Photo Courtesy of RCA RECORDS

Chris Brown is starting off the new year right.

Chris Brown upcoming album Indigo will mark his first release under a new license agreement with his longtime label RCA Records. The deal not only extends his partnership with RCA, it allows Brown to become one of the youngest artists ever to own any of his master recordings.

“This new deal structure between Brown and RCA Records, will undoubtedly enhance the release of new Chris Brown music, content, and much more throughout 2019 and beyond,” reads a statement from RCA.

Breezy also confirmed this with an Instagram post earlier today.

Brown’s first album for RCA was 2012’s Fortune, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum. Since then, he has released four other albums on the label including 2014’s X, 2015’s Royalty and Fan of a Fan: The Album with Tyga, and 2017’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon.

His ninth studio album Indigo is due later this year featuring the Scott Storch-produced single “Undecided,” for which he also dropped a music video co-starring “Empire” actress Serayah.

Throughout his 14-year career, Brown has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and surpassed 10 billion audio streams across digital platforms. He has more Billboard Hot 100 entries than any contemporary male singer alive to date, with 160 consecutive weeks charting on the Hot 100.

This is a very important deal for Chris Brown because his idols like Michael Jackson and Prince owned their own masters later on in their career.

Masters are the legal agreement that gives you permission to use a song, from a record label, is called the Master Use License.

Master recordings often become valuable, especially if the recording artist is popular. Most masters are owned by record companies, but many artists and bands own their own master recordings, or are able to buy them later.

Recordings are sometimes remastered, to copy them to another format, or to make them sound better. Digital recording allows for older analog recordings to be “cleaned up”, and preserved.

Example of the importance of owning your own masters if you are an artist:

The Beatles never wanted their music to be in commercials because they wanted to stay true to their fans. In mid-1987, Nike made a deal to use the Beatles song in their ad campaign shelling out $500,000 to do so. However, Nike didn’t make the deal with the Beatles, but rather, with pop star Michael Jackson and EMI-Capitol Records. According to Time, Nike paid $250,000 to the record companies and a similar amount to Jackson to use the song for one year. Jackson had acquired “Revolution” and 200 other Beatles tunes in 1985 when he paid $47.5 million to an Australian group for a catalog of some 4,000 songs, including the Beatles’ songs.


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