Legendary songwriter, guitarist and singer Johnny Marr — formerly of the Smiths, the The, Electronic and Modest Mouse and a veteran solo artist as well — has signed a new worldwide album deal with BMG. The deal is an expansion of Marr’s relationship with BMG as a publisher, which includes his three U.K. Top Ten solo albums, 2013’s “The Messenger,” 2014’s “Playland,” and 2018’s “Call the Comet.”
Marr, who is currently in the studio working on new music, next month will make his first live performances since joining Billie Eilish, Finneas and Hans Zimmer onstage at the 2019 BRIT Awards for the title song from the James Bond film “No Time to Die.” He’ll play a string of September dates across the U.K. before joining the Courtneeners at their sold out show at Manchester’s capacity Old Trafford on September 25.
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Marr was recently announced as the special guest on the Killers’ headline U.S. arena tour next year, which runs from August through to October 2022.
<img class="wp-image-1235033196 size-large" src="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Johnny-Marr-signing-Photographer-credit-Paul-Harries-0034.jpg?w=1024" alt=". - Credit: PAUL HARRIES" width="1024" height="780" srcset="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Johnny-Marr-signing-Photographer-credit-Paul-Harries-0034.jpg 5880w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Johnny-Marr-signing-Photographer-credit-Paul-Harries-0034.jpg?resize=150,114 150w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Johnny-Marr-signing-Photographer-credit-Paul-Harries-0034.jpg?resize=300,229 300w" sizes="(min-width: 87.5rem) 1000px, (min-width: 78.75rem) 681px, (min-width: 48rem) 450px, (max-width: 48rem) 250px" />PAUL HARRIES
(Pictured above, L-R: Sammi Wild – Artist Manager, ATC Management, Alistair Norbury – BMG President Repertoire & Marketing UK, Johnny Marr, Jo Power – Director, Marketing, BMG UK, Brian Message – Co-Founder, ATC Management, Terry Felgate – VP International Marketing, BMG UK)
“I’m very pleased to be working with the people at BMG on this new chapter,” Marr said of the deal. “It’s a good feeling.”
Alistair Norbury, BMG’s U.K. president of repertoire & marketing said, “BMG have proudly represented Johnny Marr as a songwriter for many years, including publishing his three consecutive top 10 solo albums. The fact that he has decided to expand and deepen his relationship with BMG shows how well our holistic, artist-centric approach works.”
Marr began his career as a teenager with the Smiths, one of the most important and influential groups to emerge from the U.K. in the 1980s. He wrote nearly all of the music the group recorded and was widely acclaimed for his melodic and innovative guitar work. Along with his long-running solo career, over the years he has recorded or performed with the above-mentioned artists as well as Talking Heads, the Pretenders, the Cribs and the Avalanches, among others.
September 2021 Tour Dates
20 – Leeds, Stylus SOLD OUT
21 – Blackburn, King George’s Hall
23 – London, Electric Ballroom SOLD OUT
25 – Manchester, Old Trafford Cricket Ground (supporting The Courteeners) SOLD OUT
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