Rocket Entertainment and Universal Music Group (UMG) have announced a significant new agreement to provide Elton John with its resources and expertise across recorded music, music publishing and licensing rights. This partnership not only means that UMG represents the entirety of Elton John’s output throughout his five-decade career, but also will see UMG’s labels globally release all of Elton John’s new music for the rest of his career going forward.
The multi-faceted agreement marks the beginning of a new era of expanded collaboration between Elton John and UMG and significantly expands their global business partnership. The long-term commitment also includes the publishing rights to his songwriting catalog to be administrated by Universal Music Publishing Group long into the future. Bravado, UMG’s brand-management and merchandise company, will work closely with Rocket to expand and develop global merchandising, branding and retail licensing opportunities around Elton’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour and catalog.
In making the announcement, Elton said, “In UMG we’ve got the perfect partners to support all aspects of my creative endeavors. Lucian, Jody, David and the UMG family share the values that we hold dear – nurturing artistry, restless creativity and innovation. I’m proud and delighted to have them stand alongside me as I embark on the next phase of my career”
David Furnish, CEO of Rocket Entertainment, said, “During the time I’ve been CEO of Rocket our relationship with Universal has gone from strength to strength. Sir Lucian Grainge, Jody Gerson, David Joseph and their teams’ vision to bring Elton into the digital / streaming age and make his catalog relevant to a younger generation is in perfect tandem with everything we strive to do day in, day out at Rocket. Elton’s hunger and desire to push himself creatively and collaborate with the best, most exciting creatives in the world is as great as ever, and Universal fully share our vision to keep Elton at the forefront of popular culture.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “Elton John is a creative cornerstone of UMG, which has been his home since his earliest days at MCA Records. In parallel with Elton’s stratospheric rise as an artist, UMG has evolved from a ‘label’ and ‘publisher’ into a broad-based global media and entertainment company that is positioned to work at a far higher level and with greater impact with an artist of Elton’s caliber. As he embarks on his monumental Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, we are excited for our entire global organization to stand alongside him, working hand in hand with David and his team at Rocket to ensure that his music continues to inspire and entertain audiences around the world for generations to come.”
Jody Gerson, UMPG’s Chairman/CEO, said, “Elton is a musical genius and simply one of the most talented songwriters in history. As we proudly continue our partnership together, UMPG remains deeply committed to growing the legacy of his legendary catalog and supporting future projects. As the influence of his music thrives through generations, Elton continues to be a timeless source of inspiration for songwriters and fans alike.”
David Joseph, Chairman/CEO, Universal Music UK, said, “We adore working with Elton, naturally because he’s one of the greatest artists in the world with songs which connect with every generation, but also for his unrivaled support and championing of new artists. Since David became CEO of Rocket, he’s brought a new energy and perspective which has made our partnership more ambitious, innovative and collaborative than it has ever been.”
Mat Vlasic, CEO of Bravado, said, “Bravado sits at the crossroads of music and fashion and we are constantly pushing the limits of what we can do for our artists. It’s an honor to work with Elton – a legendary icon who continues to brilliantly weave music and fashion together while constantly elevating his aesthetic to new heights. His influence on fashion has not only inspired designers around the world, including our own, but he has empowered generations of fans to take license with their own freedom of expression, something that I have always admired and greatly appreciated. We are excited to create something that celebrates his legacy and that his fans will treasure for years to come.”
Since becoming CEO of Rocket Entertainment in 2015, Furnish has fostered an ever-closer working partnership with UMG. Together, they have focused on growing Elton John’s presence on streaming services and social media platforms to support a broader strategy in touring, branding and licensing. A strategically planned series of initiatives across the fields of recorded and live music, fashion, film and video have ensured that not only does Elton’s oeuvre continue to find new fans, but his continuous creative output has remained exciting and relevant across the generations.