Universal Music Publishing Group has signed an exclusive global publishing agreement with country superstar Luke Combs. UMPG said the pact covers all of the singer’s songs going forward, but declined to give any other specifics about the deal.
Combs – who was named Billboard’s Top Country Artist of 2019 – has enjoyed a steep ascent since the release of his 2017 album This One’s For You, which spawned such hit singles as “When It Rains It Pours” and “Hurricane,” both co-written by Combs. His sophomore album, What You See Is What You Get, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 last November and tallied the biggest streaming week ever for a country album, with 74 million on-demand audio streams.
That same month, the singer/songwriter logged 16 tracks on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in a single week, breaking a 22-year-old record set by Garth Brooks. This One’s for You also recently tied Shania Twain’s Come on Over for longest-running title atop the Top Country Albums chart, reigning at No. 1 for a total of 50 weeks.
In addition to his chart hits, Combs has been nominated for six CMA Awards and won three, including New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year (“Beautiful Crazy”). He has additionally been nominated for seven ACM Awards — winning one for New Male Artist of the Year in 2018 — and two Grammys. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2019.
“I’m really excited to be joining UMPG Nashville and the strong roster of songwriters they have,” said Combs in a statement. “Universal Music’s success with publishing a lot of great songs over the years cannot be denied, and I’m thankful to now be a part of that.”
Combs broke yet another record with his latest single, “Does To Me” feat. Eric Church, which topped Billboard’s Country Airplay chart in May, making him the first country artist in history to have their first eight singles reach No. 1 on the chart.
“Luke is building his career like so many great artists of the past,” said UMPG Nashville chairman and CEO Troy Tomlinson. “He’s writing hit songs that country music fans identify with. They feel like he’s the guy next door, their friend, someone who knows how they feel and sings about their life. He does that with humility and respect for those who came before him. We are beyond grateful to represent him and his songs.”
Added UMPG Nashville senior vp of A&R Cyndi Forman, “I quickly became a Luke Combs fan five years ago after hearing what would eventually be his debut album. It was apparent to me that he was not only a great vocalist and entertainer, but someone who is a songwriter at heart. Luke continues to impress me with his ability to connect with music fans across the world. I’m beyond excited to have the UMPG team become a part of his incredible team.”