The estate of George Michael has extended its global publishing agreement with Warner Chappell Music U.K. The deal covers Michael’s solo work and songs from his time in Wham! The George Michael-Warner Chappell alignments dates back four decades, according to an announcement of the renewal.
“We are genuinely delighted that, after many months of detailed discussions and negotiations, we have renewed our longstanding association with WCM which started in the early ‘80s,” said Chris Organ, attorney for Michael and co-executor of the George Michael Estate. “We live in an age of sale and acquisition, and interest in, and competition for, this catalogue was fierce. George was a very loyal man who valued and nurtured long-term business relationships; but ultimately wanted to be remembered as a great songwriter. We strongly believe that his legacy as a songwriter, and the protection and enhancement of this stellar catalogue of songs, is best served by a traditional, hands-on day-to-day relationship with an established music publisher. Warner Chappell Music’s current structure and management is ideally suited to achieve those goals. We look forward to continuing our extremely successful relationship and, most importantly, to maintaining the status and integrity of George’s work for many generations to come.”
George Michael is among the most celebrated international pop stars who saw eight No. 1 hits in the U.S. and seven in the U.K. during his peak years in the 1980s and 1990s. Michael won two Grammy Awards during his career, one for album of the year for “Faith,” which spent 12 weeks atop the album chart. “Faith” would span additional hit songs “Father Figure,” “Monkey,” “One More Try” and the title track.
Added Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall, co-chairs of Warner Chappell Music: “George Michael is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. We all still miss his engaging personality, but he’s left the most incredible legacy in the form of his songs and performances. We take our responsibility to curate and promote his catalogue incredibly seriously, because even the greatest songs still need energetic champions.”
Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016. He was 53.