Warner Music Group (WMG) and Tuff Gong International Caribbean Distributors, one of several entities comprising the Marley family’s Tuff Gong group of companies, have struck an exclusive licensing agreement under which Tuff Gong will distribute WMG product throughout English speaking Caribbean islands.
The deal takes immediate effect, covering both new and catalogue releases, as well as local synch, licensing and live performance rights. Through the license, Tuff Gong will distribute albums by Wiz Khalifa, Bruno Mars, Flo Rida, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Estelle, among others. Warner’s extensive catalogue also includes releases by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Eric Clapton.
Bob Marley founded Tuff Gong International Records in 1965; today the Tuff Gong brand includes the imprints Rita Marley Music and Ghetto Youths International, a state of the art recording studio, in Kingston, Jamaica, which houses a vinyl record/CD manufacturing plant, an analog and digital mastering room, a wholesale/retail record outlet and a thriving worldwide distribution network; Tuff Gong handles the Caribbean distribution of Universal Music Group and the Disney Music Group.
In a WMG press release, Stu Bergen, EVP, Warner Brothers Records said: “Cedella Marley and her team at Tuff Gong are proven experts in the Caribbean music market; thanks to their unparalleled local knowledge and marketing expertise they will provide a first-class service for the distribution of Warner’s diverse repertoire across the region. We see this agreement as a great way of introducing our artists to new markets and fans, as well as another step towards our goal of making our extraordinary music available as widely as possible around the world.”
Cedella Marley, who was appointed Tuff Gong International CEO in 1993, said she is thrilled to get the opportunity to work with Warner’s impressive global catalogue and roster of artists. “We are looking forward to a partnership that will allow us to bring a new dimension to the already vibrant Caribbean music industry,” Cedella stated in the WMG press release.
The eldest child of Bob and Rita Marley, Cedella is an accomplished artist in her own right. From the mid ’80s through the mid ’00s Cedella toured the world singing back up with The Melody Makers, which included younger brothers Ziggy on lead vocals and guitar and Stephen playing percussion, guitar and providing supporting vocals. The Melody Makers have sold millions of albums and reaped an assortment of prestigious honors including three Grammy Awards. Cedella’s 2010 rendition of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” (from the 1994 Disney film, The Lion King) was included on The Disney Reggae Club (Disney), a child friendly-various artists’ album which peaked at no. 5 the Reggae Chart for the week of June 26, 2010.