Keith Urban Sells His Recording Masters

15 December 2022 | 3:01 pm | Mary Varvaris

"It is an honor to partner with Keith and represent songs that reflect his integrity, character and musicianship."

(Pic by Russ Harrington)

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Keith Urban has sold his recording masters to music rights company Litmus Music.

While no number has been revealed, Litmus has acquired Urban's ten studio albums and a greatest hits compilation, including the 2002 smash Golden Road, the biggest country hit of the 2000s, Billboard reported. Be Here, Ripcord, and the remainder of his albums, excluding his 1991 self-titled debut, which was only released in Australia, feature in the deal. 

Part of the new deal will see Urban release his next album, due for release next year, and following records through Litmus Music. 

"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, commented.

Hank Forsyth, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Litmus Music, added: "It is an honor to partner with Keith and represent songs that reflect his integrity, character and musicianship. 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 also issued a statement where he wrote: "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."

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Some fans are worried, however, as Litmus is such a new company - it was only founded in August this year, and Urban's catalogue marks their first major acquisition. Carlyle Global Credit poured $500 million into the start-up company; Carlyle has experience in music acquisition as it used to be an investor in Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. The private equity monolith inevitably received criticism when Braun controversially bought Taylor Swift's catalogue in 2019.

Matt Settle, Managing Director at Carlyle, said about the deal with Urban: "We're enthusiastic about this initial deal between Keith and Litmus Music, the industry and the opportunity moving forward. The partnership with a globally renowned artist like Keith is a representation of the capabilities of the Litmus team."

Keith Urban is currently touring Australia on his Speed Of Now World Tour. He has two more dates to go: he'll cap off the Aussie tour tomorrow and Saturday at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne. Find more details about the tour here.