Jay-Z

Jay-Z, Rihanna albums will now be issued through UMG

Universal Music Group has entered a multi-year, worldwide partnership with superstar rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, under which the firm’s eponymous label will operate as a standalone unit within UMG.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Upcoming albums by Jay-Z, Rihanna and others will now be issued through UMG worldwide. The company’s roster includes Shakira, J Cole, M.I.A., deadmau5 and Wale. UMG will handle global distribution, sales and marketing.

Sony Music Entertainment had been distributing Roc Nation, while Rihanna, who is managed by Roc Nation, had previously been a Def Jam artist.

Deal marks the superstar rapper’s return to the Universal family. From 2004-09, Jay-Z – whose Roc-A-Fella imprint was distributed by UMG — was president of Def Jam Records. In 2009, he signed a multi-faceted deal with Live Nation Entertainment that resulted in the creation of Roc Nation.

UMG chairman-CEO Lucian Grainge said in a statement, “In just five years, Roc Nation has established itself as one of the most successful brands in music with a reputation for developing some of today¹s most influential and popular talent.  Not only does this agreement provide a dynamic platform for Roc Nation’s exciting emerging artists, it extends our relationship with the extraordinary Rihanna and represents a homecoming for Jay-Z — a brilliant artist and entrepreneur, who has been a creative cornerstone of our company.”

Jay-Z (né Shawn Carter) has been diversifying recently. Last week he announced he was opening the Roc Nation Sports agency, with New York Yankees’ star Robinson Cano as its first client.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0