Hipgs don’t lie. Shakira has sold the publishing rights to her catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the company announced early Wednesday morning — the latest in CEO Merck Mercuriadis’s prolific shopping spree for major stars’ music rights. Hipgnosis bought the entirety of Shakira’s publishing rights for her 145-song catalog, which includes hits such as “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Whenever, Wherever,” “She Wolf,” and “Waka Waka.” The company didn’t disclose financial details of the sale.
“I know Hipgnosis will be a great home for my catalog,” the singer said in a statement. “I’m so happy to partner with this company led by Merck, who truly values artists and their creations and is an ally to songwriters everywhere who care deeply about the continued life of their songs.”
Just 13 days into the new year, Mercuriadis has already had a busy 2021, having announced catalog acquisitions from Jimmy Iovine, Lindsey Buckingham and Neil Young last week. Elsewhere, Ryan Tedder and K.T. Tunstall also sold stakes in their catalogs this week to other players, and the last half of 2020 saw a flurry of music acquisition deals involving nine-figure sums and the likes of Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift.
For Mercuriadis, Shakira’s catalog further diversifies Hipgnosis’s portfolio, bringing one of Latin music’s most successful catalogs to a collection that already includes some of the biggest pop, rock and hip-hop songs of the past several decades.
Songwriters and artists who sell their music catalogs take an immediate payout rather than rolling the dice on their catalogs’ future earnings, while buyers like Mercuriadis hope to profit by building new revenue streams through old songs, via film and TV licensing, merchandise, and other plays. Several insiders who’ve worked on high-profile catalog sales say they expect catalog deals to slow down as capital gains taxes potentially increase under Biden’s presidency, but rumors continue to swirl about other major catalog deals for Hipgnosis and other companies who’ve been active in the space.
“One step at a time, this incredible woman from Colombia has evolved into one of the most famous and influential people in the world. What no one should ever take for granted is that she is one of the most serious and successful songwriters of the last 25 years, having written or co-written virtually every song she has ever recorded,” Mercuriadis said in a statement. “It’s wonderful for us to welcome Shakira, the queen of Latin Music and much more, to the Hipgnosis family.”