Two Dixie Chicks Sign with Big Deal for Publishing

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Big Deal Music has landed two thirds of the Dixie Chicks for a deal, signing Martie Maguire and Emily Robinson to a global publishing agreement for all future songs.

The deal marks the first time the two have signed a publishing agreement. Previously, with each owning their own publishing, their back catalogs had been (and are still) administered by Words & Music Copyright Administration for North America and Sony/ATV Music Publishing in the rest of the world.

Maguire said in a statement she made the deal based on an endorsement from fellow songwriter Dan Wilson, who helps co-write Dixie Chick songs; and she added as well as the "personal connection we felt when meeting the entire Big Deal team… I now recognize that having a great company behind you can actually impact your motivation to be more creative."

The Dixie Chicks have sold 27.4 million albums in the U.S. with the band's last studio album, Taking The Long Way, accounting for 2.5 million of them. The group have also seen their songs downloaded 8.33 million times in the U.S. The Maguire and Robinson have sold another 213,000 album units in the U.S. as part of their own group, Court Yard Hounds.

Since launching, the Big Deal roster now includes My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, St. Vincent, The Afghan Whigs, among others.

Robinson says that the deal with Big Deal feels natural and a great fit.

Big Deal president Kenny MacPherson said in a statement that Big Deal is excited about the opportunity to work with the two songwriters, who he said have "had such an enormous impact on both music and culture." MacPherson told Billboard that both Maquire and Robinson have been writing songs with other songwriters, which can be pitched to other artists, or they might be recorded by the songwriters themselves. "The songs and the music they create will sort out," whether they record it themselves or allow Big Deal to pitch it to other artists, MacPherson says. But the ability to have a publisher pitch songs to other artists is one of the advantages of working with Big Deal.