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Stevie Nicks Sells Majority Stake in Publishing Catalog to Primary Wave

Stevie Nicks
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Sh

A majority stake in the publishing catalog of legendary Fleetwood Mac singer and solo artist Stevie Nicks, who recently enjoyed a surprise chart smash with her 43-year-old song “Dreams,” has been acquired by Primary Wave, according to an announcement on Friday. The company will also represent Nicks in brand alliance and brand marketing opportunities and will partner with Kobalt on administration for the catalog.

Citing people familiar with the deal, the Wall Street Journal reports that Primary Wave purchased an 80% interest in the copyrights, which are valued at about $100 million. A rep for the company declined comment.

The deal includes “Dreams,” along with timeless hits such as “Landslide,” “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stand Back. Over the course of a career that reaches back to the early 1970s, Nicks is the only woman to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — as a member of Fleetwood Mac and again as a solo artist — and has received eight Grammy Award nominations and two American Music Award nominations as a solo artist, as well as another five Grammy nominations and a win for Album of the Year as a member of Fleetwood Mac.

Additional terms of the deal include a strategic publishing alliance with the singer that will allow her to sign new songwriters to a joint venture. Nicks will also now have access to Primary Wave’s entire marketing, branding, Broadway, Film/TV, and digital strategy teams, as well as their licensing and synch departments.

While the music industry, and live entertainment in particular, have been deeply damaged by the pandemic, recorded-music and music publishing have proven to be stronger assets and in many cases have grown in value. The expected tax policies of the incoming Biden administration have heated up the market even more: Artists ranging from Calvin Harris to the Killers have told catalog assets to private equity firms, and Hipgnosis Songs has made an aggressive move into the industry over the past two years, spending more than $1 billion on catalogs since mid-2018, largely by songwriters and producers.

Of this new partnership, CEO & Founder of Primary Wave Music Publishing, Larry Mestel said, “To say we’re excited to welcome the incredible Stevie Nicks to the Primary Wave family would be a dramatic understatement. If Primary Wave were starting our company today, Stevie Nicks would be one of the shining pillars, a true legend among legends.” He goes on, “She is a groundbreaking artist, and the longevity of her iconic career comes from writing songs, instantly recognizable and critically acclaimed, that stand the test of time.”

Sheryl Louis, Stevie’s long-time manager, and Jamie Young, her attorney, negotiated the deal on behalf of Stevie Nicks.