Front row (L-R): Zach Horowitz, Chairman & CEO, UMPG Worldwide; Billy Joel; Lance Freed, President of Rondor Music.
Back row (L-R): Michael J. Sammis, EVP Operations and CFO Worldwide, UMPG; Don Ienner, Consultant; Todd Kamelhar, Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman; Lee Eastman, ESQ, Eastman & Eastman; David Kokakis, SVP/Head of Business Affairs/Business Development, UMPG.
Legendary Singer/Songwriter Billy Joel Signs Global Publishing ÔÇ¿Agreement With Rondor Music International and ÔÇ¿Universal Music Publishing Group Worldwide
Santa Monica, CA (August 30, 2012) – Music icon Billy Joel, one of the most important singer/songwriters and composers in the history of popular music, has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing administration agreement with Rondor Music (Rondor) and Universal Music Publishing Group Worldwide (UMPG), it was announced today by Lance Freed, President of Rondor, and Zach Horowitz, Chairman and CEO of UMPG Worldwide. The agreement encompasses Joel’s entire catalog of music, every song written by him since the beginning of his career more than 40 years ago, including some of the biggest hits of all time.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Billy Joel has chosen to bring his songs to Rondor and UMPG,” said Mr. Horowitz. “There are few songwriters in the history of music that have created a catalog of such hits, depth and quality. With Rondor’s distinctive focus and care, and UMPG’s global scale, administrative infrastructure and network of worldwide sync specialists, we are uniquely positioned to maximize the extraordinary opportunities that exist for Billy’s music.”
“Publishing is a cornerstone of the music business, one of the reasons songs live and thrive around the world years after they've been written or recorded. Rondor and Universal Music Publishing Group understand the complexities of music publishing in general and the nuances of my catalog in particular. The successful ongoing administration of my songs is in good hands under the stewardship of Rondor and UMPG,” said Billy Joel.
“Billy’s catalog is one of the greatest in contemporary music,” said Mr. Freed. “His songs are melodic and memorable, and he writes conversationally in universal themes that are timeless and borderless. Billy’s music is as important to his era as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin’s were to theirs. It’s truly an extraordinary privilege to welcome Billy to Rondor.”
Since having his first chart and sales success in the early 1970s, Billy Joel’s music has remained among the most popular in the world–a constant at radio both in the United States and internationally and a vital source of material for other artists who have recorded their own versions of his songs. His albums, featuring both music and lyrics wholly written by Billy, have now sold over 150 million copies globally—over 75 million in the U.S alone—and continue as perennial best sellers. His recordings have hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts over 33 times, and on the U.K. singles chart over 26 times. He’s had multiple Top 10 albums everywhere in the world, including Germany, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, Southeast Asia and Latin America. In the United States, Billy is the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time and the third best-selling solo artist. His Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 has sold over 20 million albums and is the sixth best-selling album of all-time. His music has also served as the inspiration and score for the hit Broadway play “Movin’ Out” which took home two Tony Awards including Best Orchestration and Best Choreography. Recently, Joel was honored by Steinway & Sons with a painted portrait that hangs in Steinway Hall in Manhattan. Joel is the first non-classical pianist to be immortalized in the Steinway Hall collection. Billy Joel is one of the highest grossing touring artists in the world. He played the final concerts at Shea Stadium to more than 110,000 fans. The concerts were featured in the 2010 documentary film, “The Last Play At Shea.”
Standards written by Billy Joel include “Just the Way You Are,” “Only the Good Die Young,” “Big Shot,” “Movin’ Out,” “Piano Man,” “New York State of Mind,” “You May Be Right,” “Pressure,” “Don’t Ask Me Why,” “She’s Always a Woman,” “My Life,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Tell Her About It,” “Uptown Girl,” “The Longest Time,” “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” to name just a few. The wide range of artists who have recorded cover versions of his songs include Beyonc├®, Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Garth Brooks, Isaac Hayes, Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, Westlife, and Barry White, among many others.
Billy Joel has received six GRAMMY® awards including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Just the Way You Are,” Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Album of the Year for 52nd Street, Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for Glass Houses, and the prestigious Grammy Legend Award. He has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received numerous industry awards including the Billboard Century Award, NARM President’s Award, ASCAP Founders Award, and the RIAA Diamond Award, among many others.
In the United States and Canada, where Billy’s publishing has been self administered, the new deal with Rondor will start October 1 of this year. Outside those territories, the Rondor/UMPG arrangement will begin January 1, 2013 when Billy’s current administration deal expires.
About Universal Music Publishing Group
UMPG represents music in every genre from some of the world’s hottest songwriters and catalogs including ABBA, Adele, Alex Da Kid, Lily Allen, Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, Leonard Bernstein, Justin Bieber, Bjork, Mariah Carey, Desmond Child, Ciara, The Clash, Coldplay, Elvis Costello, The Cure, Daughtry, Ester Dean, Jorgen Elofson, Danny Elfman, Eminem, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Juanes, Florence + The Machine, Kirk Franklin, Sean Garrett, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John/Bernie Taupin, Joy Division, R. Kelly, The Killers, BB King, Ari Levine of The Smeezingtons, Linkin Park, Henry Mancini, Maroon 5, Mumford + Sons, Pucinni, Otis Redding, Darius Rucker, Carole Bayer Sager, Gustavo Santaolalla, Sex Pistols, Paul Simon, Britney Spears, Tricky Stewart, 3 Doors Down, Mel Tillis, Justin Timberlake, T-Pain, U2, Keith Urban, Diane Warren, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Withers, among many others. UMPG is also a global leader inProduction Music. Additionally, UMPG plays a major role in film and TV, administering the music of Warner Bros Entertainment, Universal Studios, HBO, DreamWorks, NBC, and Sesame Workshop, among others. For more information please visit www.umusicpub.com.