Warner/Chappell Music Extends and Expands Publishing Agreement With George Michael

04/04/06
Publishing Agreement With Renowned Songwriter and Performer to Cover World

NEW YORK, NY, Apr 04, 2006 -- Warner/Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG), announced today that Warner/Chappell Music U.K. has extended its publishing agreement with George Michael, one of the music industry's most influential and accomplished songwriters and performers, and expanded the deal to cover all territories worldwide.

Under the agreement, Warner/Chappell Music U.K. will administer the rights to Michael's legendary catalog of songs -- as a solo artist and as a member of Wham! -- identifying opportunities for placement in television programs, films and commercials as well as in the online and mobile spaces. Warner/Chappell Music U.K. has had rights to Michael's catalog since 1982; the territories covered under the previous agreements excluded the U.K. and Ireland.

In making the announcement, Richard Blackstone, Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music, said, "George Michael's success with Wham! and as an award-winning solo artist have made him one of contemporary music's most successful singer/songwriters. We're delighted to continue and expand our relationship with George and look forward to putting Warner/Chappell's resources behind his amazing body of work and seeking opportunities through traditional outlets as well as the growing digital platform."

"Since George's career started in the U.K., we're particularly thrilled that his agreement with Warner/Chappell now includes the U.K. in addition to the rest of the world. It is an absolute honor to represent his songs, many of which are true modern classics," said Richard Manners, Managing Director, Warner/Chappell Music U.K.

In 1984, Michael released his first solo single while still with Wham!, "Careless Whisper," which became one of the signature songs of the 80s and one of the most-played radio songs of the decade. In 1989, George Michael's first solo album, "Faith," won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, two Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriter of the Year and International Hit of the Year, and featured six U.S. No. 1 singles, including "I Want Your Sex," "Faith," "Father Figure," "One More Try," "Monkey" and "Kissing a Fool." Michael's album "Listen Without Prejudice: Vol. 1" was released in 1990 and became a British No. 1. His single "Too Funky" earned the distinction of being Europe's most played record of 1992. In 1996, Michael won the Capital Radio award for "Best Male Singer" and was honored with an "Outstanding Contribution To Music" award. Michael's album "Patience" was released in 2004 and immediately made it to the No. 1 spot in the U.K. In 2004, Michael was honored by the U.K.-based Phonographic Performance Ltd. as the most played artist on British radio over the past 20 years.

About Warner/Chappell Music

Warner/Chappell Music is WMG's award-winning global music publishing company. The Warner/Chappell Music catalog includes standards such as "Happy Birthday To You," "Rhapsody in Blue," "Winter Wonderland," the songs of Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin, as well as the music of Dido, Dr. Dre, Eric Clapton, Green Day, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Nickelback, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sheryl Crow, T.I. and others. Warner/Chappell Music is a leader in creating innovative strategies for marketing and promoting its songwriters and their music. The company's extensive catalog makes it a natural first stop for A&R executives and record producers, feature film and television production companies, and others looking to record or license some of the world's greatest music.