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Taylor Swift Signs Exclusive Global Publishing Agreement With Universal Music Publishing Group

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Taylor Swift, one of the music industry’s most creatively and commercially successful artist-songwriters in history, signed an exclusive global publishing agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), a leading global music publisher.

“I’m proud to extend my partnership with Lucian Grainge and the Universal Music family by signing with UMPG, and for the opportunity to work with Jody Gerson, the first woman to run a major music publishing company,” said Taylor Swift. “Jody is an advocate for women’s empowerment and one of the most-respected and accomplished industry leaders.”

Swift continued, “Troy Tomlinson has been an amazing part of my team for over half my life and a passionate torchbearer for songwriters. It’s an honor to get to work with such an incredible team, especially when it comes to my favorite thing in the world: songwriting.”

One of the most accomplished songwriters of her generation, Swift has been honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame with the Hal David Starlight Award and was featured in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

Swift has penned numerous Billboard No. 1s: “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Look What You Made Me Do.” With 25 Billboard Top 10 songs in her iconic catalog, Swift famously penned major global hits including “Lover,” “You Need To Calm Down,” “ME!,” “Fearless,” “Speak Now,” “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story,” among many others.

Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of UMPG, said, “We are honored to welcome Taylor Swift to UMPG. Using her power and voice to create a better world, Taylor’s honest and brave songwriting continues to be an inspiration to countless fans. We look forward to further amplifying Taylor’s voice and songs across the globe.”

Troy Tomlinson, Chairman and CEO of UMPG Nashville, said, “I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with Taylor since she was 14-years-old, and she still amazes me daily. The true definition of a multigenerational artist and songwriter, Taylor’s songs, vision and unwavering determination have always been an inspiration. I am so happy and so proud to continue representing Taylor and her music, and I am confident that UMPG will be the best, most creative partner in providing unparalleled opportunities for her songs.”

The agreement, effective immediately, strengthens the partnership between Swift and the Universal Music family. Through a multi-album and multi-year agreement, Universal Music Group serves as Swift’s exclusive worldwide recorded music partner. UMG’s Republic Records serves as her U.S. label partner.

A ten-time Grammy winner, Swift is distinguished as one of the youngest recipients of the Grammy for Album of the Year and she is the first female solo artist to win the award twice. Billboard Magazine named her Woman of the Decade along with one of the Top Artists Of All Time. She is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with 97 million total global album consumption and 54 billion total global streams.

Swift is the only artist in history to have four albums with sales of more than one million copies in their first week of release (2010’s Speak Now, 2012’s RED, 2014’s 1989 and 2017’s reputation), respectively. Lover surpassed 3 million in consumption globally within its first week of release, and in just five months, it has already surpassed 5 million, including more than 1 million in China, where the release earned Swift a new record for an international artist.

Following the 2019 release of her latest album, Lover, Swift became the first female artist in history to have six albums sell more than 500,000 copies in a single week. Lover was the only album to sell 1 million in U.S. pure album sales in addition to being the top-selling album of 2019.

Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album Lover is not only the top-selling album of 2019; it is the highest-selling album since reputation was released back in 2017 and broke the record for most simultaneous entries by a female artist in Billboard’s Hot 100 history. With all 18 tracks from Lover charting, it is the only album to sell 1 million in U.S. pure album sales.  This is a testament not only to Taylor’s devoted fans but also to her songwriting prowess. As USA Today said, “Critics are falling in love with Taylor Swift’s latest album Lover.” Rolling Stone hailed, “Lover is a career-topping masterpiece” and “the superstar’s writing is better than it’s ever been.” A.V. Club called Lover, “one of her strongest, most relatable albums to date” and Vulture said, “The old Taylor is back on Lover and the best she’s been in years.”

Taylor recently released the title track, “Lover,” with critics raving, “Both aching and achingly pretty, “Lover” effectively transmits its romantic signals by putting the songwriting of Swift — a masterful writer who gets the solo credit here — front and center” (Billboard Magazine) while People Magazine said “Lover” “Might be her most romantic song yet.” Taylor’s socially conscious second single, “You Need To Calm Down,” followed the debut single “ME!,” which broke multiple records to-date. With 65.2 million views in 24 hours, Taylor now holds YouTube’s most viewed video by any female and solo artist. “ME!” is also the fastest music video to reach 100M views on Vevo – in only 79 hours – and broke the record for the most views in a single day by any artist.

Taylor is a ten-time Grammy winner, a singer, songwriter, musician and producer. She is one the youngest people in history to win the music industry’s highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and is the first female solo artist to win this prestigious award twice. She is the American Music Awards’ Artist of the Decade. Rolling Stone listed Taylor as one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. TIME magazine featured Taylor on their prestigious 2017 Person of the Year cover, has named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world and included Taylor three times at TIME 100. A Brit and Emmy Award winner, Taylor is Billboard’s youngest-ever Woman of the Year and the only artist to have been awarded this honor twice. Taylor is also the first-ever recipient to be named Billboard’s Woman of the Decade. She is the only artist in history to have four consecutive albums sell over one million copies in their week of release (Speak Now, RED, 1989 and reputation) and the only female artist to have six albums each sell at least 500,000 copies in a single week (Fearless, Speak Now, RED, 1989, reputation and Lover).

