Publishing

Primary Wave Partners With the Estate of Soul Icon Donny Hathaway: Exclusive

Donny Hathaway
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Donny Hathaway photographed in the 1970s. 

The late artist's catalog includes "Where Is the Love" and holiday classic "This Christmas."

Primary Wave Music Publishing and the Estate of Donny Hathaway have entered into a partnership in which the company will acquire a majority stake ownership interest in the soul icon’s music publishing catalog and artist master royalty stream.

Under additional terms of the partnership, Primary Wave will market Hathaway's music and also pitch licensing opportunities for his name, likeness and brand.

Honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Recording Academy in 2019, Hathaway is best known for enduring hits and fan favorites such as "The Ghetto," "Someday We’ll All Be Free," "Love, Love, Love” and a string of popular duets with Roberta Flack. The latter includes chart-topping singles "The Closer I Get to You" and "Where Is the Love," which won a Grammy Award in 1973 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Hathaway also co-wrote and recorded the holiday classic "This Christmas."

Covered by a diverse array of artists from Mary J. Blige and Destiny’s Child to Train, Pentatonix and Lady Antebellum, "This Christmas" was selected as one of Rolling Stone's top 100 songs.

"We are very excited about partnering with Primary Wave," says the late artist’s widow Eulaulah Hathaway in a release announcing the agreement. "Their track record of success with other legendary artists makes them the ideal partner for this endeavor. We look forward to working together to bring the music of our beloved Donny Hathaway to listeners for generations to come."

Lawrence Mestel, founder/CEO of Primary Wave Music Publishing adds, "I want to welcome the Hathaway family into the Primary Wave family. Donny Hathaway was one of the greatest singers of our time with a voice as smooth as anyone’s. It’s an honor to represent his music."