Group takes rights outside of U.S.

The Universal Music Publishing Group will administer the music publishing catalog of Irving Berlin — the songwriter who penned such perennials as “White Christmas,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Puttin’ On The Ritz” and the “God Bless America” — for rights outside of North America.

According to the announcement by Paul Connolly, UMPG’s president of Europe & United Kingdom, along with Berlin’s daughters Mary Ellin Barrett, Linda Emmet and Elizabeth Peters who partly manage the songwriter’s trust, UMPG takes over administration for most of the catalog throughout the territory effective immediately, with other songs included later.

According to ASCAP, “White Christmas” is the most recorded holiday song ever, with well over 500 versions in dozens of languages.

Over Berlin’s 60-year career he wrote 1,500 songs, 19 Broadway shows and earned nine Oscar nominations and one win. His chart-topping songs have been interpreted by the likes of Sinatra, Streisand, Garland, Merman, Jolson, Crosby and Billie Holiday, among countless others.

Berlin’s songs, said Connolly in a statement, “truly transcend generations and they’re woven into the very fabric of our culture.”

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