HITS Daily Double


First things first: Big ups to UMPG writer Adele and Sony/ATV tunesmith Greg Kurstin for the already ridiculous success of "Hello," which (as you may have read) is smashing all kinds of records. 25, only in pre-order for a few days, is already bolstering the bank accounts and burnishing the reputations of Adele's other co-writers; stand by for updates.

The biz is abuzz with speculation over Sony/ATV’s fate, following Sony Corp’s activation of a buy/sell option for the industry’s biggest publisher. Will Tokyo spearhead the financing of a purchase of King Marty’s pubco? Will Michael Jackson Estate manager and attorney supreme John Branca corral his own bid?

In any event, Marty reassured the troops with a menschy letter (“Sony/ATV is and will remain the world’s leading music publisher with the largest and most diverse catalog of songs, the best roster of artists and songwriters and the most talented executives”), Branca told us he wants the company but “I do not want Marty’s job,” and the Industry Bible got the story all wrong; for details, see the news section of this issue.

Speaking of Sony/ATV, the company inked a cappella wonders Pentatonix just as their new RCA set was heading for its #1 bow at retail—with co-prez Danny Strick jumping in to add his own harmonies—and renewed its deal with the one and ony Sia, whose new material includes a tune co-penned with Adele.

UMPG has tapped Luke McGrellis as VP Creative; the Brit was previously A&R Director at Sony/ATV, where he was key in the signings of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. He’s relocated from London to L.A. for the new gig, reporting to pubco ruler Jody Gerson and Prexy North America Evan Lamberg; the latter praised him as "one of the best song men around and a major champion of songwriters." McGrellis is still trying to get his head around the fruit-flavored crap they call “tea” here.

In other Uni news, Lamberg is saying hosannas after inking Jonas Myrin, a Grammy-winning giant of Christian music, to a co-pub deal that will find Myrin’s religious-themed material going through Capitol Christian Music Group and his pop work through UMPG. Lamberg is currently trying to get Myrin to write a new Chanukah anthem. Meanwhile, UMPG has also acquired the rights to the Twisted Sister catalog; could a “sacred hair metal” collab be in the offing?

Warner/Chappell CEO Jon Platt is basking in the glow of the pubco’s global A&R conference in Nashville, which united writers and execs from all over the planet for (among other things) A BMI-sponsored event at the Country Music Hall of Fame, an ASCAP dinner, a “writers round” with tunesmiths Nicolle Galyon, Lee Miller, Liz Rose and Tim Nichols, and networking galore. Platt hailed host and EVP Ben Vaughn and his Nashville team, noting, “Everyone brought their ‘A’ game and we’re a stronger unit for it.” Vaughn called it “a real honor” to host the conference, hailing Platt and “the sheer power” of meeting the global team in one place. Speaking of which, W/C Sweden Managing Director Lars Karlsson proudly unveiled a new country song called “There Is a Tear in My Aquavit.”

Global Entertainment’s Global Music Publishing has signed writer/producer Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman, who’s worked with J. Cole, Mary J. Blige, Chance the Rapper and Karmin, among others, and fronted indie band The Stepkids. Global’s Creative Director of Music Publishing, James Cheney (seen at right in the pic above with Global's Monti Olson, Gitty and Om’Mas Keith) gets the collar. “I’m thrilled to be teaming up and working with Gitty," Cheney said. "He is a true musician and he’s only begun to scratch the surface of his abilities as a songwriter and record producer." The pubco’s roster also includes Ellie Goulding, Corinne Bailey Rae, LMFAO and The Script, to name a few.

SONGS has named David Gold as Head of Business & Legal Affairs, reporting to CEO Matt Pincus and working closely with Corporate Counsel Michael Selverne. Gold has been involved in SONGS deals since the company's inception. He previously served at Serling Rooks Hunter McKoy & Worob (where he worked with artists such as Zac Brown and John Mayer) and Selverne, Mandelbaum and Mintz. He will billing us the full hour for this item.