The latest acquisition of Universal Music Group (UMG) is the estate of American musician Frank Zappa, which includes the singer-records, songwriter’s song library, and film archive.
Zappa was a great experimental musician who enjoyed a nearly four-decade-long career before passing away at the age of 52 from prostate cancer in 1993.
With the approval of Frank Zappa’s four children, Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet, and Diva, the new deal between UMG, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), Universal Music Publishing Group, and The Zappa Trust will see the corporation expand on its work with the Zappa Trust.
The package includes all of Frank Zappa’s recordings, a publishing catalog of well-known songs, a film archive, and everything in The Vault, the facility where the late Zappa’s life’s work was kept, in addition to his name and likeness.
The Zappa Trust provided the following statement regarding the agreement: “Ten years ago, Gail Zappa [Frank Zappa’s widow] partnered with UMe to bring Frank Zappa’s music into the digital era and help expand the Frank Zappa business around the world, setting in motion a fruitful partnership that has resulted in exponential growth.
“Together over the last decade we made Frank’s vast catalog of music available for streaming and download, reissued many of his pivotal albums on vinyl, created a slew of exciting archival releases an expansive box sets, including a series celebrating FZ’s legendary Halloween concerts, and were nominated for a Grammy for the 200 Motels (The Suites) orchestral album.
“UMG have more than proven their passion for Frank’s art and so the entire Zappa family – Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva – is thrilled to pass the baton to the new forever stewards for all things Frank Zappa. Old and new fans will get more of what they want – more Frank Zappa music for years to come.”
UMe president and CEO Bruce Resnikoff added: “It has been a privilege to work with the Zappa family to release Frank Zappa’s music around the world, grow his audience and protect his legacy for the past decade. Zappa was a pioneering, visionary artist who created an incredible body of work and we are incredibly proud that Gail, and now his children, have entrusted us with his important legacy.”