Music Industry Moves: Lil Wayne Signs With UTA, Anderson .Paak Joins Warner Chappell

Five-time Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne has joined UTA, the company announced, for worldwide representation in all areas. With a catalog reaching back to the 1990s, Wayne is one of the most influential and successful rappers of all time. The depth of his discography is reflected by the fact that there are multiple volumes of some of his albums and mixtapes: His most recent release is the “No Ceilings 3” mixtape, he’s released five volumes of “Tha Carter” and he’s currently at work on his next album, “I Am Not A Human Being III, which will be released later this year. 

According to the announcement, he has sold more than 120 million records worldwide. His previous agency was CAA; he continues to be represented by longtime manager Mack Maine, attorney Kenneth Meiselas and is signed to his own Young Money Entertainment through Republic Records.

+ Four-time Grammy-winning artist-rapper-songwriter-producer Anderson .Paak has signed a worldwide administration agreement Warner Chappell Music publishing. His latest project brings .Paak together with fellow Warner Chappell songwriter and superstar Bruno Mars in the new duo, Silk Sonic; their debut single dropped last month and an album is expected later in the year.

Warner Chappell chiefs Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall, said: “Anderson .Paak is a true music man who’s bringing back funk and soul with style and originality, earning him a massive global following. He’s been wildly successful as a songwriter, producer, and performer, and his incredible versatility has landed him collaborations with a diverse range of top artists as well as a raft of awards for his solo work.”

WC U.S. president of A&R Ryan Press added: “Anderson .Paak is already at the top of his game, and yet he continues to reach higher and higher. He effortlessly brings an optimistic and feel-good vibe to every song he releases, and his latest hit with Bruno Mars is well on its way to becoming one of the top songs of the summer.” 

+ Universal Music Group has announced the launch of Tuff Gong Collective, a new joint venture with Cedella Marley. According to the announcement, TGC is a global partnership that encompasses new film and television projects, as well as recorded music from artists signed through the venture. It will be overseen by Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of Companies, with her son, Soul Rebel, as creative director. TGC is partnering with Island Records’ 4th and Broadway on their first artist signing, Young Devyn, a Brooklyn-bred Trinidadian singer; it will also participate in new film and television projects with UMG through Polygram Entertainment. Current projects include a feature animation project with Walt Disney Co. that is being written by Kenya Barris.

In making the announcement, Marley (a daughter of Bob and Rita Marley) said, “I’m thrilled to embark on this next chapter of my father’s legacy, continuing to bring art and music to the world. Tuff Gong Collective will allow us to find new creative platforms to introduce new generations to my father’s music but will also give us the ability to cultivate the next generation of music artists and creators.” LaTrice Burnette, President of 4th and Broadway and Executive Vice President of Island Records, said, “We’re thrilled to work with Cedella to continue to evolve and build on the long-standing relationship between the Marley family and Island Records.”

+ Primary Wave Music has acquired the catalog of songwriter-producer collaborator Patrick Leonard, whose catalog ranges from Madonna (with whom he cowrote many songs) to Leonard Cohen. The multi-million-dollar deal includes Leonard’s music publishing and recorded music catalogs, as well as his master royalties as a producer. The deal encompasses Leonard’s share of songwriter royalties from such Madonna hits as “La Isla Bonita,” “Frozen” and “Like A Prayer,” as well as Cohen songs like “You Want It Darker,” “It Seemed the Better Way,” and “If I Didn’t Have Your Love.” As a producer, Leonard has worked with Roger Waters, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jewel, Fleetwood Mac and many others. The deal will also see Primary Wave administer Leonard’s publishing as well as distribute his masters on all future projects.

“A while back, when I was making multiple albums a year, there was a group of people that I did work for and did work for me that I both depended on and respected.” said Leonard. He continued, “It was a bit like an extended family and really, there’s been nothing like it since. When I met [Primary Wave chiefs] Larry and Adam and the formidable team at Primary Wave it was clear that it was all about music and the possibilities. It was almost shocking and immediately reminded me of those years that were so productive for me. Honestly, I couldn’t wait to become a member of their vision”.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Patrick Leonard to Primary Wave, as he fits in perfectly with our family of artists,” says Lowenberg. “I’m thrilled to begin developing innovative initiatives to help continue making the public aware of Patrick’s musical genius.”