Whitney Houston’s Publishing – SMH!.

In the attached story this blogger claims that Whitney Houston did not own any of her own publishing rights. The blogger got her information from a website called iVillage which claims that Whitney died without any publishing rights because she did not write any of her own songs. Both the blogger and iVillage are absolutely, positively, WRONG!!!

All of the hoopla began over the fact that Dolly Parton would be the one to receive performance (publishing) royalties for Whitney Houston’s version of the song “I Will Always Love You”, because Dolly was the song’s composer (songwriter), NOT Whitney. Although this is true, neither iVillage, the blogger, nor either of the two people I found who copied this story bothered to check the facts any further.

Although its true that Whitney was not a prolific songwriter, she was registered as a writer with ASCAP and even owned her own publishing company, Nippy Music Inc.  In an ASCAP title search I found 8 songs listed under the name Whitney Houston.  It would seem that Whitney co-wrote a handful of  songs, including “Something in Common” a duet with her then husband Bobby Brown, and two extremely successful songs, one from The Bodyguard soundtrack: “Queen of the Night” and one from the film Waiting to Exhale: “Count on Me”. So unless she sold or otherwise transferred those rights, which we have no facts to support, her estate will continue to receive her writer’s share of royalties on those and at least five other songs; not to mention two additional songs from her new album “I Look to You“, entitled “Like I Never Left” and “I Got You” which were not listed in ASCAP’s database.

How’s that for setting the record straight? Please let’s stop sensationalizing the news by exaggerating and/or making up so-called “facts”, then repeating  them without first checking to make sure whether they’re true. I’m not even a journalist and I had sense enough to figure that out. But then again, I’m in the music business, I understand publishing, I believe in the truth and I loved Whitney. I’m also tired of rumors and lies being attached to her name and others like her who are no longer here to defend themselves, just so somebody can sell some magazines or some airtime.

My mission is to protect those who can’t protect themselves.  But then again, that’s what Super Hero’s do! PROFESSOR BUTLER TO THE RESCUE!

About professorbutler

PROFESSOR BUTLER: LAWYER, LECTURER, LIBERATOR is an educational and motivational speaker, entertainment industry consultant and advocate who specializes in providing dynamic, informative, “pull-no-punches” books, seminars and workshops on career development and the complexities of the Music and Entertainment Industry.

3 responses »

  1. Ava says:

    Did she write those songs or just require a piece of the publishing in return for recording them? Requiring a share of the publishing in return for recording and performing it has been known to happen…

    • Thanks for your comment Ava. Based on the information I’ve been able to obtain, Whitney is a bonafide co-writer on the compositions I described. Publishing is a very valuable asset. Songwriters don’t take kindly to sharing a percenatge of a song with someone who didn’t contribute to the writing of that song, no matter who they are. At any rate, although you are correct, some writers will give up a share of their publishing to artists, lawyers, producers and others as incentives, as Whitney has a vast collection of recordings, if that were true in her case you would expect her to have a piece of the pie on more than just 3 or 4 songs.

  2. My purpose for writing this blog post is so people know that whether Whitney Houston wrote 1 song or 100 songs, she deserves to have the record accurately and honestly reflect her accomplishments, big or small…we all do.

    BTW: This is my first “official” public blog post so feel free to leave comments and “follow” me for more provocative commentary on the music and entertainment business. Thank you for your support and God Bless you. PROFESSOR BUTLER!

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