Singer has reportedly switched from independent XL label with biggest ever record deal for British musician
Adele has reportedly signed a £90m contract with Sony records, the biggest record deal in history for a British musician.
The singer, who was the best-selling artist in the world in 2015, was previously with British independent label XL, who she signed to at the age of 19. However, the deal expired this year and it is understood she was poached by Sony Music, the world’s second-largest record label.
The deal will double Adele’s £85m fortune, which includes more than £35m in sales from her latest album, 25. Released in November, 25 has been credited with single-handedly reviving album sales, having sold more than 19m copies to date worldwide.
The Guardian understands the deal was brokered by Adele’s manager, Jonathan Dickins, just before Christmas. It also means that Adele was already signed to Sony when in February she publicly criticised the label at the Brit awards for its treatment of singer Kesha, who was not allowed to be released from a contract tying her to producer Dr Luke.
“I’d like to take a quick second just to thank my management and my record label for embracing the fact that I’m a woman and being encouraged by it,” said Adele at the ceremony, in a statement that could now be taken as a warning shot to her new label.
Neither Sony nor XL Recordings would confirm Adele’s move. However, a Sony source told the Sun: “We’ve secured Adele, who’s without doubt the biggest music star in a generation. This is massive.”
The source said the £90m deal had been arranged through Sony’s US label, Columbia, and “gives Sony the rights to release her future music exclusively around the world”.
The 28-year-old singer’s Sony contract is the most valuable for a woman, eclipsing Whitney Houston’s £70m from Arista in 2001, and overtakes the £80m EMI contract awarded to Robbie Williams in 2002 at a time when physical album sales were booming.
Adele’s £85m fortune makes her the richest British female singer of all time, although her refusal to take on any endorsement deals means her earnings lag well behind US counterparts such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.
The deal is also likely to have a significant impact on the independent label sector, which has been boosted for the past few years with what has been widely referred to as the “Adele money”.
XL is part of the Beggars group of labels, which also includes Rough Trade, 4AD and Matador, and is responsible for artists ranging from Jarvis Cocker and Belle and Sebastian to FKA Twigs and the xx.
Nonetheless, XL recently boosted its future earnings by acquiring Radiohead’s back catalogue, which was previously owned by Parlophone.
This article was written by Hannah Ellis-Petersen, for theguardian.com on Monday 23rd May 2016 16.01 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010