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James Brown Estate Sold in Deal Estimated at $90 Million

Fifteen years after his death on Christmas Day of heart failure, and just five months after the tumultuous
battle between his many heirs was settled, publishing and management company Primary Wave has acquired James Brown’s music assets.

While Primary Wave did not disclose the financials of the purchase, the New York Times reports the deal is estimated at $90 million.

For its hefty investment Primary Wave has acquired a stake in the publishing, master recording income stream, and name and likeness rights of the "Godfather of Soul” — a musical legacy that spans over 50 years, includes 17 No. 1 singles on the Billboard R&B charts and saw Brown be inducted into the inaugural class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“I FEEL GOOD! Wow, I am awed that Primary Wave has been chosen by the estate of James Brown to partner with the Godfather of Soul,” Larry Mestel, CEO & Founder of Primary Wave Music, said in a statement announcing the deal. “We are thrilled to help continue the expansion of his influence and further his legacy through both his music and The James Brown 2000 Trust.”

Primary Wave will continue a partnership with the estate, which will include several projects related to The James Brown 2000 Trust, which was established in 2000 by Brown for charitable and educational purposes. The company will also give the estate access to its entire marketing team, digital team, publicity department, branding team, and publishing infrastructure.

“The James Brown Estate and related Trust are very proud and excited to work with Larry Mestel and Primary Wave,” Russell Bauknight, the fiduciary for the James Brown Estate and Trust, added. “We believe that our choice of professionals to take the James Brown Legacy to the next level is going to prove to be one of the most successful events in Mr. Brown’s long history in show business.”

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