Juan Gabriel’s Estate Signs Exclusive Worldwide Agreement with Virgin Music US Latin; New Music Releases Expected

There’s new Juan Gabriel music heading your way…

Six years after his death, the late Mexican superstar’s estate has signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with Virgin Music US Latin, which will represent the singer’s post-2008 catalog and future recordings, and has also extended its publishing administration agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group, which will exclusively represent Gabriel’s extraordinary catalog of songs worldwide.

Juan GabrielThe deal is particularly important because unbeknownst to many, Gabriel left behind dozens of new recordings, including brand new, never released before material and re-recordings of old songs.

As one of the most recorded songwriters in Latin music and one of its biggest stars, the potential for those works is immense.

“We have a lot of material in different stages,” says Victor Gonzalez, president of Virgin Music Latin America & Iberian Peninsula.

This includes a third duets album (Gabriel recorded two prior to his death, both of them hits) featuring six or seven tracks with artists including Mon LaFerte and Gloria Trevi; additional, posthumous duets (which will use Gabriel’s previously-recorded vocals) will be included as well.

Gabriel died of a heart attack the morning of August 28, 2016 in Los Angeles as he readied for a flight to El Paso following a show at the Forum.

At the time, the 66-year-old singer and icon was at the apex of his career, enjoying a spectacular second act. He was in the midst of the U.S. leg of his MeXXico Es Todos tour, a 22-city arena trek that had him playing 360 stages to accommodate sold-out crowds.

He ranked at No. 18 on Billboard’s 2015 Money Makers list (just below Ed Sheeran and just above Florida Georgia Line).

He also scored the year’s highest-grossing Latin tour (bringing in $31.8 million) as well as the year’s top-selling Latin album, Los Duo.

The week before his death, his latest album, Vestido de Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. A TV series based on his life was slated for the fall.

“He was at the height of his career. He was happy, happy, happy,” says González. “He was recording while he was on tour and because he was so healthy, we were able to re-record old songs and new material, and none of that saw the light of day, because he died.”

It was Jesus López who signed Gabriel to a 10-album contract with Universal Music Mexico in 2008, in a deal with a long back story. Gabriel signed his first label deal in 1971 with RCA in Mexico when he was 21 years old, at a time when publishing was typically included in recording deals.

In 1986 — after he became a major star and RCA was acquired by BMG — he famously stopped recording for seven years in protest of his original deal, under which the label owned not only his recording masters but also his songs.

Gabriel’s recorded music output resumed in 1994 when Jesús López (now the chairman of Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Penninsula), who had just been named president of BMG Latin, personally met with Gabriel and convinced him to record again after agreeing to give him ownership of his songs.

The first album under that arrangement was 1994’s Gracias por Esperar.

Gabriel’s recording deal eventually went to Sony after it acquired BMG; when that deal expired in 2008, González approached him with a new proposal.

“I suggested 10 albums that included a live album, a banda album, duets albums and three albums of new material,” says González. The first album under the deal — Juan Gabriel — was released in 2010. In an innovative twist, Universal agreed to let Gabriel retain ownership of his masters.

After Gabriel died in 2016, it took several years to untangle his affairs. Now, with his son Iván Aguilera the sole beneficiary of his estate, his legacy is ready to move on.

In 2020, Aguilera announced a partnership with Jampol Artist Management (JAM), a company that specializes in managing, preserving and developing artist estates whose clients include the estates of Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. Gabriel is their first Latin client, but he fit the company’s philosophy, says founder and CEO Jeff Jampol.

“When we talk about these huge legacies, they’re important not only artistically, of course, but sociologically and culturally and they mean a lot to a lot of people. Successful artists have magic,” says Jampol. “Juan Gabriel stands for something. The secret to my business is figuring out what that magic is and exposing it credibly and authentically.”

In 2020, Jampol and Gabriel’s estate — working with Melinda Zanoni of Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group and business manager Louis Barajas of the firm LAB — announced plans to release a documentary filmed during Gabriel’s last concert on Aug. 26, 2016, in Los Angeles, as well as a merchandise line, television series, feature film, theatrical stage show, books, tribute shows and a wax figure with Museo de Cera.

