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‘Despacito’ Co-Writer Erika Ender Sells Catalog to Hipgnosis

The deal includes Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's global hit song.

Hipgnosis Song Management has acquired the song catalog of singer-songwriter Erika Ender, who co-wrote the 2017 smash hit “Despacito” alongside Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

According to the company, Hipgnosis has acquired Ender’s interest — including the writer’s share of performance — in all songs in her catalogue published, released or utilized through her Sony Music Publishing deal from 2007 through 2019, which includes more than 25 No. 1 songs. Sony Music Publishing continues to administer 100% of Ender’s shares in the purchased compositions, including “Despacito.”

“Despacito,” originally released in January 2017 and later in a bilingual version with Justin Bieber, spearheaded a global Latin movement made possible by streaming. The remix peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — where it ruled for 16 weeks — and spent 56 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart. To date, the original version has more than 8 billion views on YouTube. It also won three Latin Grammy awards, including song and record of the year. The Bieber-assisted version received nominations for both song and record of the year at the 2018 Grammys.

Ender has also penned songs for other artists such as Los Tigres del Norte, Chayanne, Gloria Trevi and Prince Royce. In 2017, Ender became the youngest person to be inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The amount paid for the Panamanian artist’s catalog was not disclosed but it further highlights the interest in Latin or Spanish-language music catalogs. In November 2020, Hipgnosis acquired 42 catalogs from Kobalt, which included hits by Enrique Iglesias, among them “Bailando” and “Hero.” And, in January 2021, Shakira sold 100% of her music publishing rights, including publishing and writer’s share of income, to Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited.


“Erika Ender has defined Latin music for the last 30 years,” Merck Mercuriadis, chief executive and founder of Hipgnosis Song Management, said in a statement. “Her more than 40 Number 1 singles have made her one of the most successful and influential songwriters of all time. Over the last 5 years Despacito has ruled the airwaves and helped to drive the new LATAM domination going to Number 1 in 47 countries, but Erika is so much more than that one song with a rich catalogue of many incredible songs. I’m delighted to welcome her to the Hipgnosis Family!”

“I am very excited about this partnership with Hipgnosis. I’ve always believed that music is eternal,” added Ender. “I’m confident my songs are in good hands with Merck and his team, and they will do their best to keep my catalogue active, present and alive, as they honor and recognize that the songs are the seeds to the entire music industry, the message that touches and marks people’s lives and where it all begins.”

This acquisition follows the high-profile catalog purchase of Justin Bieber’s publishing, as well as his artist royalties from his master recordings and neighboring rights. The $200 million deal made it the largest rights sale for any artist of Bieber’s generation, and Hipgnosis’ biggest acquisition to date.

Ender’s catalog acquisition was made on behalf of Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and funds managed by Blackstone. Ender was represented by Oswaldo Rossi and Pamela Klein at Rossi, P.C. and Sergio Lopes at LCTM Brandbuilders.