Elton John signs multi-faceted deal with Universal Music Group
Elton John’s new long-term deal with Universal Music Group is set up for the “rest of my career” for the 71-year-old.
Struck through his company Rocket Entertainment, it covers recorded music, music publishing, merchandise, brand management and licensing rights.
Universal has long been his recording label and publisher. John’s album sales total 300 million.
His tribute single Candle in the Wind 1997, rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the UK with a tally of 4.9 million.
New to the arrangement is a deal with Bravado, UMG’s brand management and merchandise company.
It will work with Rocket to develop global merchandising, branding and licensing opportunities around John’s three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour, which kicked off earlier this month, and his catalogue.
“In UMG we’ve got the perfect partners to support all aspects of my creative endeavours,” the piano player said.
Lucian Grainge, UMG chairman/CEO, added, “Elton John is a creative cornerstone of UMG, which has been his home since his earliest days at MCA Records.
“In parallel with Elton’s stratospheric rise as an artist, UMG has evolved from a ‘label’ and ‘publisher’ into a broad-based global media and entertainment company that is positioned to work at a far higher level and with greater impact with an artist of Elton’s calibre.
“As he embarks on his monumental Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, we are excited for our entire global organization to stand alongside him, working hand in hand with David [Furnish] and his team at Rocket to ensure that his music continues to inspire and entertain audiences around the world for generations to come.”
David Furnish, John’s husband, became Rocket Entertainment CEO in 2015.
He has helped push John’s career into the digital age, coordinating streaming and social media, as well as growing his touring, branding and licensing.
In the last two years, Elton-associated records have included a studio album Wonderful Crazy Night (2016), a greatest hits set Diamonds (2017) and pop and country star-studded covers, respectively called Revamp and Restoration.
Next year sees his biopic Rocketman through Paramount and accompanying soundtrack.
Last Friday, John and Furnish accepted an apology and “substantial damages” after they sued the Sun On Sunday newspaper fro libel.
In February, the paper ran a story claiming that a mother complained her five-year-old child was attacked by the couple’s spaniel when playing at their home in Berkshire, England, and left “Freddy Krueger-like” injuries on her.
It claimed that after the little girl was “subjected to a serious attack”, the couple had “failed to make any attempt to find out how the little girl was… despite being aware of the incident.”
Their legal team proved the injuries had not been serious and had “made several inquiries about the girl’s welfare to her father and nanny,” their lawyer said in court.
“Each time it was confirmed the girl was fine.”