Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed Grammy Award-winning songwriter Johnta Austin. The long-term, worldwide publishing agreement - covering his future ouput - becomes effective in October. Austin had spent the last 13 years with Chrysalis Music Publishing, which signed him at the age of 15. During his career, Austin has co-written seven top 20 hits.

"Topline writers like Johnta don't come along a lot anymore," says Jody Gerson, co-president of Sony/ATV. "Whereas today you can have five or six people writing a hit song, he can write a hit song on his own. Having worked with Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige, among others, he's looking to branch out and do other things, including film and TV. And we want to do those with him."

During his career, Austin has co-written seven top 20 hits. Those include Carey's "We Belong Together" and Blige's "Be Without You." Both songs earned Austin a Grammy for best R&B song. Named ASCAP's pop songwriter of the year in 2007, Austin has written for such artists as Usher, Leona Lewis and Chris Brown.

"I'm definitely motivated about expanding into uncharted waters," says Austin. "Whether it's a TV theme, a song for a major movie or a country song for Kenny Chesney, I want to be a part of it."

Austin joins a Sony/ATV urban roster that includes Akon, Rick Ross, The Game, Flo Rida and Midi Mafia.