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Universal announces partnership with Roc Nation

By | Published on Tuesday 9 April 2013


Universal Music has announced a new partnership with Roc Nation, which will see the major handle record releases for the Jay-Z/Live Nation owned joint venture globally. The multi-year deal covers upcoming releases by Jay-Z himself, other artists who have previously released music via Roc Nation, and some of the acts the firm manages, including a forthcoming long player from Rihanna. It brings to an end the firm’s previous distribution deals with Sony and Warner Music, and re-allies the rapper and hip hop mogul with Universal, his original business partner in the music business.

UMG CEO Lucian Grainge told CMU: “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. All of us at UMG are thrilled that Jay and Roc Nation chose UMG as their partners, knowing we will support their artists with a level of resources, expertise and passion that is simply unmatched in the industry”.

Jay-Z added: “We are looking forward to working with Lucian and the incredible team he’s assembled at Universal. We would like to applaud Lucian for collaborating with us to strike a new age deal. This agreement presents a unique opportunity for Roc Nation’s artists – being able to continue to operate as an independent label with the strength, power and reach of the best major. I look forward to a long and prosperous collaboration with UMG. It feels good to be home”.

And just in case you missed it, I think this is also confirmation that Rihanna is keeping up with her album-a-year release schedule for the time being.