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is a leading global music publisher with 48 offices in 46 countries. Headquartered in Los Angeles, UMPG represents music across every genre from some of the world’s most important songwriters and catalogs. These include ABBA, Adele, Jhené Aiko, Alabama Shakes, Alex Da Kid, Axwell & Ingrosso, J Balvin, Bastille, Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, Bee Gees, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Jeff Bhasker, Justin Bieber, Benny Blanco, Chris Brown, Kane Brown, Mariah Carey, Michael Chabon, Desmond Child, The Clash, Coldplay, J. Cole, Elvis Costello, Miley Cyrus, Jason Derulo, Alexandre Desplat, Neil Diamond, Disclosure, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Danny Elfman, Eminem, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Florence + the Machine, Future, Martin Garrix, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Al Green, HAIM, Halsey, Emile Haynie, Jimi Hendrix, Don Henley, Kacy Hill, Hit-Boy, Sam Hunt, Imagine Dragons, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jeremih, Tobias Jesso Jr., Billy Joel, Elton John/Bernie Taupin, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Alicia Keys, Lil Yachty, Linkin Park, Logic, Demi Lovato, the Mamas & the Papas, Steve Mac, Maroon 5, Shawn Mendes, Metro Boomin, Miguel, Nicki Minaj, Stephan Moccio, Maren Morris, Mumford & Sons, Randy Newman, New Order, Ne-Yo, Pearl Jam, Rudy Perez, Post Malone, Otis Redding, R.E.M., Rex Orange County, Rosalía, Carole Bayer Sager, Gustavo Santaolalla, Sex Pistols, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, Stax (East Memphis Music), Harry Styles, SZA, Shania Twain, Justin Timberlake, U2, Keith Urban, Troy Verges, Jack White, Zedd and many more.

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South African pioneer Riky Rick posthumously receives inaugural Global Visionary Award at The BET HipHop Awards 2022]

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Global Visionary Award RIKY RICK 1987 %E2%80%93 2022 1X1

Rikhado “Riky Rick” Makhado will be honoured posthumously with the prestigious title his fans have known him to hold ever since he broke into the industry: The Global Visionary Award, during the International Broadcast of the 2022 BET Hip-Hop Awards. The esteemed award recognises and honours champions of culture, including artists, DJs, and music industry professionals who have made ground-breaking efforts to expand the culture of hip-hop on the World Stage. Riky Rick is the inaugural recipient of this award.   

Hosted by Grammy®-nominated recording artist, actor, entrepreneur, and media personality Fat Joe the “BET HIP HOP AWARDS” 2022, will tape from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA, on Friday, September 30, and will premiere Internationally on BET Africa, DStv channel 129 on Wednesday, 05 October 2022 at 02:00 am WAT/ 03:00 am CAT and repeat at 18:30WAT/19:30 CAT.  

“The BET Global Visionary Award comes as a heart-warming opportunity to celebrate Rikhado’s life and his deep love for humanity”, said Louisa Zondo, Riky Rick’s mother. “I see the award as a recognition of the positive impact of the music Rikhado shared with us. The award also highlights how Rikhado used arts and culture as an important and effective pathway for people to truly connect with, care for and be seen by each other.” 

The South African Entrepreneur, Rapper, and Fashion Icon, Riky Rick, has been a force in the music industry since the release of “Nafukwa”, which won an MTV Africa Award for Video of the Year. Riky Rick’s dynamic and prominent voice in SA hip-hop has earned him recognition as a highly regarded creative who has left an indelible mark on the global music scene. He pioneered the independent music wave in SA and beyond, separating from his label and releasing music directly to fans online. His independent ventures achieved much success and inspired other artists to explore a similar path. He is the founder and owner of Cotton Club Records and of Cotton Fest, a platform that celebrates the world of music and fashion.  

“As Riky’s family, we are moved and honoured to receive the BET Global Visionary Award on behalf of our beloved, Riky Rick,” said Bianca Naidoo Makhado, Riky Rick’s wife. “This award honours his work and his name. I am so proud that my husband’s work is still making a positive impact within the entertainment space and that his legacy continues to inspire young creatives. This award reminds us of his love for his fans and for the culture.”  

“Riky Rick means so much to so many of us, not just South African hip-hop fans but globally beyond the mic. His impact in changing the South African hip-hop game to be more inclusive, particularly in encouraging young creatives to take control of their destiny and dare to dream bigger, endures as one of his most influential and lasting legacies. His legacy continues to inspire and together with Bianca, we hope to honour Riky by championing a new generation of black creatives while celebrating his life and what he stood for,” said Monde Twala, Senior Vice president and General Manager, Paramount Africa and Peer Lead, BET International.  

