Primary Wave Buys Madonna Co-Writer Patrick Leonard's Catalog

Primary Wave Music Publishing
Courtesy of Primary Wave Music Publishing


Primary Wave has acquired the recorded-music, music publishing and master recording producer rights to Patrick Leonard's catalog in a "multi-million-dollar deal," the company announced today (April 20).

The deal will encompass Leonard’s share of hits by the likes of Leonard Cohen ("You Want It Darker," "It Seemed The Better Way," "If I Didn’t Have Your Love"), Jewel ("Hands"), and his songwriting royalties for classics by Madonna ("Like A Prayer," "Frozen," "La Isla Bonita"). Leonard’s production and writing credits also include work with Roger Waters, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Cetera, Duncan Sheik, Bon Jovi and more.

"A while back, when I was making multiple albums a year, there was a group of people that I did work for and did work for me that I both depended on and respected," Leonard said in a statement. "It was a bit like an extended family, and really, there’s been nothing like it since. When I met Larry [Mestel] and Adam [Lowenberg] and the formidable team at Primary Wave it was clear that it was all about music and the possibilities. It was almost shocking and immediately reminded me of those years that were so productive for me. Honestly, I couldn’t wait to become a member of their vision."

Leonard worked on five Madonna albums -- including Billboard 200 No. 1s True Blue and Like A Prayer -- between 1986 and 1998, and performed with her as a keyboardist and musical director at Live Aid 1985 and on her The Virgin Tour and Who’s That Girl Tour. He also has worked on a series of film scores and soundtracks, including Madonna’s 2008 documentary I Am Because We Are, as well as Moulin Rouge, Shrek, Legally Blonde and more. He’s also released a solo album, and the Primary Wave deal includes his future works.

Primary Wave, for its part, has been in acquisition mode of late, having picked up all or part of the catalogs of Wilson Phillips, Sun Records, Stevie Nicks, KT Tunstall, Leo Sayer, The Four Seasons and Olivia Newton-John in just the past six months.

"I am extremely excited to welcome Patrick Leonard to Primary Wave as he fits in perfectly with our family of artists," said Primary Wave CMO Lowenberg in a statement. "I’m thrilled to begin developing innovative initiatives to help continue making the public aware of Patrick’s musical genius."

Brian Rasic/Getty Images
Pat Leonard and Elton John at The BBC in London on Sept. 21, 2001.