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Publishing Briefs: Primary Wave Lands ‘T.K.O.’ With Teddy Pendergrass; ASCAP Auction Draws Billie Eilish

Primary Wave Music has acquired a stake in the publishing, master recording income, name and likeness rights of late R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass. The new deal arrives shortly after Primary…

Primary Wave Music has acquired a stake in the publishing, master recording income, name and likeness rights of late R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass. The new deal arrives shortly after Primary Wave’s announcement of their acquisition of a stake in similar rights of another R&B giant, Luther Vandross, which was made public in late October.

Pendergrass died in 2010 of colon cancer.

Primary Wave and the Pendergrass estate will work closely together to manage these assets, and the company will begin using their marketing, digital, publicity, branding, and other in-house services to expand the presence of Pendergrass hits like “Love T.K.O.” “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration,” and more to the public.

“Looks like another love T.K.O.”

“I have been a fan of Teddy for decades,” says Steven Greener, Partner at Primary Wave Music. “He has one of the most iconic voices in the history of music and his songs are timeless. I am thrilled Primary Wave has partnered with the estate and look forward to working with them to ensure his legacy lives on.”

“My husband was a legend, an icon, and I’m pleased about this partnership,” adds Joan Pendergrass. “I believe working with Primary Wave is just what the estate needs to help showcase Teddy’s rich legacy. He’s an icon, and it’s essential that people know all he’s done, what he’s contributed to the music industry, and as a humanitarian. My husband was more than just a legendary musician; he was the first African American to create a jeans line. After his debilitating car accident, he withstood many personal challenges and, throughout the later part of his life, became a dedicated advocate for elevating the voices and lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries. I’m excited to see the fantastic projects and opportunities this partnership brings because what’s most important is amplifying my husband’s story and showcasing to the world the immense impact he had on multiple generations.”


Some of today’s biggest hitmakers are offering one-of-a-kind experiences and items to The ASCAP Foundation for a silent auction taking place virtually until Dec. 15.

Billie Eilish, Finneas, Lil Baby, blackbear, and Ne-Yo are just a few of the artists donating prizes like signed sheet music and VIP concert experiences to The ASCAP Foundation’s auction for funding music and talent development programs.

“Music has been a lifeline for so many people during the pandemic, and ASCAP members understand how important music education and early recognition of their talents is for kids and aspiring music creators,” said ASCAP Foundation Executive Director Nicole George-Middleton. “We are extremely grateful to these ASCAP members for rallying around the Foundation at this time to fund these essential programs, which span every genre of music  and impact millions of people around the country.”


Godmode founders, Talya Elitzer and Nick Sylvester have announced the launch of their new joint venture publishing company with Hipgnosis Songs Group.

With the new JV, Godmode — the artist development services company behind breakouts like JPEGMAFIA, Channel Tres, and Yaeji,– hopes to bring their expertise nuturing rising talent to the songwriting side of the business. “Songs are the atomic unit of what we do,” says Elitzer. “Just like our artist work, we’re looking forward to surfacing and culturing the kinds of songwriters who change what a song is allowed to do.”

Godmode focuses on songwriters and producers in the crossover dance, rap, and electronic spaces, including support for its co-founder Sylvester, who signed directly with Hipgnosis earlier this year.

The joint venture has been developing TikTok star Emmy Hartman, whose first song “Stupid Big Teeth” comes out Friday Dec. 3.


Reservoir Media, an independent music company, has acquired the catalog of songwriter and producer Dallas Austin, which spans several decades and includes hit songs such as Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly,” several songs off of Madonna’s Bedtime Stories, Gwen Stefani’s “Cool,” P!nk’s “Just Like a Pill,” Michael Jackson’s “2 Bad,” and many more.

“Dallas Austin is a legendary producer with legacy songs,” said Austin’s catalogue manager Liz Garner of Garner Group Music. “I knew if we were going to find a partner for these hit songs, it would have to be with someone we could build with in the future. Reservoir was the one.”

Reservoir EVP, A&R and Catalog Development Faith Newman adds, “Dallas’ catalog is deep with great cuts, and we are so happy to bring some of his fantastic music to Reservoir. We look forward to continuing his music’s legacy.”


