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Hipgnosis acquires Leonard Cohen songs catalogue

By | Published on Monday 7 March 2022

Leonard Cohen

Hipgnosis Song Management has announced a big old deal via its Blackstone-backed venture Hipgnosis Songs Capital ICAV to acquire a stack of rights in the songs catalogue of Leonard Cohen for an undisclosed sum.

In total, the deal covers 278 songs and derivatives, including the all-important ‘Hallelujah’ – which has been covered more than 300 times. For songs written from the start of Cohen’s career through to 2000, Hipgnosis has acquired the writer’s share of royalties. For later works, up to Cohen’s death in 2016, the company takes full control of the works, ie writer and publisher shares.

“To now be the custodians and managers of Leonard Cohen’s incomparable songs is a wonderful yet very serious responsibility that we approach with excitement and fully understand the importance of”, says Hipgnosis CEO Merck Mercuriadis. “Leonard wrote words and songs that have changed our lives, none more so obvious than ‘Hallelujah’, but there are so many more that we look forward to reminding the world of on a daily basis”.

“He is revered all over the globe because of the magnitude of his work and we are delighted that the Cohen family and [Cohen’s longtime manager] Robert Kory have chosen Hipgnosis in this most important decision of who to entrust with Leonard’s legacy”, he adds. “We welcome them to the Hipgnosis’ family and look forward to working together to honour the songs of the great Leonard Cohen”.

Noting that both Cohen and Mercuriadis were born in the Canadian province of Quebec, the previously mentioned Kory comments: “Merck Mercuriadis is unique in the music publishing world with his background as an artist manager. We know he cares about artists, and as a Québécois he has a particularly deep appreciation of Leonard’s unique status in popular music. The catalogue is in good hands. The Hipgnosis team has been a pleasure to work with throughout the transaction”.