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Keith Urban Sells Master Recordings to Litmus Music

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Keith Urban has sold his master recordings to Litmus Music. 

The acquisition marks the first deal for the Carlyle Global Credit-backed Litmus since the company’s founding earlier this year. The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, includes 10 studio albums and a greatest hits compilation from the multiple-Grammy winner, as well as a collaboration agreement on future recordings. 

Urban’s most recent full-length set, 2020’s The Speed of Now, Part 1, was his seventh No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, where he’s notched 10 top 10s. He’s also landed 21 No. 1s on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, including “Somebody Like You,” “Days Go By” and “Long Hot Summer,” as well as 16 No. 1s on the Hot Country Songs chart. On the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart, Urban has logged eight top 10-charting sets, including two No. 1s.


Urban has earned 20.7 million equivalent album units for his catalog of albums in the U.S., according to Luminate. Of that sum, 14.9 million are in traditional album sales. His songs — those billed to him as the primary artist in Luminate’s database — have sold 26.1 million downloads in the U.S. and have generated 4.76 billion on-demand official streams in the U.S.

“I have the deepest respect for Keith, his incredible talent and his passion for making great music. He’s a musically insatiable musician, record maker, performer and songwriter,” Dan McCarroll, co-founder and chief creative officer of Litmus Music, said in a statement.

“It is an honor to partner with Keith and represent songs that reflect his integrity, character and musicianship,” added Litmus’ co-founder/CEO Hank Forsyth. “Dan and I and the entire Litmus team are so grateful Keith has trusted us to care for what he has given so much to create.”

Urban, who is managed by Borman Entertainment, said, “What makes this such a great fit for me is the genuine passion and respect Dan, Hank and the team at Litmus have for this music. In working with them, I feel that same collaborative spirit that’s always inspired me as an artist.” 

Litmus launched in August with a $500 million backing from Carlyle Global Credit, with plans to rely on Forsyth and McCarroll’s deep industry ties after decades in the music business. Forsyth previously held positions as executive vp at Warner Chappell and GM of Blue Note, while McCarroll served as president of both Warner Brothers Records and Capitol Records.

Urban is the latest country superstar to sell his master recordings this year. In January, Hipgnosis Song Management acquired 80% of Kenny Chesney’s recorded music catalog spanning from 1994-2017. In October, Blake Shelton sold ownership of his master recordings released from 2001-2019 to Influence Media Partners, though that deal includes a joint venture whereby the singer will earn a share of the profit generated by his catalog going forward.

Set to kick off a residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood next year, Urban told Billboard in November that he and producer Dann Huff were “feverishly working away to try and finish [the new album], which I hope will come out early mid next year.”

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