UMG and The Weeknd sign 'expansive' long-term deal

UMG and The Weeknd sign 'expansive' long-term deal

Universal Music Group has agreed an “expansive”, long-term partnership with The Weeknd.

The Weeknd is one of the most commercially successful artists of the streaming era and has topped IFPI’s global single rundown for two consecutive years. He holds the record for the longest-charting song in the US, with Blinding Lights achieving an unprecedented 90 weeks on the Hot 100 chart.

The agreement further builds upon the relationship between The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) and UMG’s Republic Records, which has been his label home and partner since 2012 and will remain his label partner for future recorded music releases.  

“This multi-faceted agreement marks the beginning of a new era of expanded global collaboration between The Weeknd, XO and UMG,” said a statement.

The new expanded relationship will see Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) administer all his future works and songwriting catalogue in a new long-term deal, upon expiration of his existing commitment with Kobalt. 

Bravado will continue to work closely with The Weeknd & XO to expand and develop global merchandising, branding, ecommerce and retail licensing opportunities around future projects and releases.

In addition, the new agreement also covers future audiovisual projects in collaboration with Republic Records and UMG.

Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group, said: “Over the past decade, we have been honoured to work so closely with Abel who has quickly become one of music’s most creative and important artists—a once-in-a-generation talent. With Sal and the XO team as our incredible partners, we’ve developed a deep trust and respect that has enabled us to successfully execute Abel’s brilliant vision. I am delighted that we are now able to expand this special relationship, welcome this world-class songwriter to UMPG, and evolve this creative partnership to new and exciting levels.”

Abel has quickly become one of music’s most creative and important artists

Sir Lucian Grainge

Wassim 'Sal’ Slaiby, founder and CEO of SALXCO/XO Records, said: “Over a decade together says it all. Our relationship is built on trust, success, and family values. I am proud and excited to be beside Sir Lucian, Monte, Avery, Jody and the rest of the Universal family building our next decade together.”

Monte Lipman, chairman & CEO, Republic Records, said: “Abel is the consummate 21st century artist and global superstar who continues to break down creative barriers with his genre-bending repertoire. His success and career-defining accomplishments have made a historic impact around the world. It’s an honour to extend our alliance with Abel, Sal, Lamar, Cash and the XO Family in the evolution of The Weeknd.”

Jody Gerson, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group, said: “The Weeknd is a world-class, boundary breaking artist and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him and Sal to UMPG. Through this expanded and multi-faceted agreement, UMPG, Republic and Bravado global teams will be empowered to work closely together under one roof, maximising opportunities and value for The Weeknd’s artistry in unprecedented ways.”

The Weeknd’s new album Dawn FM peaked at No.1 in the UK and has sales to date of 81,659, according to the Official Charts Company. The album was No.3 overall in Q1, while hits set The Collection was No.6.

The Weeknd will embark on the global After Hours Til Dawn Stadium Tour, which is scheduled to visit North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East in the summer of 2022. He recently headlined this year’s annual Coachella Music Festival alongside Swedish House Mafia.

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