Warner Chappell Music has signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with Australian up and coming producer, Haan. A longtime collaborator of The Kid Laroi, Haan helped produce the global hit “Stay.”

Warner Chappell Music President, North America, Ryan Press, said: “Haan is already a master of his craft and working with some of the biggest names in the industry. We couldn’t be more excited to team up with him and can’t wait to see what’s in store for him as he continues to create hits and build his career.”

Haan stated: “I’m excited to join the Warner Chappell family and add to the amazing list of producers that call Warner their home. I can’t wait to get started with the team and find ways to elevate as both a producer and businessman. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.”

The deal was done in collaboration with Foundation Media Partners’ Patrick Hughes, Harvey Russell and Grade A Productions.


Warner Chappell Music’s U.S. Latin division has entered into a worldwide exclusive administration publishing agreement with Colombian DJ and producer Víctor Cárdenas. Most recently, Cárdenas has collaborated with Farruko for “Pepas,” which reached No. 1 in more than 20 countries.

Lazaro Hernandez, Vice President, A&R, U.S. & Latin America, WCM said: “It’s been incredible to see the explosive success that Víctor has had so early on in his career. He’s a trendsetter whose sound and style are infectious and have taken the world by storm. This is just the beginning and we’re excited to go on this journey with him.”

Cárdenas added: “I am excited to have signed with Warner Chappell. I know we will accomplish great things and take electronic music to another level.”

Pierre Hachar, Jr., Esq. and Cody Pellicer, Esq. of The Hachar Law Group, P.A., negotiated and closed the deal.


Sheer Publishing, the largest independent music publisher in Africa and a division of Downtown Music Services, has entered an admin deal agreement with the estate of the late South African singer-songwriter, Johnny Clegg.

Clegg’s blend of English lyrics with Zulu musical structure led to him become one of the few South African artists to gain airplay and organize live performances away from the prying eyes of police. Clegg managed to gain a devoted fanbase and continues to do so, spanning the cultural boundaries and age groups of today.

David Alexander, Founder and Managing Director of Sheer Publishing said, “Clegg’s music has been one of the biggest cultural exports in our lifetimes. His role in speaking truth to power has been acknowledged by many countries with many of their highest awards. He was a writer who was able to articulate the South African narrative in a way that crossed over to multiple cultures and languages and garnered support for change when we needed it most.”

Mike Smith, Global President of DMS says, “Johnny Clegg is not only one of the greatest South African singer songwriters of recent times but his work as an anti-apartheid activist, plus his support for the indigenous people of South Africa has been instrumental in showing the power of music to create significant change. The fact that his band was the first multi-racial group in the time of apartheid underlines his importance of direct action in bringing the apartheid to a close.”


Downtown Music Services have entered a global music publishing administration agreement with multi-media artist and musician MELO-X.

Sean Rhoden also known as MELO-X, has a wide range of projects including music remixes, album collaborations, set design, DJ’ing and film scores/composition. He’s also known for incorporating visual elements such as creative direction, photography, and installations. 

MELO-X has worked with numerous contemporary artists including Beyoncé, Jesse Boykins III, JAY Z, Kelly Rowland, Chloe Bailey, Kalela and others. He has also been involved in creative projects for brands including LVRN, NIKE & CAT Footwear.  


Gloworks Publishing has signed rapper, author and broadcaster Guvna B to an exclusive worldwide publishing deal.

Guvna B has released 10 albums and was the first rapper to top the UK’s Official Christian & Gospel Albums Charts with 2013’s Odd1Out.

Gloworks’ Martin Smith said: “Guvna B is an artist who is not afraid to speak truth and he provides inspiration and guidance through his music and words. He has forged his own path to this point and we are thrilled that he has now chosen Gloworks to walk with him.”

Guvna B said: “The landscape of British music at the moment is really exciting. After what has been a challenging year for most, there’s a great opportunity for music with a message that is uplifting, hopeful and inspiring. That’s the kind of music I’ve always tried my best to make and I’m excited to partner with the Gloworks team to create even more fearless and creative art that can help people.”