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‘My Heart Will Go On’ Lyricist Will Jennings Sells Catalog to All Clear Music and Fuji Music Group

Mr. Nimbus | 12/13/2023

Lance Freed‘s All Clear Music and the Fuji Music Group have jointly acquired the catalog of Will Jennings, the superstar lyricist behind such hits as Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” and Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven.”

The joint venture deal, first announced in October as an agreement, has apparently just closed. While terms of the deal were not revealed, sources tell Billboard that the catalog carried a valuation in the range of $60-$70 million.

The pact is for 100% of Jennings catalog and includes both publishing rights and writers’ share. Other songs in the catalog include Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes’ “Up Where We Belong,” Winwood’s “Roll With It” and “Back in the High Life Again,” Barry Manilow’s “Looks Like We Made It,” Tim McGraw’s “Please Remember Me,” and Whitney Houston’s “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.” Jennings has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Freed founded All Clear Music, which includes the Nashville arm of Sheltered Music, in 2020. He has deep ties with Jennings, dating back to 1974 when he signed the lyricist to Almo/Irving Music, then a unit of A&M Records.

“Having worked so closely with Will throughout his career, it’s very personal to me, as he is a cherished friend and I have been honored to know and help support him throughout his career,” Freed, who is the son of the late legendary DJ Alan Freed, said in a statement. “When the opportunity to acquire the song catalog presented itself, I called my long-time friend [and chairman of Fuji Music Group] Ichi Asatsuma who had expressed he wanted to work together on something we truly loved. We agreed that this could be that labor of love, and we feel a deep responsibility to take care of his beautiful songs and legacy.”

Freed’s All Clear Music and the Fuji Music Group will administer the catalog globally. 

“We are very honored to represent one of the world’s finest songwriters with Lance Freed’s All Clear Music, and will give Will Jennings’ music the very best promotion and all the respect it richly deserves,” Asatsuma said in a statement.

The deal was shopped by Jennings’ long time accountant Charles Sussman of Sussman & Associates, with Jennings’ family input. The deal places Freed, All Clear Music and Fuji Music Group as the caretakers of the “lyricist’s legacy, fostering creative opportunities and ensuring the timeless songs are exposed to new audiences for generations to come,” according to the announcement.

Since its inception, All Clear Music and its Sheltered Music unit have signed deals to represent Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Dann Huff, Marty Stuart, and the later period catalog of Burt Bacharach, while recent signings include Big Pond and Gordie Sampson, Melissa Peirce and Sara Haze in addition to producer/writer Cameron Jaymes. On the artist development side, the companies have signed up-and-coming artists like Jenna LaMaster and Kelsey Waters. 

The Fuji Music Group has made news in recent years by selling its stake in Pulse Music Group to Concord in 2020, and before that a majority interest in its stake of Arc Music to BMG in 2016. While this joint venture appears to mark its return to the acquisition front, sources indicate that the company has been actively monitoring deals being shopped in the music asset marketplace in recent years.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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