Chalk up one more deal for Live Nation Artists, if sources are accurate. Jay-Z is said to be on the verge of signing a multimillion-dollar deal with Live Nation that spans touring, publishing and his own entertainment venture.
Jay-Z will sign a 10-year package deal larger than that of Madonna and U2 – a $150 million contract that begins with a $25 million advance and a $25 million general payment for his recently launched tour with Mary J. Blige, according to the New York Times. He will also get $10 million in advance for each of three upcoming albums.
Like the rest of the musical universe, the rap mogul has seen dwindling record sales, the Times noted, and has one more record due at Def Jam, where he recently resigned as president. But the plan incorporates more than music, with touring as a component and what is being called his own entertainment venture. The man who is also known as Hova is also an entrepreneur who recently sold his Rocawear clothing line for more than $200 million and owns the 40/40 club chain.
Jay-Z told the Times that he wants to be the Rolling Stones of hip-hop – a perfect comparison considering Live Nation’s new chairman, Michael Cohl, made his bones increasing the revenue of the Stones through merchandising deals.
"He could be doing more tours and doing great," Cohl told the Times. "There could be endorsements and sponsorships. … The whole is what’s important."
Of course, even as news was breaking, detractors were at the ready, noting that it would be difficult for Live Nation to turn a profit on the deal. The upfront payments handed to Madonna and U2 have been characterized as retirement packages for aging rockers, the paper noted. But that may be an unfair criticism for the 38-year-old hip-hop star.