Larry Mestel
Courtesy of Primary Wave
United States

Primary Wave


Founder / CEO / Partner

With more than $2 billion in assets and cash under Mestel’s management, Primary Wave continues to be one of the top independent music publishers. During a recent 12-month time frame, the company landed more than $300 million in acquisitions, with letters of intent to add another $600 million in assets by the end of 2022. A partnership with James Brown’s estate started the year, followed by works of such late luminaries as Bing Crosby, Luther Vandross and Henry Mancini, along with catalogs of acts including Paul Rodgers, America and Def Leppard. Of course, you might know all this if you saw Mestel on “CBS Sunday Morning,” when it profiled Primary Wave in April. Aside from acting as a producer in Whitney Houston’s biopic, Primary will be associate producer of an A&E docuseries about Brown called “Say It Loud.” 


  • Primary Wave
  • Arista
  • Island Records


  • University of Massachusetts–Amherst (MA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2021 Variety500 Honoree
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R.J. Cutler’s production hub This Machine is developing another documentary about a music star -- in this case, the late Olivia Newton-John, who died in August 2022.The feature-length doc will explore Newton-John’s life and work as an iconic entertainer, best-selling music artist, animal rights and environmental activist and health, wellness and plant medicine advocate. This Machine has secured full authorized access to Newton-John’s music and personal archives.In 1978, Newton-John co-starred with John Travolta in “Grease,” which catapulted her into super-stardom....


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