Hipgnosis Songs, the music IP investment company set up by former Beyoncé and Guns N' Roses manager Merck Mercuriadis, has acquired the catalog of Itaal Shur, best known for co-writing the Santana and Rob Thomas smash hit "Smooth."
Originally released in 1999, "Smooth" spent 12 consecutive weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, has sold 1.7 million downloads and over 123 million on-demand U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music. The song also topped the Pop Songs, Adult Alternative Songs and Adult Top 40 charts, while global streams are approaching half a billion, says Hipgnosis Songs. In 2018, Billboard ranked "Smooth" at No. 2 in the all-time Hot 100 singles ranking, just behind "The Twist" by Chubby Checker.
Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which sees Hipgnosis acquire a 100 percent interest in Shur’s 209 song catalog, including the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) share. As well as "Smooth," Shur also co-wrote "Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)," a top ten hit for Maxwell on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1996.