Kobalt Music Signs Enrique Iglesias to Publishing Deal

Courtesy of Sony Music Latin
Enrique Iglesias

Global superstar Enrique Iglesias has signed a publishing deal with Kobalt Music that includes his catalog as well as future works, Billboard has learned.

The deal encompasses such massive global hits as “Bailando,” which Iglesias co-wrote, as well as hits from his early romantic ballad days on indie Fonovisa.

All told, Iglesias has notched 38 top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, a record surpassed only by Luis Miguel, who has 39. Iglesias has nabbed 18 top 10s since 2005.

“Enrique is one of the biggest global artists ever, so it is an honor that he has chosen Kobalt to support him in both creative and global admin services,” said Kobalt Music founder & CEO Willard Ahdritz in a statement. “He is an amazing singer, songwriter and producer with an extraordinary capacity to write in Spanish and English. The potential for his new music is massive and we’re excited to support him.”

Iglesis was previously signed to Sony ATV, but his contract there expired over a year ago, sources say. By signing to Kobalt, he follows in the footsteps of another major Latin star, Carlos Vives, who signed to Kobalt through its Latin division in October of 2016.

“It is a privilege to work with Enrique, a great human being and extraordinary artist whom I admire,” said Kobalt president of Latin America, Nestor Casonu. “Since the start of his career, he has consistently topped charts all over the world due to his great capacity to work, engage with his fans, as well as the respect and care he gives to the creative process of his songs.”

Iglesias is currently signed as a recording artist to Sony Music Latin, where he went in 2015 after being a Universal Music Group (UMG) artist since 1999 (prior to Universal, Iglesias was signed to indie Fonovisa, which was later acquired by UMLE). Last month, Iglesias accused UMG of "systematically underpaying" his streaming royalties in a lawsuit filed in a Miami federal court.

According to the suit, Iglesias has sought to inspect Universal's bookkeeping after receiving what is described as a "small fraction" of his 50 percent royalty rate for streaming. The artist and his legal team believe UMG's "improper accounting" has resulted in a shortfall running in the millions of dollars, and is demanding the court enforce his streaming rate and force the label to pay lost royalties.