BMG has acquired rights to some of The Pointer Sisters‘ most popular records, including their share of the U.S. publishing rights to the 1982 hit song “I’m So Excited.”
The deal includes The Pointer Sisters’ share of artist royalties for the original masters to nine albums the group released between 1978 and 1988 on Planet and RCA Records. That includes their 1983 multi-platinum record Break Out and its Grammy Award-winning tracks “Jump (For My Love)” and “Automatic.”
BMG also acquired 100% of the group’s share of U.S. publishing (which was recaptured when the group exercised their termination rights) and their co-publishing royalties in the rest of the world for “I’m So Excited.” They also acquried 100% of the master copyrights for the re-records and certain neighboring rights.
“I am so excited and the whole company is so excited to have a chance to work with these incredible copyrights and beautiful music,” says Thomas Scherer, BMG president repertoire & marketing New York and Los Angeles.
BMG declined to disclose the terms of the deal, which was finalized in late 2022 but not acted upon until recently because of the death of Pointers Sisters member Anita Pointer on Dec. 31 at age 74.
Speaking on behalf of Anita Pointer’s estate, long-time family attorney William Briggs II, said Anita had been a driving force behind the Sisters’ striking a deal with BMG.
“On behalf of the Anita Pointer estate, she would have been pleased to be in partnership with BMG so that The Pointer Sister legacy would live on long past her,” Briggs tells Billboard. “BMG was the best partner available to carry forward Anita’s legacy and that of The Pointer Sisters because their visions aligned.”
As BMG prepares to take the lead on the promotion of these songs, Scherer says they plan to explore book deals, a possible exhibition of the performance outfits worn by the sisters from Oakland, California, and maybe a documentary.
Scherer highlighted the 2022 David Bowie documentary, Moonage Daydream, which BMG executive produced and co-financed, as an example of the kind of creative projects BMG is doing with artists’ works. BMG has a 25% stake in Bowie’s 1970-1977 song catalog.
Because of its ownership of the re-recordings, BMG will also explore versions of Pointer Sisters songs in other languages in markets where it has a significant presence, like Germany and possibly Brazil.
“I’m So Excited” has nearly 150 million streams across audio and video platforms and has racked up more than 1.8 billion airplay audience spins, according to Luminate data.
The Pointer Sisters earned pop success and critical acclaim with three Grammys — the first in 1974 for their song “Fairytale,” which peaked at no. 13 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and won for best country vocal performance by a duo or group.
The song was a rarity at the time — a country hit written by two black songwriters, Anita and Bonnie, in an era dominated by white male stars — and led to The Pointer Sisters becoming the first African American group to perform on the Grand Ole Opry program.
The Pointer Sisters won two more Grammys in 1984 for “Jump (For My Love)” and “Automatic,” which won best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal and best vocal arrangement for two or more voices, respectively.
The Pointer Sisters acquisition was one of 45 acquisitions BMG made in 2022 when the company spent a record 509 million euros ($536 million) on acquisitions and new publishing deals with artists.
BMG has described its strategy as collecting well-known songs and albums, and The Pointer Sisters sit alongside time-tested works by artist’ like Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner, Motley Crüe, John Lee Hooker and Peter Frampton.
“We work proactively with the iconic copyrights that we have to connect them with the next generation,” Scherer says.