Billy Joel Inks With Rondor Music and UMPG

Front row (L-R): Zach Horowitz, Chairman & CEO, UMPG Worldwide; Billy Joel; Lance Freed, President of Rondor Music. Back row (L-R): Michael J. Sammis, EVP Operations and CFO Worldwide, UMPG; Don Ienner, Consultant; Todd Kamelhar, Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman; Lee Eastman, ESQ, Eastman & Eastman; David Kokakis, SVP/Head of Business Affairs/Business Development, UMPG.

Music icon Billy Joel has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing administration agreement with Rondor Music and Universal Music Publishing Group Worldwide (UMPG), it was announced today (8/30) by Lance Freed, President of Rondor, and Zach Horowitz, Chairman and CEO of UMPG Worldwide. The agreement encompasses Joel’s entire catalog of music.

Since scoring his first success in the early 1970s, Joel’s albums have gone on to sell over 150 million copies globally, including over 75 million in the U.S. Standards written solely by Joel include “Just the Way You Are,”  “Only the Good Die Young,” “Movin’ Out,” “Piano Man,” “New York State of Mind,” “She’s Always a Woman,” “My Life,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Tell Her About It,” “Uptown Girl,” “The Longest Time,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” to name just a few.

In the United States and Canada, where his publishing has been self administered, the new deal with Rondor will start Oct. 1. Outside those territories, the Rondor/UMPG arrangement will begin Jan. 1, 2013 when his current administration deal expires.

His catalog was previously self-administered in the U.S. and he has not been with a publishing company in the U.S. since the 1980’s. Under the new agreement he is exploring synch licensing opportunities for the first time.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Billy Joel has chosen to bring his songs to Rondor and UMPG,” said Horowitz. “There are few songwriters in the history of music that have created a catalog of such hits, depth and quality. With Rondor’s distinctive focus and care, and UMPG’s global scale, administrative infrastructure and network of worldwide sync specialists, we are uniquely positioned to maximize the extraordinary opportunities that exist for Billy’s music.”

“Publishing is a cornerstone of the music business, one of the reasons songs live and thrive around the world years after they’ve been written or recorded,” explained Joel. “Rondor and Universal Music Publishing Group understand the complexities of music publishing in general and the nuances of my catalog in particular. The successful ongoing administration of my songs is in good hands under the stewardship of Rondor and UMPG.”

“Billy’s catalog is one of the greatest in contemporary music,” added Freed. “His songs are melodic and memorable, and he writes conversationally in universal themes that are timeless and borderless. Billy’s music is as important to his era as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin’s were to theirs. It’s truly an extraordinary privilege to welcome Billy to Rondor.”

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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