'Slumdog' composer reaches publishing deal

A.R. Rahman, the singer-composer who walked away with two Oscars for his song and score work in “Slumdog Millionaire,” has inked an exclusive, worldwide publishing pact, excluding India, with Universal Music Publishing Group.

The deal with Rahman — whose Indian credits exceed 100 films and whose pic scores and soundtracks have sold more than 100 millions units worldwide — includes large portions of his catalog as well as new music. Rights to the “Slumdog” music will be included in the UMPG deal.

“That fact that he is a two-time Oscar winner has really elevated his visibility and notoriety globally,” David Renzer, chairman and CEO of UMPG, told Daily Variety.

The Rahman deal, Renzer said, fits the company’s strategy of film and television music being “one of the key areas that we are focused on.”

Rahman, who previously did not have an overall publishing deal, is finishing the music for Universal’s “Couples Retreat,” starring Vince Vaughn, and will soon be going into the studio with producer Jimmy Iovine, chairman of UMG label Interscope Geffen A&M Records, to create the music for an album featuring guest vocalists.

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