Hipgnosis and Blackstone Acquire 80% of Kenny Chesney’s Recorded Music Royalties

Three months ago, MBW revealed that Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis had struck a mega-money partnership deal with investment titan Blackstone.

The deal saw Blackstone commit to $1 billion (and likely more) in music rights acquisitions made by Mercuriadis’ own investment management firm, Hipgnosis Song Management.

Today (January 19) the first of those acquisitions has been confirmed: Hipgnosis Song Management has acquired 80% of the recorded music royalties from Kenny Chesney, spanning his discography since his 1994 debut. In my wildest dreams until 2017 Living in No Shoes Nation.

The acquisition also covers any future Greatest Hits, live and/or acoustic album releases that Chesney may release.

Additionally, the acquisition allows Hipgnosis to acquire SoundExchange (US) and Neighboring Rights royalties for every album in the country superstar’s catalog, including 2018’s. songs for saints and 2020s Here and now.

As MBW previously explained, Blackstone’s billion-dollar music acquisition money is being held in a new private fund called Hipgnosis Songs Capital, which is a separate entity from the publicly traded Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Hipgnosis Song Management (HSM) has access to this money from Blackstone to complete acquisitions, while HSM is also responsible for managing the exploitation of these acquired music rights/revenue streams.

Separately, Blackstone has made an undisclosed investment in Hipgnosis Song Management, largely so HSM can ramp up its resources for marketing, timing, and more. in the whole world.

Acquisition costs for the Kenny Chesney deal were not disclosed.

Chesney’s catalog has 22 albums, including 17 studio albums. Chesney, who has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, has accumulated nine No. 1 Billboard 200 albums, 17 No. 1 Billboard Country albums and 18 Billboard Country Top 10 albums.

Chesney was represented in the Hipgnosis deal by his longtime manager Clint Higham at Morris Higham Management and attorney Jess Rosen at Greenberg Traurig.

Merck Mercuriadis, founder of Hipgnosis Song Management, said, “Kenny Chesney is one of America’s greatest artists. It has been delighting music fans around the world for almost 30 years. His incredible success of over 30 million records sold, including nine No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 All Genres chart and 17 No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Country chart, tells you all you need to know.

“Add to his unparalleled success as a touring artist and the juggernaut that is No Shoes Radio, and you realize Kenny is truly a phenomenon. It is a pleasure and a privilege to welcome Kenny and Clint to the family. Hipgnosis Songs and we are delighted to launch our new Blackstone-backed fund with this landmark acquisition.

“Kenny Chesney is one of America’s greatest artists.”

Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnose

Kenny Chesney said, “Knowing that this music has a house that sees work as a collective body, something that builds on itself and captures the heart of No Shoes Nation, was important to me. How these songs live in the future is critical, and I think Merck has the best interest in not just the recordings, but the people who love them.

“For people who love these songs and these albums, it’s a storyline that allows the music to grow and reflect who those of us who live inside of these songs really are.”

Clint Higham said: “Kenny has dedicated his life to amassing the body of work contained here, and it’s something we’ve all taken very seriously throughout his unprecedented career. There’s no deal more important than protecting the legacy of these songs.

“In working with Merck and his team to close this deal, we’ve found people who are as serious about recordings as we are, and it suggests there’s an incredible future for Kenny’s recorded music thanks to the Hipgnosis team. .”


Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the UK-listed fund that Mercuriadis launched on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, recently revealed a series of statistics about its own performance over the previous year.

In December, the company confirmed that it had a catalog of music rights worth more than US$2.5 billion.

Its interim financial report stated: “As of September 30, 2021, [our] The portfolio comprises 146 catalogs, 65,413 songs, with an aggregate fair value of $2.55 billion (as determined by the independent portfolio appraiser).The music industry around the world