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“Jay-Z is back home.”
So touted an email announcing a new global partnership between Roc Nation, the full-service entertainment company founded by the rapper-turned-mogul, and Universal Music Group. Previously aligned with Sony Music, the multi-year deal is effective immediately.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, a release revealed that the Roc Nation music label will operate as a standalone label within the UMG family. As part of the agreement, forthcoming albums from Jay-Z, Rihanna and others will be sold worldwide via UMG.
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Said UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, who in February was named Billboard’s most powerful person in music: “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.”
Jay-Z praised the executive for orchestrating “a new age deal — being able to continue to operate as an independent label with the strength, power and reach of the best major. … It feels good to be home.”
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The rapper also recently announced a new partnership with CAA Sports, management company Roc Nation sports, which will represent athletes. Its first signing: the Yankees’ Robinson Cano. Recent additions to Roc Nation’s music management roster include Kylie Minogue, Timbaland and M.I.A.
Universal Music Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi. Shares of the company were down a tenth of a percent to 16.21 EUR in early morning trading.
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