But having new music and new recordings to draw from pushes the value of the new deal to another level. Says Jampol, “These two deals [recorded music and publishing] combined are probably one of the highest valued deals I’ve made in the history of the company.”

In terms of publishing alone, “Juan Gabriel is one of the most important songwriters and artists in Latin music history,” says Alexandra Lioutikoff, president of UMPG for Latin America and U.S. Latin. “His catalog of music across 45 years is proof that great songs stand the test of time and continue to live on. Juan Gabriel is one of the strongest examples of a Latin music legacy catalog that is thriving through generations of fans around the world.”

For González, the deal will bring to life music he was personally close to.

“He was in the middle of a very creative period [when he died],” he says. “I spent some time with him in Playa del Carmen, for example, where he had a recording studio in his home, and he’d wake up and say, ‘I want to record!’ I lived it with him. I saw the day to day. He’d write and say, ‘Come and see me!’”

New Video Released for Gabriel’s 1982 Classic “Si quieres”

Juan Gabriel’s classic is getting an update…

Just weeks after the Mexican singer-songwriter’s unexpected death on August 28, a new video for JuanGa’s 1982 classic “Si quieres” was released over the weekend.

Juan Gabriel

The clip combines images of an orchestra being conducted by Eduardo Magallanes and the Divo de Juárez recording the song in a studio, which he recorded days before he died at the age of 66.

At the end of the video, the ballad becomes a festive tune with all 35 musicians up and dancing.

“Si quieres” forms part of Gabriel’s final album Vestido De Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes, which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart for two-consecutive weeks before his death.

Gabriel’s Final Album Remains No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums Chart

Juan Gabriel’s legacy lives on…

The newest album by the late Mexican singer, Vestido De Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes, has logged a second week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart (dated Sept. 10).

Juan Gabriel

The latest chart reflects sales data for the week ending August 25 — three days before Gabriel died. He passed away two days after a sold-out show and hours before he was set to perform a concert in El Paso, Texas.

It’s expected that the Latin American music legend will remain at the top of the list in the coming weeks, as the chart experiences the initial impact from his passing.

In the week ending August 25, Vestido De Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes sold 2,000 copies (up 28 percent).

Elsewhere, his former No. 1 Los Duo 2 climbs 8-5 with an 18 percent increase in sales (to 1,000 copies), reaching its best peak since the July 9-dated list when it ranked at No. 4. The set had previously crowned the chart for seven straight weeks (after debuting on the Jan. 2 tally).

Sales of his albums in the latest tracking week may have been spurred, in part, by Gabriel’s MeXXico Es Todo tour, which kicked off August 19. The singer played his last show at the Los Angles Forum on Friday, August 26.

Any uptick in album sales after Gabriel’s death, as well as track downloads and streaming, will be reflected on the September 17-dated charts which tracks activity from August 26 through September 1.

Gabriel, who began his career in the early 1970s, placed a total of 31 albums on the chart since its inception in 1993.

He is among just three solo acts to place as many titles on the chart, coming in just after Joan Sebastian (with 32 charted albums) and Vicente Fernandez (36).

Gabriel Notches Fifth Chart-Topper on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums Chart

Make that five chart-toppers for Juan Gabriel

The 66-year-old Mexican singer has reached the summit on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart for a fifth time on the chart dated September 3, as Vestido de Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes, debuts with 1,000 copies sold in the week ending August 18, according to Nielsen Music.

Juan Gabriel

The chart-topper continues Gabriel’s hot streak on the Top Latin Albums chart, where he’s notched four No. 1s in the last 18 months — more leaders than any other artist in that span of time.

It’s actually double the next-largest total in that span.

Four acts each earned two No. 1s in the last year-and-a-half: Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga, Gloria Trevi, Julion Alvarez y Su Norteno Banda and La Maquinaria Nortena.

The new No. 1 follows two chart-topping duets sets, Los Duo 2 (No. 1 for seven weeks in 2016) and Los Duo (No. 1 for seven weeks in 2015), and a greatest-hits compilation Mis Numero 1… 40 Aniversario (No. 1 for one week in 2015).

Vestido consists of a selection of Gabriel’s hits re-recorded and re-arranged with a symphonic orchestra by composer and musical director Eduardo Magallanes. The longtime collaborator of Gabriel signed the superstar to RCA Victor in 1971.