Justin Timberlake has sold his entire song collection to a Blackstone-backed management business, following a growing list of recent super stars who have sold their music rights for a large sum of money.
Hipgnosis Song Management, located in London, revealed on Thursday that it has purchased all of the singer’s copyrights on songs he composed or co-authored, totaling roughly 200 songs, according to Hipgnosis CEO Merck Mercuriadis. “SexyBack,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “Mirrors” are among JT’s No. 1 songs now under their ownership.
The deal’s value has not been revealed, but according to The Wall Street Journal, it is valued at upwards of $100 million by persons familiar with the situation.
Timberlake’s music career spans more than two decades. The singer rose to prominence in 1995 as a member of the boy band NSYNC. Following the group’s international breakthrough, Timberlake embarked on a solo career that spanned five studio albums and 40 singles.
According to Mercuriadis, the deal took nearly a year to complete and is part of a growing trend of megastars selling their music libraries, including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Stevie Nicks. Timberlake, at 41 years old, is, however, younger than the other musicians who have signed deals.
“A lot of the artists that are selling their catalogs are getting to a point in their lives where they are planning their estates, sort of planning for the future and they are at a point in their lives where it makes sense to sell their music to provide for their families,” editorial director explained.
Timberlake isn’t the only one who is getting paid right away for his work with Hipgnosis when he was younger. In 2019, the electronic music duo The Chainsmokers sold their catalogue to the company, and Shakira signed a deal with Hipgnosis in January.
“In the case of those younger songwriters, they’re looking to de-risk their future,” Mercuriadis told CNN Business. “They’re looking to be put in a position where they can make music for pure purposes going forward based on what they want to do, as opposed to what they have to do for money.”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Journey, Blondie, and Neil Young are among the acts who have signed with Hipgnosis.
In a press release issued Thursday, Timberlake said, “I am excited to be partnering with Merck and Hipgnosis — he values artists and their creative work and has always been a strong supporter of songwriters and storytelling.” “I look forward to entering this next chapter.”
Timberlake’s publishing rights are only covered by the deal, meaning only songs that he co-wrote are included. While Timberlake has written or co-written many of the songs that have helped him achieve solo success, as well as some songs for other artists like Rihanna and Madonna, this is not the case for a substantial portion of NSYNC’s discography. As a result, hits like “Bye Bye Bye” aren’t covered by the Hipgnosis deal.
Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a $1 billion partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and funds managed by private equity firm Blackstone, made the transaction (BGB). The fund earns money through purchasing Timberlake’s music in the form of movies, television, streaming, cover music, and live performances.
Blackstone has been tight-lipped about the deal.
Hipgnosis, which was founded by famed music manager Mercuriadis, who has worked with artists such as Beyonce, went public on the London Stock Exchange in July 2018. Since then, the corporation has been on a relentless music buying binge in an attempt to establish songs as an asset class, promising enormous payments for ownership of some of the most famous songs ever recorded.
Timberlake’s lawyers, David Lande and Mitch Tenzer of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, noted in a news release that “Justin’s incredible catalogue will join other amazing works at Hipgnosis which we know will serve as a great steward of his work.”
The fact that Timberlake’s lineup joins Hipgnosis’s portfolio of highly chosen, top-tier assets is the objective, according to the company.
“These are not only some of the most culturally important songs and extraordinarily successful songs of the last 25 years, but they’re going to continue to be so for decades and decades to come,” said Mercuriadis. “I want Justin to be proud to be standing next to Nile Rodgers, and I want Nile Rodgers to be proud to be standing next to Neil Young, and I want Neil Young to be proud to be standing next to Chrissie Hynde, and I want Chris Hynde to be proud to be standing next to Timbaland.”
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