Juan Luis Guerra, the award-winning Dominican singer/songwriter, has signed an exclusive contract with Universal Music Publishing Group, according to a spokesperson.
This is the first time the prolific songwriter assigns his catalog to a major music publisher for representation around the world, according to John Echevarria, executive VP of UMPG Latin America.
“He’s an icon whose songs are an indelible part of the fabric of contemporary Latin Music,” Echevarria said. “In addition, his humanitarian work and dedication to others makes him an example for all of us.”
Guerra’s music, known in the U.S. and beyond, catapulted the singer into the spotlight throughout Latin America after the release of his first album in 1984 along with his band 4.40. In the 1990s he took the bachata genre to a much larger audience, and to date, the arranger, composer and producer has sold more than 30 million albums in 30 years, according to his publisher.
“From the moment I arrived here I received unconditional support,” Guerra said in a statement. “I feel part of the family.”
In 2009, Guerra received an honorary doctorate from his alma matter, Berklee College of Music. Known for his versatility from R&B to Afro-pop and bachata, his lyrics have touched on many social causes and have include themes around history, romance and Christianity.
A winner of 15 Latin Grammys, three Grammys and two Billboard Latin Music Awards, Guerra’s accolades are plentiful, including Billboard’s Spirit of Hope Award in 2005. The entertainer has used his name to help build hospitals, churches and recreational centers in the Dominican Republic.
Guerra is in the studio currently working on his next studio album. This summer, he released his latest single, Tus Besos (Your Kisses), which mixes traditional bachata with rock ‘n’ roll arrangements from the ’50s and ’60s. The album will be released later this year by Capital Latin/Universal Music Latin Entertainment.
Guerra was previously self-published.