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June 28th, 2023









NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2023) – Primary Wave Music has cause for a “Celebration” today, announcing their partnership with the legendary songwriter, drummer, producer and Founding Member of Kool & The Gang, George Brown. The leading independent publisher of iconic and legendary music in the world has acquired a stake in the Grammy winner’s music publishing catalog, writer’s share, and writer’s share of public performance. Brown was one of the main songwriters for the legendary R&B group whose sound defined the 70s and 80s and still resonates today. As a member of Kool & The Gang, Brown has been awarded two Grammy Awards and seven American Music Awards. The band has sold over 70 million albums worldwide, have been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, in 2018, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008 they were also honored by the Living Legends Foundation.


The multi-million-dollar deal encompasses some of Brown’s and Kool & The Gang’s biggest hits which include twenty-five Top 10 R&B hits and nine Top 10 pop hits. Classics such as “Hollywood Swinging” which was their first #1 on the R&B Charts, “Jungle Boogie” which was ranked as the #12 song for 1974 by Billboard, “Cherish” which was the biggest Adult Contemporary chart hit of the 80s, and the #1 hit “Ladies Night” which was a radio staple the year it was released, are all included. The song was also their first major hit in the United Kingdom. The exciting new partnership also includes one of the band’s most well-known songs, “Celebration.” Released in 1980, the song was the band’s chart-topping single which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, spent six weeks atop the R&B chart, and has since been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry. Kool & The Gang’s songs have been featured in a number of films of the years and their music has been sampled by everyone from Mase to De La Soul to A Tribe Called Quest to Nas.


Terms of the deal will also give George access to Primary Wave’s marketing team and publishing infrastructure, which includes digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities, and film & TV production.


“I am very pleased to call Primary Wave my music partner and to join with dozens of other iconic artists and creatives in an incredible business family,” said George Brown. “I look forward to collaborating with Larry Mestel and the entire Primary Wave team to further enhance my catalog and the Kool & The Gang brand.”


Kendall A. Minter adds, “As counsel to George Brown and Astana Music, it was my pleasure to initiate, negotiate and close this deal with Primary Wave. The alignment of a globally iconic artist and creative talent with an iconic, global independent music publisher and brand enhancer is a win-win for the entire music community and fans.”


“Kool and the Gang’s influence on generations of musicians and fans around the globe cannot be denied,” said Samantha Rhulen, SVP, Business and Legal Affairs at Primary Wave Music. She goes on, “A few of us from Primary Wave were excited to have been in the audience when they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018, and we are so thrilled to now be partnering with George Brown in 2023.”


Kool & the Gang has influenced the music of three generations and the band has become true recording industry legends. From Nairobi to Newark, Kool & the Gang has performed continuously longer than any R&B group in history and their bulletproof funk and jazzy arrangements have also made them the most sampled R&B band of all time. A reviewer recently called their performance “a 24-karat show” and every year, even after a half-century on the road, yields a non-stop schedule of shows across the globe. The heavily-in-demand band has continued to tour the world. Today, the group enjoys global fame and recognition and a following that spans generations.




The Home of Legends.

Primary Wave Music is the leading independent publisher of iconic and legendary music in the world. The company is home to some of the most iconic songwriters, artists, and record labels across the history of recorded music including Sun Records, Times Music (subsidiary of the Times of India Group), Bob Marley, Prince, Stevie Nicks, James Brown, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek (The Doors), Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, Bing Crosby, Luther Vandross, Olivia Newton-John, Ray Charles, Steven Van Zandt, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, America, War, Gerry Goffin, Traveling Wilburys (Bob Dylan), Joey Ramone, Robbie Robertson, Joey Tempest (Europe), Bob Burns (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Teddy Pendergrass, Count Basie, Sly & The Family Stone, Boston, Alice Cooper, Paul Anka, Boy George and Culture Club, Allee Willis, Leon Russell, Paul Rodgers, Free, Toots & The Maytals, Steve Cropper, Sarah McLachlan, Martina McBride, Glenn Gould, Air Supply, Huey Lewis and the News, Jeff Porcaro (TOTO), Holly Knight, Jim Peterik, Alice In Chains, Godsmack, Disturbed, Devo, Donny Hathaway, George Merrill & Shannon Rubicam, Nicky Chinn, David Malloy, Even Stevens, Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Noel Hogan (Cranberries), Dan Wilson, Mike Scott (Waterboys), Chris Isaak, KT Tunstall, Patrick Leonard, Sturken & Rogers, Gin Blossoms, Tom Whitlock, Steve Kipner, Matt Redman, and many more. The songs represented by Primary Wave include over 800 Top 10 singles, and over 400 #1 hits. Throughout the company’s 16-year existence, Primary Wave Music has embraced an entrepreneurial spirit, offering, and executing proactive one-of-a-kind ideas, unique services, and marketing campaigns for our artists. Primary Wave has earned a stellar reputation for being forward thinking and re-introducing classic artists and their music into the modern marketplace as well as nurturing young talent to become legends themselves. This success is based upon our team of seasoned and creative executives collaboratively working together closely with our artists as partners. As a company, we strive for excellence in the pursuit of iconic artists and catalogs that not only reflect great artistry, but impact and influence culture.