Riky Rick’s untimely passing, due to mental health struggles, is a great loss for many. This Award aims to honour his life, work, and his lasting impact while raising awareness around mental health issues and shedding light on available coping resources. Riky Rick was an innovator in many spheres of culture and the world benefited greatly from his intuitive vision.        

For more information about “BET Hip Hop Awards” including the latest news and updates, visit bet.com/hiphopawards.  

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Global publisher to release first graphic novels from South Africa’s award-winning Triggerfish Animation Studios

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North American independent book publisher Catalyst Press will publish two graphic novels from Cape Town’s world-renowned animation studio next year, its first venture into the literary sphere. (more…)

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Rihanna will headline the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show

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Must be NFL on the brain: Pop icon and entrepreneur Rihanna will perform at next year’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, the NFL announced Sunday. (more…)

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2022 Global Citizen Festival Campaign Across Accra and New York Culminates In $2.4 Billion To End Extreme Poverty

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2022 Global Citizen Festival Campaign Culminates In $2.4 Billion To End Extreme Poverty

Global Citizen is proud to announce the 2022 Global Citizen Festival campaign has culminated in over $2.4 billion in commitments to end extreme poverty NOW.

The six-week campaign concluded with a nine-hour festival across two stages, beginning in Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana, presented by Harith General Partners, and ending in New York City’s Central Park, presented by Citi and Cisco.

The 2022 campaign saw 2 million actions taken by global citizens as part of Global Citizen’s mission to End Extreme Poverty NOW, more than doubling the record previously set by the international advocacy organization.

On the Global Citizen Festival: Accra stage, the governments of Ghana and South Africa announced the African Prosperity Fund, a joint initiative by the governments of Ghana and South Africa, which aims to deploy $1 billion to fund projects for economic inclusion and financial participation across the continent. The fund will focus on projects in the African Continental Free Trade Area, including infrastructure development, financial access for the participation of women and youth, education, healthcare, technology, and sustainability, all for the benefit of Africa’s 1.3 billion people.

Meanwhile, at Global Citizen Festival: NYC, U.S. members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle stood alongside world leaders, philanthropists, and trailblazers from the private sector to make announcements worthy of the 10-year history of the Global Citizen Festival. Over a video message, President Macron announced France will reallocate 30 percent of its Special Drawing Rights to the world’s poorest countries, specifically in Africa, to fight extreme poverty, pandemics, inequalities, and climate change.

The days leading into the 10th anniversary Global Citizen Festival saw major commitments from world leaders, including Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and President von der Leyen of the European Commission, who respectively committed CAD $1.209 billion and €715 million at the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. During the Festival, Prime Minister Trudeau and President von der Leyen thanked global citizens for acting.

The following commitments were pledged at the 2022 Global Citizen Festival in Accra, Ghana and New York City:

FOR GIRLS
Investments committed for the future of women and girls include:
Governments

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Glorilla Teams Up With Cardi B For Explosive “Tomorrow 2” Single

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Memphis star GloRilla calls on the one and only Cardi B for “Tomorrow 2,” which you can listen to HERE via CMG Records/Interscope Records.

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Lil Maru shares new video single “Get Me On”

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Lil Maru

Fresh off the release of his breakthrough single “On The Block”, 18-year-old San Diego rapper Lil Maru has just shared his new single and video “Get Me On” via Simple Stupid/Geffen Records. On the new single, Maru croons about the ins and outs of his day-to-day––spitting about his neighborhood of SD, his highest aspirations, and his endless hustle. LISTEN

The song is accented by Maru’s tremolo flow over the minimalist, West Coast flavored production featuring a pair of light keys and smooth synths. The video showcases Maru surrounded by his loyal crew, flexing his custom jewelry, and adds to the personal nature of the song. Following the bubbling success of “On The Block”, Maru is continuing his homegrown momentum with his new single and video “Get Me On”.

Read Also: Audiomack’s Recent “Premiere Access” Feature Enables Artists to Reward Supporters With Early Listening

Lil Maru is a Mexican-American hip-hop artist based in San Diego, CA who busted on the scene with his 2020 single “Change Up” (20m+ Streams) and has only been capitalizing on the momentum ever since. He followed this up with a string of singles in 2021 including the viral hit “On The Block”, “Issues”, and “Nothing Into Something”. Maru kicked off 2022 with the release of his EP Been 2 Gone, featuring standout tracks like “Heartless”and “Soda Shopping” featuring former Shoreline Mafia member Fenix Flexin. Now, with the release of “Get Me On”, Maru is looking to leave his distinct mark on hip-hop and emerge as the forerunner of the new West Coast scene.

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