Spirit Music Group has acquired several of Tim McGraw’s master recordings in a deal announced Wednesday (Sept. 9). The agreement covers the masters for three of McGraw’s albums: 2013’s Two Lanes of Freedom, 2014’s Sundown Heaven Town and 2015’s Damn Country Music, all released by Big Machine Records. Hit singles encompassed by the deal include “Highway Don’t Care,” “Humble & Kind,” “Shotgun Rider” and “Truck Yeah.”
While master recording deals are rare for publishers, Spirit also represents both masters and publishing rights for a portion of the catalog of T. Rex via Marc Bolan as well as the masters and publishing for most of Ingrid Michaelson’s catalog.
The acquisition of McGraw’s master recordings — purchased directly from the artist — follows Spirit executives Jon Singer and Ross Cameron’s 2019 formation of Lyric Capital Group, through which they took ownership of Spirit and secured a $350 million recapitalization.
“There are few artists in any genre of music who have had the level of success and impact that Tim McGraw has — we’re delighted to welcome Tim McGraw to the Spirit family and to represent his recording interests in some of country music’s most beloved songs,” said Spirit Music Group chairman Singer in a statement. “The entire Spirit team is honored to become an active partner in developing and protecting Tim’s incredible legacy of music.”
“Tim is one of the most prolific artists in country music and it is a unique opportunity to be able to acquire such a remarkable body of work in a competitive music rights market,” added Lyric Capital Group partner Cameron. “We thank Tim for entrusting Lyric Capital Group and Spirit Music Group with his songs and are committed to doing our part to further build on the success of these master recordings,” said Ross Cameron, Partner, Lyric Capital Group.”
McGraw’s manager Scott Simian added, “Jon, Ross, Frank and Spirit’s team have shown great dedication to protecting Tim’s body of work, and that laid the foundation for this deal. They understand the special place that Tim has in music and it’s great to be in business with them. Tim and I are looking forward to working with them to find ways to continue to share the music with the fans.”
McGraw’s most recent album, Here On Earth, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart the week ending Aug. 27.