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Publishing Briefs: Warner Chappell Signs ‘The Box’ Producer, Reservoir Pacts with Roger Murrah

A rundown of the latest moves in publishing, including Warner Chappell's deal with "The Box" producer Dat Boi Squeeze and Reservoir's pact with Roger Murrah.

Warner Chappell has signed a worldwide co-publishing agreement with Atlanta-based hip-hop producer Dat Boi Squeeze. Alongside 30 Roc, Squeeze co-produced Roddy Ricch’s “The Box,” which occupied the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 11 consecutive weeks. The deal covers Squeeze’s full catalog and future releases.

In addition to his work on the “The Box,” Squeeze also partnered with 30 Roc on Ricch’s “Roll Dice”; other previous collaborators include Yo Gotti (“Battle” ft. Blac Youngsta), 2 Chainz (“I Said Me” and “Ball Ring”) and Kash Doll (“Buss It”). He has further collaborations in store with 30 Roc and Future, among others.



Nashville Hall of Fame songwriter and publishing executive Roger Murrah has signed a global publishing agreement with Reservoir that covers his full catalog, including thousands of unexploited compositions. The deal includes the acquisition of Murrah’s wholly owned production companies, Murrah Music Corporation and Castle Street Music.

Over a five-decade career, Murrah has composed hit songs including including Alan Jackson’s “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” Al Jarreau’s “We’re In This Love Together,” Conway Twitty and Blake Shelton’s “Goodbye Time,” Wynonna Judd’s “Only Love” and Alabama’s “I’m In A Hurry,” “High Cotton,” and “Southern Star.”

Murrah was named BMI Country Songwriter of the Year in 1988 and honored as BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Decade the following year. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and also has two ACM Song of the Year awards, two CMA Song of the Year nominations and an ASCAP Song of the Year award.

Murrah Music Corporation, which was formed in 1990, has signed writers including Luke Bryan, Phillip White, Mike Mobley, Jon Henderson, Rachel Proctor, Mark Alan Springer and Rachel Thibodeau. The publisher’s hits include Rascal Flatts’ “I’m Movin On,” Billy Currington’s “Good Directions,” Reba McEntire’s “He Gets That From Me,” Tracy Byrd’s “The Keeper Of The Stars,” Tanya Tucker’s “Two Sparrows In A Hurricane” and Kenny Chesney’s “When I Close My Eyes.”



Warner Chappell has entered a worldwide administration deal with Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer Sean Douglas. The agreement covers Douglas’s partial catalog and future releases.

Douglas’s laundry list of hits includes Thomas Rhett’s “Die A Happy Man,” Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Heart Attack,” Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” and David Guetta’s “Hey Mama.” Most recently, he worked on Lizzo’s “Like a Girl” and “Soulmate,” Sia’s “Original” and Selena Gomez’s “Ring.”



Singer-songwriter Gabby Barrett has signed a worldwide admin deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville.

Barrett, who finished in third place American Idol Season 16, recently became the first woman to have her debut single top Billboard’s Country Streaming Songs chart with “I Hope,” which also rose to No. 16 on the Hot 100. Her debut album, Goldmine, releases June 19 and will feature “I Hope,” “The Good Ones,” “Hall of Fame,” “Got Me” feat. Shane & Shane and a second version of “I Hope” feat. Charlie Puth. She holds songwriting credits on 12 out of 13 songs on the album.



Sony/ATV has signed indie-pop singer-songwriter Stella Bennett, who performs as BENEE, to a worldwide publishing deal for both catalog and future releases.

Based in New Zealand, Bennett recently scored a global hit with “Supalonely,” which boasts over 165 million Spotify streams to date. She is signed to Republic Records, which released her debut EP Fire on Marzz featuring “Soaked,” “Glitter” and “Evil Spider” in June 2019. Her second EP, Stella & Steve, quickly followed in November.

BENEE won four NZ Music Awards in 2019, including Best Single (“Soaked”), best Solo Artist, Best Pop Artists and Breakthrough Artist.



The U.K.-based Bucks Music Group has signed a sub-publishing deal with Velvetica Music in France that will see both companies represent each other in their respective territories. The agreement coincides with the retirement of longtime Bucks executive Brigitte Bertholier, who first joined the publisher in the 1960s.

Founded by Thomas Jamois in 2011, Velvetica administers catalogs for artists including Caravan Palace, Lomepal and Air’s JB Dunckel and film production companies such as Pathé and Gaumont, among others.

The Bucks Music Group catalog includes works written by Run The Jewels, Brian Eno, James Blunt, Beyonce, Joe Strummer, Pete Doherty and more. Its label publishing partners include Saint Music, Heavenly, Nude, Full Time Hobby, Brownswood, Rekids, VIVa and No Hats No Hoods.



Third Side Music has partnered with Barometer Music Royalty Fund to act as the global administrator for songwriter Tim Kelley’s full catalog. The deal encompasses tracks recorded by TLC, Boyz II Men, Jennifer Lopez, Brian McKnight, Lionel Richie, Hilary Duff, The Isley Brothers and Sisqo’s 2000 hit “Thong Song,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Formerly part of the songwriting and production duo Tim & Bob, Kelley has won a total of three Grammys out of 12 nominations.



Reservoir has signed writer-producer Keith “Ten4” Sorrells to a worldwide publishing deal through the company’s joint venture with producer Oak Felder’s protégé production group The Orphanage. The agreement covers Sorrells’ full catalog and future releases.

Sorrells’ resume includes co-writing and/or production work on Demi Lovato’s “I Love Me,” John Legend’s “Actions” and Anne-Marie’s “Birthday.” He works out of Su Casa Studios in Sherman Oaks and is managed by Milk & Honey.



Spirit Music Group has signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with British songwriter-producer Nick Gale, professionally known as Digital Farm Animals. The agreement includes all future releases.

Gale’s successes include his work on Top 10 U.K. singles for artists including Dua Lipa (“Be The One”), Galantis (“No Money”), Aitch (“Buss Down”) and Rita Ora (“Anywhere”).



Country singer-songwriter Clare Dunn has signed a worldwide co-publishing and label deal with Big Yellow Dog Music for her catalog and all releases going forward.

Dunn’s songs include “Tuxedo,” “Move On” and “More.” She released the new single “Safe Haven” on May 1 via Big Yellow Dog.



Nashville-based singer-songwriter Karley Scott Collins has signed a global publishing agreement with Warner Chappell Music. It is her first publishing deal.

The Florida-born Collins is also an actor, having previously landed roles in ABC’s Once Upon a Time and in the Bryce Dallas Howard-directed short film When You Find Me. She is represented by Darin Murphy at CAA.



LBK has signed an exclusive global publishing and admin deal with emerging singer-songwriter Emma Brooke for future releases, and a co-publishing and admin deal for her full catalog.

Brooke’s songwriting falls in the crossover between pop and country. She has collaborated with songwriters including Brett James, Marcus Hummon and Steve Bogard.