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Justin Timberlake sells song catalog to Hipgnosis and its $1bn-backed Blackstone fund

Hipgnosis Song Management has – using cash from its Blackstone-backed private fund – acquired the song catalog of superstar artist and songwriter Justin Timberlake.

Hipgnosis says it has acquired “100% of all of Timberlake’s copyright, ownership and financial interests of the Writer and Publisher’s Share of Public Performance income, and the catalog of musical compositions written by Justin Timberlake”.

Also included in the sale to Hipgnosis are the worldwide administration rights to the compositions, subject to the remaining term of Universal Music Publishing Group’s administration rights, which expire in 2025.

The acquisition has been made by Hipgnosis Song Management on behalf of Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital (Hipgnosis Songs Capital ICAV) – a separate entity to the UK-listed Hipgnosis Songs Fund,

Both of those funds (Hipgnosis Songs Capital and Hipgnosis Songs Fund) have their investments managed by Hipgnosis Song Management, in which Blackstone is also an investor.

In March, Hipgnosis Song Management announced the acquisition of a career-spanning catalog created by legendary Canadian artist and composer Leonard Cohen.

That marked a landmark deal for the private, Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital ICAV fund, which launched last year with an initial commitment from Blackstone of around $1 billion.

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Prior to the announcement of its deal for the Leonard Cohen catalog, in January, Hipgnosis announced it had acquired an 80% stake in the recorded music royalty stream of country star Kenny Chesney.

Justin Timberlake’s sales are currently in excess of over 150 million, including 88 million as a solo artist and 70 million with NSYNC.

He has 26.5 million monthly Spotify listeners, over 6.4 billion video views, and his total YouTube subscribers fast approaching 10 million.

Justin Timberlake is represented by managers Rick Yorn, Josh Dembling at LBI Entertainment and Johnny Wright at Wright Entertainment Group. His legal reps are David Lande and Mitch Tenzer at Ziffren Brittenham LLP.

“Justin Timberlake is not only one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years but he’s also one of the greatest songwriters of all time.”

Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis Song Management

Merck Mercuriadis, Founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, said: “Justin Timberlake is not only one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years but he’s also one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

“His hit songs including Cry Me A River, Rock Your Body, SexyBack, My Love, What Goes Around . , , Comes Around, Suit & Tie, Mirrors and Can’t Stop The Feeling are amongst the most iconic of the period.

“Putting this deal together has been a complete labor of love for Justin, Rick, David and myself and I’m delighted to welcome them all to the Hipgnosis Family. This is the beginning of what we believe will be an incredible relationship important to us all.”

“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.”

Justin Timberlake

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Justin 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.”

“Merc has a true love for music. His passion is infectious and inspiring.”

Rick Yorn, LBI Entertainment

Rick Yorn, LBI Entertainment said: “Merck has a true love for music. His passion is infectious and inspiring. We are so excited to enter this new chapter with Merck and his team.”

David Lande and Mitch Tenzer, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, said: “Justin’s incredible catalog will join other amazing works at Hipgnosis which we know will serve as a great steward of his work. We look forward to a great partnership between Justin and Hipgnosis.”

Justin Timberlake has released five solo albums between 2002 and 2018 – including 2002’s Justified (3x RIAA platinum) 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds (4x platinum), 2013’s The 20/20 Experience (2x platinum) and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 (1x platinum), and 2018’s Man of the Woods (1x platinum) – along with 40 solo singles and featured singles alongside such artists as Nelly, Snoop Dogg, The Lonely Island, Timbaland, 50 Cent, Madonna, TI, Ciara, Jamie Foxx, Jay-Z, The Black Eyed Peas, and more.

His collective body of work includes four No.1 albums in the US and four No.1 solo singles on Billboard’s Hot 100, including SexyBack, My Love, What Goes Around…Comes Around, and Can’t Stop The Feeling!.

Timberlake first came to worldwide fame in 1995 as a member of NSYNC.

With total worldwide sales now over 70 million, the group earned Diamond certification for 1997’s self-titled debut (currently boasting US sales of over 11 million) and 2000’s chart-topping, 11x platinum No Strings Attached (14.5 million sales), while 2001’s Celebrity earned 5x platinum with sales now approaching 6 million.

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The latter album – which like its predecessor reached No.1 in the US and charts around the globe – saw Timberlake coming into his own as a versatile songwriter on such award-winning hits as Pop, the Grammy Award-nominated Gone, and the worldwide No.1, Girlfriend.

Over their career, NSYNC receive a host of international awards and honors, including eight Grammy Award nominations, three American Music Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, and seven MTV Video Music Awards, with 2000’s No Strings Attached receiving a Guinness World Record as the “ fastest selling pop album in US history.”Music Business Worldwide

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