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June 27th, 2024

Photo Credit: Jaime_Ballesteros








“I don’t know if people know this, but I was a fan of Nuno Bettencourt years before Extreme signed a record deal. They were a club band in Boston when I was attending Harvard, and I would go see them religiously and was blown away by this 16, 17-year-old guitar phenomenon who I would stand in front of with my jaw, like, on the floor.”

– Tom Morello

“Just two voices and an acoustic guitar, with harmonies that recalled the classic pop balladry of bands like the Beatles or the Everly Brothers.”

– Rolling Stone

 “There’s people I listen to everyday that do things that I could never do. Nuno, I listen to Nuno Bettencourt and I just smile because it’s so beautiful and it’s way out of what I could ever do. It doesn’t bother me, ‘cause I don’t feel in competition, I just love the guy and I love what he does.”

– Brian May

New York, NY (June 27, 2024) – Primary Wave Music, the leading independent publisher of iconic and legendary music in the world, announces today its partnership with renowned guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer Nuno Bettencourt. This exciting partnership will see Primary Wave acquire the musician’s music publishing and recordings, as well as administration rights. Included in the deal are all songs for the band Extreme (with the exception of the band’s 2023 album), as well as Bettencourt’s solo recordings. Terms of the partnership will also give Nuno access to Primary Wave’s marketing team and publishing infrastructure, which includes digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities, and film & TV production.

Bettencourt, who has worked with everyone from Rihanna to Steve Perry to Janet Jackson to Steven Tyler, has a repertoire of music that encompasses some of the biggest songs across the history of rock music. Songs in his catalog of music include the top ten classic “Hole Hearted,” “Get The Funk Out,” “Decadence Dance,” Rest In Peace,” and Nuno’s and Extreme’s most well-known hit, “More Than Words.” Released in 1991, the song was the band’s third single off their sophomore effort Pornograffitti. The band fought for the release of the song as a single and it paid off. “More Than Words” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and shot to number one in four other countries. The success of “More Than Words” helped push the album, which went double platinum, to the Top 10 on the Billboard 200. Extreme would earn their first Grammy nomination for the “More Than Words, a song that Billboard claimed proved “sometimes less really is more” before going on to say, “the spotlight here is on the band’s striking vocal harmonies, as well as its shimmering acoustic guitar work.” The single also shined a spotlight on Bettencourt as a premiere guitar player. In 1991, fans voted him “Best New Talent” in Guitar World Magazine and the magazine named him “Most Valuable Player” of that year.

Of the partnership, Nuno Bettencourt said, “After getting to know with the team at Primary Wave and seeing their passion, work ethic and creative ideas in action, I am happy now to have a bigger partnership with them. I look forward to continue building my song catalog into new realms of activity.”

Adam Lowenberg, Primary Wave’s Chief Marketing Officer, added, “I am beyond thrilled to have Nuno join the Primary Wave family. He is one of the greatest guitar players and songwriters in the history of rock music and one of my personal favorite musicians of all time. We can’t wait to dive into this catalog and remind fans, new and old, of its greatness.”

