Quebec-born music industry executive and entrepreneur Merck Mercuriadis, former manager of globally successful recording artists such as Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Morrissey and Iron Maiden, and hit songwriters such as Diane Warren, Justin Tranter and The-Dream, and former CEO of The Sanctuary Group plc., has purchased the music catalogue from Havana co-writer Brittany Hazzard, aka Starrah, whose songs have achieved 94 No. 1 chart positions globally.
The Hazzard catalogue includes shares in Maroon 5’s Girls Like You, Calvin Harris’ Feels and three songs on Travis Scott’s US No.1 album Birds in The Trap Sing McKnight.
All told, the portfolio includes over 1,000 songs that include 14 US singles that have reached the Top 20 in the US Hot 100, including Rihanna's Needed Me, Drake’s Fake Love, Halsey’s Now or Never and Nicki Minaj's No Frauds.
The acquisition was made through Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Song Fund Ltd., which raised over US$262M in a London IPO last summer and a further $185M this year.
He plans to raise over $1B within three years to gain a significant share in the global music publishing business.
In a recent MBI interview, the entrepreneur ventured that “Thanks to streaming, the music industry, once again, has its best days in front of it and our aim is to highlight the fact that great songs, and their creators, are its most valuable currency while delivering a great return for our investors.”
Hipgnosis is a Guernsey registered investment firm “established to offer investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights”. An affiliated company, The Family (Music) Limited, lists Nile Rodgers, The-Dream, American entertainment lawyer Bill Leibowitz, talent manager and media entrepreneur Ian Montone, and millionaire music exec Jason Flom as members of its advisory board.
Mercururiadis is set to appear as a keynote speaker at CMW on May 9 and hosts a session entitled From Usher to Bieber immediately following.
-- Various sources including MBI, Music Week and Hipgnosis Song Trust.