Warner Recorded Music has announced a global joint venture with Lee Daniels Music, headed by director, writer and producer Lee Daniels.
Daniels is the director of award-winning films Precious, The Butler, and Monster’s Ball, as well as the TV series Empire, and others.
The agreement encompasses recorded music projects, including soundtracks, as well as artist signings. Its first project – the original motion picture soundtrack for The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, starring Warner Records artist Andra Day – won this year’s Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. The film was directed by Daniels and released on Hulu in February 2021, with the companion album released via Warner Records and Warner Recorded Music worldwide. Daniels continues to have a multi-year overall deal with 20th Television.
Amanda Ghost, CEO of AI Film and co-founder of Unigram (both ventures backed by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries), was integral in setting up the partnership and launching the joint venture. She also acted as executive music producer on The United States Vs. Billie Holiday project.
Max Lousada, CEO of Warner Recorded Music, said: “At Warner, we’ve built a thriving environment for creative pioneers and inspired entrepreneurs. Lee is an artistic visionary who has crafted some of the most powerful, moving, and captivating works of our era. Music has always figured prominently in his productions, driving the narrative of great films such as Precious and The Butler, while playing a central role in his influential TV series, Empire. The Billie Holiday soundtrack was a fantastic way to start our relationship, and we’re looking forward to working with Lee on an exciting series of projects inspired by his deep musical knowledge and impeccable taste.”
Daniels said: “I am always looking for new ways to expand and grow. I’m a filmmaker first and foremost, but, theater and music are also such passions of mine. I’m excited to be teaming up with Warner Music. It’s yet another way for me to keep pushing myself creatively – and The United States vs. Billie Holiday is just the beginning!”
Ghost added: “This venture brings together the genius of Lee Daniels, the dynamic global team at Warner, and an array of extraordinary artistic voices. Together, they'll propel great storytelling, create indelible images, and produce hit soundtracks. The Billie Holiday project has already shown us the kind of impactful experiences that will come from this collaboration, and there are some very special movies and music on the way."