Nuno Bettencourt is a renowned guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter and record producer. Nuno has made significant contributions to the world of rock music through his exceptional guitar skills, captivating stage presence, and versatile songwriting abilities. At the age of four, Nuno Bettencourt moved with his family from the Azores to Hudson, Massachusetts, where his passion for music blossomed. Fascinated by the guitar, he immersed himself in its world, dedicating countless hours to perfecting his craft. Nuno rose to international prominence as guitar player with the Boston area group Extreme. The group signed with A&M and released their debut album in 1989. Nuno was immediately recognized as an innovator in the world of rock & roll. Extreme have released five groundbreaking albums, plus greatest hits set—selling over 10 million records worldwide. To date, the Grammy-nominated band is one of the most successful hard rock acts of the 1990s. The band achieved great success with their 1990 album Pornograffitti, which peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200, and was certified multi-platinum. Musically, Pornograffitti is dominated by Nuno’s blistering guitar riffs, often with funky, syncopated timing, and incendiary, high-speed rock/metal solos. The record provided Bettencourt with widespread admiration from rock guitar enthusiasts and continual exposure in leading guitar playing publications. Nuno’s diversity as a hit songwriter came in to play when he penned the acoustic ballad “More Than Words“, that reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the United States landing Extreme their first #1 hit song. The subsequent single, “Hole Hearted“, another acoustic track, was also successful, rising to #4 on the same Billboard chart. Extreme’s appearance at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992 gave the band considerable exposure beyond the hard rock fraternity. By playing a medley at the tribute, Extreme gained a considerable amount of fans along with the Queen fan base. In 1997 Nuno Bettencourt released his first solo album titled Schizophonic. In 1998 he formed Mourning Widows which released a self-titled album that year and a follow-up album, Furnished Souls For Rent in 2000. Following the breakup of that band, he released another solo album under the project name of Population 1 in 2002 releasing a five-song E.P. entitled “Sessions from Room 4” in 2004. Nuno then changed the band’s name to Dramagods and created a follow-up CD entitled Love in 2005.

Beyond his work with Extreme and solo endeavors, Nuno Bettencourt has collaborated with various artists. He has lent his guitar skills to notable musicians such as Steven Tyler, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Perry Farrell and Steve Perry, among others. Nuno’s versatility as a musician is evident in his ability to seamlessly adapt to different musical styles, ranging from hard rock and heavy metal to pop and R&B. In 2006 Nuno joined forces with Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell for a new project which featured Bettencourt as lead guitarist. Bettencourt helped produce Ultra Payloaded, the debut album by Satellite Party released in 2007. In 2009, Nuno was personally recruited by Rihanna to be her guitar player. His task was to bring his signature rock-edge to her more R&B/Dance sound. The collaboration resulted in an incredible live sonic experience and Nuno joined Rihanna on her past 4 mega-world tours. In 2014 Nuno joined up with the super group The Kings of Chaos which featured Guns N’ Roses members Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke and Duff McKagan as well as Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Billy Gibbons (ZZ TOP) and Robin Zander (Cheap Trick). The band toured South Africa. A career highlight for Nuno was when he and Steven Tyler performed together at the 21st Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, honoring children’s rights activists Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai. Nuno and Steven performed “More Than Words” as well as “Dream On and Living on the Edge”. In 2015 Nuno performed the song “FourFiveSeconds” at the 57th GRAMMY AWARDS with Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Kanye West. Nuno is also a member of the guitar supergroup GENERATION AXE which features Nuno, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde and Tosin Abasi. In 2023, Extreme released SIX, their first new studio album in 15 years. In its first week the album charted on five different Billboard charts: including Top Hard Rock Albums, #2; Top Album Sales and Top Current Album Sales, #10. The Band had seen unprecedented success with their debut single “Rise” –with over 4.5 million views to date. Nuno has received critical acclaim for his guitar skills, earning accolades from all major guitar publications. In June of 2023, Nuno appeared on 9 guitar magazine covers including Guitar World, Total Guitar, Premiere Guitar, Young Guitar and many others. Guitar World magazine declared his solo in “Rise” as “the guitar solo of the century”.  His influence on aspiring guitarists is evident, as he continues to inspire generations of musicians with his technical ability, creativity, and unwavering passion for his craft. Nuno’s remarkable talent has also earned him widespread admiration from legendary guitarists such as Brian May, Tom Morello, Steve Vai, Steve Lukather and many others. Most recently Brian May cited Nuno as “one of the greatest guitar players of all time”. Nuno Bettencourt’s enduring legacy in the world of rock music is a testament to his dedication, innovation, and undeniable talent. With his boundless energy and commitment to pushing musical boundaries, he remains an iconic figure in the realm of guitar virtuosos, leaving an indelible mark on the history of rock music. In December 1990, Washburn Guitars unveiled the Washburn N4 Nuno Bettencourt Signature Series Guitar- a series of Bettencourt-designed guitars which endures today. The N4 is the flagship guitar for Washburn.