Primary Wave has purchased the publishing catalog of Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, the producers best known for discovering Rihanna. Sturken and Rogers worked with the pop star on some of her biggest hits across her first seven albums.
Some of Rihanna’s songs they had rights for include “Pon De Replay,” “Shut Up and Drive,” “Umbrella,” “Don’t Stop the Music,” “Disturbia,” “Rude Boy,” “What’s My Name,” “We Found Love” and “Stay.” They had a share of the publishing on those first two early-career hits, but the rest are for master production. The purchase was said to have been a “multi-million dollar deal” for the producers’ entire publishing catalog and a share of their master recording royalties. Sturken and Rogers weren’t only involved with Rihanna’s hits, of course, they had publishing rights for most of her first two albums Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl Like Me (2006), as well as production credits for select songs on all of her other Def Jam-released albums – which is all of them except for her latest self-released record, ANTI (2016).
The duo worked with a lot of other major artists as well, with publishing rights to over 20 Top 40 hits, 12 of which were Top 5 hits. Between their co-writing and production credits, they’ve been involved with 70 million albums sold worldwide. Some other notable songs they had publishing for include Kelly Clarkson’s “The Trouble With Love Is,” N’Sync’s “(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You” and 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Teeth,” but those are far from the only recognizable works.
This is just the latest purchase in a series of catalogs the music company has grabbed a share of over the past few months. They last bought the rights to Patrick Leonard’s entire catalog. Leonard co-wrote songs for Madonna including “La Isla Bonita,” “Frozen” and “Like A Prayer,” as well as some of Leonard Cohen’s final songs, “You Want It Darker,” “It Seemed the Better Way” and “If I Didn’t Have Your Love.”
Before that, Primary Wave had just bought a majority stake in Mark Morrison’s publishing catalog in March. Morrison is best known for his major hit “Return of the Mack.” Some more recent purchases Primary Wave made include the acquisition of Sun Records for $30 million, the entire publishing catalog of songwriter Jon Lind (Earth Wind & Fire, Cher, Vanessa Williams) and 50 percent of the publishing for KT Tunstall.