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Dan Wilson Sells Publishing — Including Hits by Adele, The Chicks — to Primary Wave

Primary Wave has acquired the full music publishing catalog of Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and artist Dan Wilson.

Primary Wave has acquired the full music publishing catalog of Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and artist Dan Wilson, it was announced Thursday (Jan. 7). Wilson’s valuable catalog includes songs performed by Adele, The Chicks and his recently-reunited band Semisonic, including the Grammy-nominated 1998 modern-rock smash “Closing Time.”

“The musical art that Dan has created as a songwriter is undeniable,” said Primary Wave president Justin Shukat in a release announcing the deal. “His work has been enjoyed by fans around the world through both the lens of his own band, Semisonic, as well as through the voices of the countless artists he’s collaborated with and written for. We are honored and thrilled to have him join Primary Wave.”


Wilson’s songwriting and producing credits include three tracks from Adele’s 21 — “One and Only,” “Don’t You Remember” and the No. 1 single “Someone Like You” — as well as six co-writes on The Chicks’ 2006 album Taking the Long Way, including “Not Ready to Make Nice,” which netted the band and Wilson a song of the year Grammy. He has additionally written and produced for such superstars as Taylor Swift (“Treacherous”), John Legend (“You & I (Nobody in the World)”), Chris Stapleton (“When the Stars Come Out”) and Weezer (“California Kids”). He has been nominated for a total of five Grammys and won two, including album of the year for his producer credit on 21.

“From ‘Closing Time’ to ‘Someone Like You,’ Dan Wilson’s honest and original songs have been the soundtrack for the highs and lows of so many lives around the world,” added Primary Wave associate director of creative Matt Herzfeld. “We could not be more honored to be working with a writer of such universal esteem as Dan and we look forward to sharing the beauty of his words and music with generations to come.”


Wilson got his start in the music business while attending Harvard University, where he began collaborating with his brother and played in the bands Animal Dance and the Love Monsters. Following graduation, he dabbled in the visual arts before joining the band Trip Shakespeare and, later, Semisonic, with which he released three full-length albums and two EPs, including this year’s You’re Not Alone. He has also released three solo albums: Free Life, Love Without Fear and Re-Covered, as well as a string of recent non-album singles.

Along with other music publishers, Primary Wave has been riding a hot publishing market as of late. In December, the company struck a wide-ranging partnership with Stevie Nicks that includes a joint venture deal and a majority stake in Nicks’ publishing copyrights. Other recent acquisitions include a 70% stake in Air Supply‘s publishing catalog and artist master royalty stream and a stake in the catalog and master recordings of “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” songwriter Leo Sayer.