According to Billboard, the purchase comprises Urban’s 10 multi-platinum, platinum or gold certified studio albums and a greatest hits compilation. The catalog’s highlights include twenty-four #1 songs and a record-breaking, thirty-six consecutive Top 5 hits. The deal also requires future collaboration with Urban and his management team Borman Entertainment as Urban works on his album due in 2023.
Litmus’ artist-focused approach is a monumental reason the company chose Urban as their first deal. Known as one of the most successful and well-respected artists in the world, Urban has won four GRAMMY Awards, thirteen CMAs, fifteen ACMs, two People’s Choice Awards and five ARIA Awards. He is also the only male country artist to simultaneously sit at the top of the charts in Australia, Canada and the United States three different times during his outstanding career.
The company launched in August and is backed by Carlyle’s Global Credit platform, initially committing $500 million to the partnership. Run by music industry veterans Dan McCarroll and Hank Forsyth, Litmus is focused on acquiring and managing music rights, including both music publishing and recorded music. Their offices are located in Los Angeles and New York.
“I have the deepest respect for Keith, his incredible talent and his passion for making great music. He’s a musically insatiable musician, record maker, performer and songwriter,” Dan McCarroll, co-founder and chief creative officer of Litmus Music, said in a statement for Carlyle’s news release.
“It is an honor to partner with Keith and represent songs that reflect his integrity, character and musicianship,” added Litmus’ co-founder/CEO Hank Forsyth. “Dan and I and the entire Litmus team are so grateful Keith has trusted us to care for what he has given so much to create.”
Urban’s management team commented, “What makes this such a great fit for me is the genuine passion and respect Dan, Hank and the team at Litmus have for this music. In working with them, I feel that same collaborative spirit that’s always inspired me as an artist.”
Other stars who have also sold their catalogs this year include Kenny Chesney, who gave Hipgnosis Song Management 80% of his music spanning from 1994-2017, and Blake Shelton who sold ownership of his master recordings from 2001-2019 to Influence Media Partners.
The country mega-star is planning to head to Las Vegas in the near future for an all-new residency after his last Vegas stay in 2019 titled Keith Urban Live. He also told Billboard in November that he and producer Dan Huff are “feverishly working away to try and finish [the new album], which I hope will come out early mid next year.” The album to follow his release of “Brown Eyes Baby” and “Street Called Main.”