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Universal Music Publishing Allies With Celeb-Backed Hillsong Church in Europe

Hillsong UNITED
Courtesy of Hillsong United

Hillsong United

Universal Music Publishing Group has entered into a new partnership with the publishing arm of Australia-based Hillsong, the music-focused Christian megachurch which has counted Justin Bieber and Lauren Daigle among supporters.

Under the deal, Universal will administer the catalogues of Hillsong entities Hillsong Music Publishing and Shout! Music Publishing in Europe. The agreement also includes the possibility of future joint signings, and allows for artists and songwriters on the Universal publishing roster to collaborate with Hillsong's own lineup. 

That includes music collectives Hillsong Young & Free, Hillsong Kids, Hillsong United and Hillsong Worship, which earned a Grammy for best contemporary Christian music performance/song in 2018 for "What a Beautiful Name" by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood. Meanwhile, Hillsong United netted its eighth No. 1 debut on Top Christian Albums in May with People.

“The administration agreement with Hillsong is a fantastic relationship that has grown from initially exploring collaborative and creative ideas to formalising a partnership in a unique environment," Universal Music Publishing UK A&R Dougie Bruce shared in a statement. “We are looking forward to integrating their writers into our team and identifying key opportunities across the music sphere. UMPG will also handle some 11,000 existing works, and new signings and songs will further increase this catalogue."

Founded by Brian and Bobbie Houston in Sydney, Australia, in the '80s, Hillsong Church now hosts services across the globe, and is known for its focus on music as central to worship. Hillsong Worship alone has created 46 albums with more than 300 songs, while the United branch has 17 albums. Hillsong is also home to three record labels, and hosts multiple worldwide conferences centered on music performances every year.

Hillsong publishing manager Steve McPherson adds: “UMPG are leaders in the music publishing world and we’re looking forward to exploring the opportunities for our songwriters and have great respect and trust in their team. We have had fruitful relationships within the Universal family in different parts of the world for many years and we’re very excited to extend this to the UK and Europe."


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