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Hipgnosis Acquires Majority Stake in Catalog of 'Uptown Funk' Writer-Producer Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson
Collier Schorr

Mark Ronson 

LONDON — Music IP investment company Hipgnosis Songs has acquired a 70% share of Mark Ronson's catalog, including his publishing and writer's interest in Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black" and the global number one single "Uptown Funk."

Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which is Hipgnosis' sixth major acquisition of 2020, having already picked up full or partial stakes in the catalogs of Blink-182's Tom DeLonge, Emile Haynie, Ammar Malik, Brian Higgins and Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora.

Earlier this month, the Guernsey-registered company, run by former Beyoncé and Elton John manager Merck Mercuriadis, announced that it had secured an extra £150 million ($185 million) credit facility to further its acquisition spree.

Between launching in July 2018 and December 2019, Hipgnosis spent more than £500 million ($650 million) on full or partial stakes of 42 catalogs, equating to more than 11,000 songs.

Its latest purchase adds 315 songs by Ronson to that fast-growing list, including "Uptown Funk" featuring Bruno Mars, which topped the charts in 19 countries and spent 14 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 following its release in 2014.

"Uptown Funk" went on to win two Grammy awards, including record of the year, and has been streamed more than 1.1 billion times, according to Hipgnosis. The company already owns a partial stake in the song, having picked up the catalog of co-writer Jeff Bhasker late last year. "Uptown Funk" is the sixth most viewed YouTube video of all-time with over 3.8 billion views.

Ronson also co-wrote "Back To Black," the title track of Winehouse's Grammy-winning second album, which Ronson produced and has sold over 16 million copies worldwide, says Hipgnosis.

More recently, he co-wrote the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning duet "Shallow" for the movie "A Star is Born," performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The song is Ronson's second after "Uptown Funk" to have been streamed more than one billion times on Spotify, reports Hipgnosis.

Other artists Ronson has worked with include Adele, Lily Allen, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Kaiser Chiefs and Queens of the Stone Age. In 2018, he partnered with Diplo to form electronic duo Silk City, who scored a global hit single with "Electricity" featuring Dua Lipa. The London-born writer and producer has released five studio albums as a solo artist, including last year's Late Night Feelings.

Commenting on the sale of his catalog, he recalled first encountering Mercuriadis in 2006 when he was managing Morrissey and Ronson "nervously" asked for permission to cover The Smiths' 1987 song "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before."

"I was just starting out and he was very kind and generous with me. He was an artist's guy then and he's an artist's guy now," said Ronson, who was represented by his manager Brandon Creed and lawyer Michael Guido in the catalog deal.

"Mark has been amongst the most exciting creators in the world over the last 20 years co-writing and producing records for the most important artists of their time," said Mercuriadis, calling it an honor to welcome him and Creed to the ever-expanding Hipgnosis family.

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