Otis Redding Estate Inks Sony Music Publishing Admin Deal: ‘One of the Most Significant Songwriters of Our Lifetime’

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The family of Otis Redding Jr. and Sony Music Publishing execs, including, furthest to the right, CEO Jon Platt. Photo Credit: SMP

Sony Music Publishing (SMP) has officially finalized an administration pact with the estate of Otis Redding Jr.

The Sony Music-owned publisher and the heirs of Redding, doing business specifically as Big O Holdings LLC, reached out today with word of the admin deal. Six decades have passed since the “King of Soul” Redding released his debut album, Pain in My Heart, on which he penned tracks including “These Arms of Mine.”

Dawson, Georgia-born Redding also wrote commercially prominent works such as “Ole Man Trouble” and “Respect,” to name just a couple. Both those tracks released on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s third album, Otis Blue, and “Respect” was, of course, later recorded with immense success by Aretha Franklin.

Following Redding’s 1967 passing in a plane crash at only 26 years old, a number of posthumous albums, including 1968’s The Dock of the Bay, released bearing his name. The latter project’s first track, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” remains one of the Songwriters Hall of Famer’s most well-known songs.

Addressing the decision to partner with Sony Music Publishing, Zelma Redding said: “For over 50 years I have been diligent to make sure Otis’ legacy remains relevant and recognizable around the world. I feel that the Sony Music Publishing team can assist my family in this never-ending effort.”

And in comments of his own, SMP president and global chief marketing officer Brian Monaco emphasized the career accomplishments of Redding “as one of the most iconic songwriters in American history.” SMP CEO Jon Platt, for his part, acknowledged Redding’s musical and cultural impact.

“As one of the most significant songwriters of our lifetime, Otis Redding remains an American treasure,” said Platt. “Otis’ songs have shaped the cultural landscape across genres and generations, and it is a privilege to partner with the Redding family as stateside custodians of this singular music catalog.”

Having debuted a MENA division in February, Sony Music Publishing last month signed (via its Nashville unit) Randall King to a global deal. More recently, May has seen the publisher, the catalog of which encompasses some 6.24 million works, purchase the song rights of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and make clear its opposition to Spotify’s embrace of bundling.

As multiple organizations – among them the Mechanical Licensing Collective, which is suing Spotify – have noted, that pivot is poised to bring about a multimillion-dollar decline in stateside mechanicals. Nevertheless, time will reveal the bigger-picture commercial effects of bundling.