Shakira Becomes Latest Star To Sell The Rights To Her Songs

Image credit: Shakira HQ

Get ready to hear Shakira’s music whenever, wherever as Hipgnosis purchases Shakira’s entire back-catalogue.

Shakira’s entire 145 song back-catalogue, including hits such as ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, ‘Whenever, Wherever’ and ‘She Wolf’. She joins other established artists such as Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac) and The Killers (as well as a litany of others). 

Her most popular songs have made Shakira the best-selling female latin artist of all time, with a staggering 80 million records sold worldwide. 

The exact amount of the deal has not been made public but it is likely to be a multiple million contract, Neil Young for example took home a sweet $150m for 50 percent of his rights. Typically the pay is equivalent of 15 years of royalties up front. 

According to Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis artists get “about 25 years worth of money in one fell swoop.” It provides artists with immediate financial security, while Hipgnosis will profit by building revenue fro streams for the newly acquired music via film and TV licensing, merchandise, cover versions and performance royalties. 

Hipgnosis is a company name you may’ve seen popping up a lot lately and you’re probably going to hear a lot more about them in 2021. In the last few years they have been on a billion-dollar spending spree, snapping up the rights to music artists such as Nile Rodgers, Neil Young, Blondie and many others. So far they have targeted older musicians from the ‘legacy’ era but they have started branching out to more recent hit makers such as Shakira.

The Columbian artist released her first album in 1991, at the age of 13, she has sold more than 80 million records, won three Grammy Awards and 12 Latin Grammy Awards. Her most recent album, ‘El Dorado’ was certified diamond in the US and she is one of only three female artists to have two videos exceeding two billion views on YouTube

Speaking on purchasing her rights Mercuriadis said: “She is a superb creator who has led the charge from what was massive physical success to now having bigger success in streaming than most of her contemporaries”. He continues: “This is the result of her being a determined force of nature and having written songs the world is incredibly passionate about.”

Shakira herself said that Hipgnosis would be a “great home” for her music and spoke about her love of songwriting.

“Being a songwriter is an accomplishment that I consider equal to and perhaps even greater than being a singer and an artist,” she said

“At eight years old – long before I sang – I wrote to make sense of the world. Each song is a reflection of the person I was at the time that I wrote it, but once a song is out in the world, it belongs not only to me but to those who appreciate it as well.” She adds: “I’m humbled that songwriting has given me the privilege of communicating with others, of being a part of something bigger than myself.”

Kieran Webber
Music journalist and photojournalist based in Cornwall.

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