HITS Daily Double

Cee Lo, Mestel in NYT

In a N.Y. Times article headlined “Cee Lo Strikes Gold, Without a Gold Album,” Ben Sisario breaks down the variety of ways artists make money these days—adding up to about $20 million this year in Cee Lo Green’s case. “Fuck You/Forget You,” released in August 2010, has sold 5.3 million downloads in the U.S., making it the 12th most downloaded track of all time, Sisario notes. But despite the success of the single, The Lady Killer has sold only about 450k domestically. Larry Mestel, whose Primary Wave Music is Cee Lo’s management company, offered some perspective: “How much do you make on five million singles?” he asked. “It’s not $5 million. Apple takes a piece of it, the record company takes a piece of it, the producer takes a piece of it, and then Cee Lo gets a piece of it as the artist.” So Primary Wave has done for Cee Lo what it seeks to do for all of its clients. “Most publishing companies look at the world as a place to collect,” Mestel explained. “They hire lots of accountants and royalty people and wait for opportunities to come in. Even though the biggest piece of our company is publishing, we are a marketing and branding company.” Says a grateful Cee Lo, “I would describe Larry as a picket fence around my garden of wildflowers.” (12/26a)