Sony/ATV Music Publishing has entered into an agreement with Joni Mitchell for worldwide administration of her entire catalogue and all songs written during the term of the agreement, it was announced today by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Executive Vice President Jody Graham Dunitz.
The pact, which became effective July 1st, is global in scope (with the exceptions of Australia, Italy and the UK) and represents the first time Ms. Mitchell has had a U.S. publisher or worldwide representation by one company.
"This agreement is a milestone," remarked Ms. Dunitz. "Joni Mitchell is simply one of the most important and influential songwriters in the history of popular music, and to represent her catalogue is an honor. We intend to actively seek uses of Joni's compositions where the fit is right and the integrity of her overall catalogue is preserved."
Sony/ATV Music Publishing will administer the catalogue, which is owned by Ms. Mitchell. Previously, her catalogue was administered by different hands in different lands.
Ms. Mitchell is currently working on a new album due for release next February, with a possible supporting tour in the works. Upcoming projects scheduled for the near future include two television specials -- one a documentary focusing on the relevance between her music and her art, the other a live concert in an intimate setting -- and a tribute album featuring artists as diverse as Annie Lennox, k.d. lang, Sarah McLachlan, Elvis Costello, Janet Jackson, Etta James and Chaka Khan covering classic Joni Mitchell songs. Also in the planning stage are three books devoted to Ms. Mitchell's poetry and lyrics, her artwork, and some poignant memoirs.
"From the ever increasing number of requests to license Joni Mitchell's music, it's clear that the time is right to involve a publisher with a worldwide presence," commented Sam Feldman, Ms. Mitchell's manager. "More than just a 'catalogue,' Joni's music is a significant part of our culture and its handling requires a special balance of art and commerce. We believe Sony/ATV Music Publishing is best suited to fulfill that role."
The Sony/ATV music publishing agreement marks another advance in Ms. Mitchell's growing oeuvre, one of the most admired and important bodies of work in popular music. Each year numerous requests from all over the world are received for licensing of Ms. Mitchell's songs for films (such as Grace of My Heart, Somebody is Waiting) and television (including Friends, Melrose Place, Chicago Hope), and her compositions remain radio staples. In 1996, Ms. Mitchell received four Performance Awards from Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI): 1 Million Performance Certificates for "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Woodstock"; a 2 Million Performance Certificate for "Help Me"; and a 4 Million Performance Certificate for "Both Sides Now." A listing of Ms. Mitchell's numerous awards and albums can be found appended to this release.
The past two years have seen Ms. Mitchell's work celebrated on an escalating and worldwide basis, most recently with her induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1997. In December, 1996, Ms. Mitchell was honored by the National Academy of Songwriters with a Lifetime Achievement Award little more than a month after the Canadian government bestowed upon her its Governor General's Award. Earlier that year, she received Sweden's prestigious Polar Award following two Grammy Awards -- for Best Pop Album and Best Artwork & Packaging -- for her Turbulent Indigo album. This honor followed Billboard's Century Award, accorded Ms. Mitchell for continuing artistic excellence in her endeavors. -0-
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