Universal and Elton John sign global deal covering records, publishing, merch and more

“Universal Music Group has evolved from a ‘label’ and ‘publisher’ into a broad-based global media and entertainment company…”

The words of Sir Lucian Grainge today – explaining why, and how, UMG is working with Sir Elton John, following a major new global agreement between the two parties.

The multi-faceted deal will see Universal Music Group take up responsibility for John’s worldwide recorded music, publishing, merchandise, brand management and licensing rights.

As a result, all of Elton John’s music for the rest of his recording career will be released through UMG.

The agreement, struck between UMG and Rocket Entertainment, also sees John’s entire, lucrative catalog looked after by Universal on both recordings and publishing.

It follows a similar recent, far-reaching global deal between UMG and the Rolling Stones.

The merch piece of UMG’s Elton John deal will be handled by Bravado, Universal’s own brand-management and merchandise company, which will work closely with Rocket to expand and develop global merchandising, branding and retail licensing opportunities around John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour.

“Lucian, Jody, David and the UMG family share the values that we hold dear – nurturing artistry, restless creativity and innovation.”

Sir Elton John

John, officially the most successful male solo artist in US Billboard chart history, said: “In UMG we’ve got the perfect partners to support all aspects of my creative endeavours.

“Lucian, Jody, David and the UMG family share the values that we hold dear – nurturing artistry, restless creativity and innovation. I’m proud and delighted to have them stand alongside me as I embark on the next phase of my career”

David Furnish, CEO of Rocket Entertainment, said: “During the time I’ve been CEO of Rocket our relationship with Universal has gone from strength to strength. Sir Lucian Grainge, Jody Gerson, David Joseph and their teams’ vision to bring Elton into the digital / streaming age and make his catalogue relevant to a younger generation is in perfect tandem with everything we strive to do day in, day out at Rocket.

“Elton’s hunger and desire to push himself creatively and collaborate with the best, most exciting creatives in the world is as great as ever, and Universal fully share our vision to keep Elton at the forefront of popular culture.”

“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 caliber.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group said: “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 caliber.

“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 and his team at Rocket to ensure that his music continues to inspire and entertain audiences around the world for generations to come.”

“Elton is a musical genius and simply one of the most talented songwriters in history.”

Jody Gerson, UMPG

Jody Gerson, UMPG’s Chairman & CEO, said: “Elton is a musical genius and simply one of the most talented songwriters in history. As we proudly continue our partnership together, UMPG remains deeply committed to growing the legacy of his legendary catalog and supporting future projects.

“As the influence of his music thrives through generations, Elton continues to be a timeless source of inspiration for songwriters and fans alike.”

“We adore working with Elton.”

David Joseph, Universal Music UK

David Joseph, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music UK, said: “We adore working with Elton, naturally because he’s one of the greatest artists in the world with songs which connect with every generation, but also for his unrivalled support and championing of new artists.

“Since David became CEO of Rocket [in 2015], he’s brought a new energy and perspective which has made our partnership more ambitious, innovative and collaborative than it has ever been.”

Mat Vlasic, CEO of Bravado, said: “Bravado sits at the crossroads of music and fashion and we are constantly pushing the limits of what we can do for our artists. It’s an honor to work with Elton- a legendary icon who continues to brilliantly weave music and fashion together while constantly elevating his aesthetic to new heights.

“His influence on fashion has not only inspired designers around the world, including our own, but he has empowered generations of fans to take license with their own freedom of expression, something that I have always admired and greatly appreciated. We are excited to create something that celebrates his legacy and that his fans will treasure for years to come.”

Some of the world’s biggest artists have recorded cover versions of songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, resulting in two albums released in April: Revamp (Virgin EMI/Island Records) and the country music companion Restoration (MCA Nashville).

Miley Cyrus, The Killers, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Q-Tip, Lady Gaga, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran and Queens Of The Stone Age all contributed recordings to the albums.Music Business Worldwide

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