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Jay-Z has shown himself to be a shrewd dealmaker with a track record of leaving little, if anything, on the table.

I.B. BAD NOTES THE LATEST MOVES OF SOME 20/20 VISIONARIES

This Week’s Mover & Shakers Include J.T., Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Emeli Sandé, Alabama Shakes, The Civil Wars and Imagine Dragons
Justin Timberlake’s return to music after a seven-year sabbatical is going even better than Peter Edge and Tom Corson could’ve hoped when they made up the master plan.

Under Joe Riccitelli’s expert oversight, lead single “Suit & Tie” blew up last week following Timberlake’s Grammy performance, and the setup for The 20/20 Experience (March 19) continues with a host/musical guest double-dip on SNL March 9, immediately followed by five nights on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, adding weight to RCA’s first-week forecast of 500k. All of the above will factor in significantly when tickets go on sale for Live Nation’s Jay-Z/JT stadium tour.

On a related subject, AEG Live boss Randy Phillips has egg on his face once again after initiating the acquisition of Timberlake manager Johnny Wright’s company in anticipation of getting the superstar’s tours, only to lose the aforementioned stadium tour to Michael Rapino’s Live Nation. This isn’t the first devastating miscalculation for Phillips, who previously saw his management relationships with Usher and Lionel Richie end in ruin, enabling Live Nation to grab both of those acts on the rebound. LN increased revenues by 8% in 2012.

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation deal with Sony Music is coming up, bringing Doug Morris and Rob Stringer to the negotiating table with the superstar and his team. Jay-Z has shown himself to be a shrewd dealmaker with a track record of leaving little, if anything, on the table. He and Beyoncé recently switched publishers from EMI to Warner/Chappell after their deals expired, following Big Jon Platt to WCM, as expected. WCM’s margins on both artists’ admin deals are reportedly razor-thin, and we can assume that Jay-Z once again drove a hard bargain.

Jay and Lyor Cohen have had great success together; is there a possible play for Cohen and his new venture?... If Roc Nation were to leave Sony, the label’s roster, including J. Cole and Rita Ora, would stay put. Contrary to rumors that Beyoncé is part of the Roc Nation-Sony discussion, she’s still two albums from the end of her Columbia deal and, as the head of her own cottage industry, she’ll have the final word on any major career decision.

Capitol’s Emeli Sandé, already a star in the U.K., continues to gain momentum in the U.S., powered in large part by VH1. Her “Next to Me” single enters the Pop charts after just two weeks at radio, with more than 150 adds. A newly created version featuring Kendrick Lamar broadens the single’s formatic appeal, as Greg Thompson’s team uses the breaking artist’s momentum to seal the deal.

There’s continuing heat on Alabama Shakes following the band’s SNL appearance two weeks ago, which aired again last weekend. Boys & Girls is now at 456k, rising to #6 on this week’s chart and, if ATO can get “Hold On” to Pop, the album could become a monster. The Shakes have just a one-album deal with ATO, but they’re managed by Kevin Morris at Red Light, which is under the same ownership.

Daniel Glass has renewed his distribution deal with RED, but that doesn’t preclude him from entering into possible other deals involving his hot indie Glassnote. How long is the term of the new RED deal?

As interest in The Civil Wars’ new album intensifies, manager/sensibility label head Nate Yetton has retained Joel Katz to handle the negotiations.

Todd Moscowitz brought Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to Warner Bros. Records while still the label’s Co-President/CEO, and he brokered Baauer’s move to the bunny with Diplo’s Mad Decent indie, after making his exit. Both acts are paying a nominal percentage to use WBR’s promotion staff. It’s an interesting wrinkle for indies to be able to rent majors’ promo departments.

IGA COO John Janick, who appears to be duplicating the Fun. magic with Imagine Dragons, has a lucrative secondary source of income as Fun.’s publisher. He picked up the group’s publishing for his pubco Fueled by Music when he signed them to Fueled by Ramen, as he did with a number of FBR acts, including Paramore.

A&R execs going after the publishing of the acts they sign dates back to the ’60s and is a growing trend once again, with the added ingredient that today’s A&R execs often manage producers and songwriters as well. Also engaged in the practice are such heavyweights as WMG A&R chief Mike Caren and Cherrytree/Interscope’s highly respected Martin Kierzsenbaum. In some, but not all, cases, the labels that employ these execs participate in their additional revenue streams.

Names in the rumor mill: Marty Bandier, John Branca, Mark Williams, Ambrosia Healy, Mark DiDia, Mike Flynn and Tory Burch.
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