Music Industry News 2022
by Alex Cosper

Music Industry Leader Mo Ostin Dies at 95

Music industry legend Mo Ostin died of natural causes in his sleep at the age of 95 on Sunday, July 31, 2022. His leadership at Warner Brothers Records and Reprise Records from the 1960s through the 1990s was proven by overseeing the careers of countless successful recording acts including Jimi Hendrix, R.E.M., Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Ostin was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

After studying at UCLA, Ostin worked for Verve Records then ran Frank Sinatra's label Reprise starting in 1960. Warner bought Reprise three years later as Ostin was retained as label head and signed The Kinks. He went on to sign many big name artists including Van Halen, ZZ Top, Dire Straits, The B-52's, Prince, Tom Petty and Green Day. In the early 70s Ostin helped found the global music distribution system Warner Elektra Atlantic (WEA). In 1996 he co-founded the music division of DreamWorks SKG before retiring in 2004.

Country Legend Naomi Judd Dies at 76

Recording artist Naomi Judd, who led the family country act The Judds, died at the age of 76 on April 30, 2022 in Nashville. According to the family, she died of "mental illness" a day before she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Born Diana Ellen Judd on January 11, 1946, she enjoyed a long music career after rising to popularity in 1983 as part of a duo with her daughter Wynonna Judd as The Judds. They recorded for RCA Nashville/Curb through 1991 when Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis C after the duo won several awards from the Grammys and country music organizations.

She then pursued a film career, became an author and appeared on TV shows. One of The Judds' most noted hits was the 1990 Grammy Country Song of the Year, "Love Can Build a Bridge." The Judds had 14 number one songs on Billboard's country singles chart and six other top ten country hits. Naomi was also the mother of actress Ashley Judd.

64th Annual Grammy Awards

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards was broadcast live April 3, 2022 on CBS from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The show attracted an average of 8.93 TV viewers, according to initial Nielsen data. That was a slight increase from the previous year's average of 8.8 million viewers.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: Silk Sonic - "Leave The Door Open"
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Jon Batiste - We Are
SONG OF THE YEAR: Songwriters Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II and Bruno Mars - "Leave The Door Open"
BEST NEW ARTIST: Olivia Rodrigo
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE: Olivia Rodrigo - "Drivers License"
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: Olivia Rodrigo - Sour
BEST ROCK ALBUM: Foo Fighters - Medicine At Night
BEST ROCK SONG: Songwriters Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear - "Waiting on a War"
BEST R&B ALBUM: Jazmine Sullivan - Heaux Tales
BEST R&B SONG: Songwriters Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II and Bruno Mars - "Leave The Door Open"
BEST RAP ALBUM: Tyler, the Creator - "Call Me If You Get Lost"
BEST RAP SONG: Songwriters Dwayne Abernathy Jr., Shawn Carter, Raul Cubina, Micheal Dean, Charles M. Njapa, Sean Solymar, Kanye West and Mark Williams - "Jail"
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM - Chris Stapleton - Starting Over
BEST COUNTRY SONG - Songwriters Dave Cobb, J.T. Cure, Derek Mixon and Chris Stapleton - "Cold"

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Grows to Over 65,000 Songs

Hipgnosis Songs Fund (HSF), the UK music investment company founded by Merck Mercuriadis and Nile Rodgers in 2018, now owns over 65,000 songs, according the company's interim financial report released in December 2021. Mercuriadis had managed Elton John, Iron Maiden, Morrissey, Beyonce and Nile Rodgers. The company has acquired song publishing catalogs from major artists such as Neil Young and Red Hot Chili Peppers and is redefining business models for the music industry.

The combined value of the songs is estimated to be $2.55 billion, according to the Independent Portfolio Valuer. The report indicates the company's song ownership jumped from 64,555 in March 2021 to 65,413 by the end of September 2021.

See 2021 Music News

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