Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired a 37.5% interest in the Bernard Edwards music catalog.
Edwards is best known for his partnership with Nile Rodgers, together founding Chic in 1976 and co-writing No.1 songs for bands and artists including Chic, Sister Sledge and Diana Ross.
Nile Rodgers is a member of The Family (Music) Limited’s Advisory Board and continues to promote and perform numerous songs within the catalog.
The catalog comprises 290 songs including Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), Everybody Dance, Le Freak, I Want Your Love, Good Times, My Forbidden Lover, He’s The Greatest Dancer, We Are Family, Lost in Music, Thinking of You, Frankie, Upside Down and I’m Coming Out.
Many of the songs have been extensively sampled, remixed or reissued leading to more recent hits that are a part of the catalog, including Rapper’s Delight and songs by the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Puff Daddy and Justin Timberlake.
Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said: “Bernard and Nile together created one of the most iconic catalogs of all time from Le Freak, which is the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records, to Good Times which is arguably the most interpolated and sampled song of all time.
“From Everybody Dance to I’m Coming Out and Upside Down to We Are Family their songs are classics and, to anyone who knows hits, the brand of Rodgers and Edwards is as meaningful as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leiber and Stoller, Jagger and Richards or Lennon and McCartney.
“Importantly their songs have earned as much from the many songs derived from them, such as the No.1 songs Rapper’s Delight, Gettin’ Jiggy With It and Lady, as they have from the original works.
“It’s a privilege for Nile and I to now be the custodians to this important piece of their legacy.”
“The brand of Rodgers and Edwards is as meaningful as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leiber and Stoller, Jagger and Richards or Lennon and McCartney.”
Nile Rodgers added: “There will never be another Bernard Edwards. I have the time of my life playing these amazing songs we created together every day, but I will never be able to replace him and the special chemistry we had.
“Happily, that magic lives on in these wonderful songs that we get so much joy from everyday.”
Set up by Merck Mercuriadis, the former manager of Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Morrissey, Iron Maiden and Beyoncé, Hipgnosis IPO’d on the London Stock exchange earlier this year and has raised over £200m ($262m) with which to acquire copyrights.Music Business Worldwide