Peer

Earlier this month, the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) presented peermusic chair and CEO Ralph Peer, II with the inaugural ICMP Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Publishing.  The award--which honors visionary individuals who have made a sustained and outstanding contribution to global music publishing and has helped develop, protect and value the music of composers and authors around the world--was presented at the Mayflower Hotel after the CISAC Creative Summit, in a ceremony attended by music publishers and collection societies from over 20 countries around the world.

In presenting the award, ICMP chair Andrew Jenkins said Peer "has been involved in every major issue to face the music publishing business over the past 45 years. Ralph has played a hugely important role in making us a strong and cohesive force, bringing international publishers together under the ICMP banner, to deliver influential messages to regulators and other decision-making bodies."

In accepting the award, Peer said, “I have always felt that Copyright and Authors Rights are an ongoing expression of how society values the work creators do. To see those concepts diluted in so many territories today makes our endeavor as music publishers all the more important. I am deeply appreciative that we can undertake this work together as a single international community.”

Imagem Music Inks Deals with J.Sol, Arch Tha Boss, More

Imagem Music USA has signed a multi-year co-publishing agreement with singer/songwriter J.Sol and producer Arch Tha Boss, as part of the company’s ongoing joint venture with Ludacris and Read & Write Publishing. Also, Imagem Music USA has signed a worldwide, multi-year co-publishing agreement with Los Angeles band, Hunter Hunted.

In another move, Imagem Music USA has signed a multi-year agreement to administer the work George Gershwin created during the last three years of his life. The deal, signed with the Arthur Gershwin Testamentary Trust, includes songs featured in "Porgy and Bess," "Shall We Dance," "A Damsel In Distress," and "The Goldwyn Follies" and such compositions as "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "A Foggy Day," "They All Laughed," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "It Ain't Necessarily So," and "Summertime."

"The chance to work with musical masterpieces by Gershwin is rare," Imagem Music USA president Richard Stumpf said in a statement. "Continuing the legacy of the songs through aggressive promotion is our number one priority."

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