Justin Timberlake is the latest artist to sell his songs.
The pop star has sold his entire catalog to Hipgnosis Song Management, the company announced on Thursday (May 26). These include the Hot 100 chart-topping “Sexyback”, “What Goes Around… Comes Around”, “My Love” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling”.
Along with Timberlake’s ownership interest in his already classic catalog of songs, Hipgnosis now owns the writing and publishing talent’s entire share of the public performance revenue (Timberlake is signed to ASCAP) and handles the worldwide management of the compositions, subject to the remainder of his contract with Universal Music, which expires in 2025.
Timberlake, from Memphis, Tennessee, has been one of the most well-known voices in music since his days as a member of the popular boy band *NSYNC, releasing hits like “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me” from 1997-2001. Timberlake and other *NSYNC members weren’t typically involved in the writing process of their songs, but he’s credited with writing the boy band’s all-time Christmas hit, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.” He is also credited with co-writing some of the group’s later songs, including “Pop,” “Celebrity,” “Gone,” “I’ll Be Good To You,” and “See Right Through You.”
Timberlake released his debut solo album Justified in 2002, including his first Hot 100 top five hit, the Timbaland-produced “Cry Me A River” and the Pharrell Williams-produced “Rock Your Body.” Timberlake is credited with co-writing all tracks on the album, and he co-wrote Cry Me a River with Timothy Mosley and Scott Storch. He co-wrote “Rock Your Body” with Chad Hugo and Williams.
The groove-influenced pop sound he flirted with on his debut proved a precursor to Timberlake’s far funkier, more confident sophomore FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006). With the help of Timbaland, who did much of the heavy lifting in the production, FutureSex produced the singer’s biggest song to date: “SexyBack,” which took first place billboards Hot 100 for seven weeks and What Goes Around… Comes Around. The album was co-written entirely by Timberlake. Both #1s were co-written with Floyd Hills and Timbaland.
Between albums, Timberlake also proved himself to be one of Hollywood’s biggest acting talents with his role as Napster co-founder Sean Parker The social network (2010) and as Jim Berkey in In Llevyn Davis (2013). He returned that same year with the release of The 20/20 experience, a leaner, more sophisticated project featuring songs like “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z and “Mirrors”.
Timberlake also has co-writing credits for the entire album, although this project tended to have more writers than its previous two. “Mirrors” was co-written with James Fauntleroy, Christopher Godbey, Leslie Harmon, Garland Mosley and Timbaland. Suit & Tie was written with Jay-Z, James Fauntleroy, Charles Still, Leslie Harmon, Terry Stubbs, John Wilson and Timbaland. Since then, he’s coined a number of one-off singles as Hot 100 hits, including “Can’t Stop The Feeling” for the trolls Soundtrack, which he also executive produced. He also released his album man of the forest in 2018, which opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, its fourth leader.
With one of the most revered discographies of the 21st century, Timberlake says he’s thrilled to be working with Hipgnosis and its founder and CEO. Merck Mercuriadisbecause “he appreciates artists and their creative work and has always been a strong supporter of songwriting and storytelling.”
He was represented in this acquisition by managers Rick Yorn, Josh Dembling at LBI Entertainment and Johnny Wright at Wright Entertainment Group and attorneys David Lande and Mitch Tenzer at Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
Mercuriadis adds, “Justin Timberlake is not only one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years, he’s also one of the greatest songwriters of all time… Putting this deal together was a labor of love for Justin, Rick, David and co myself , and I’m excited to welcome them all to the Hipgnosis family. This is the beginning of an incredible relationship that we believe will be important to all of us.”
The acquisition was completed on behalf of Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and funds managed by Blackstone. The two companies first announced their partnership in October 2021, with Blackstone contributing $1 billion to acquire music rights and manage catalogs alongside Hipgnosis Song Management.