A Musical History

The history of Universal Music Publishing Group is best told through our songs.

From the standards of Jerome Kern to the sixties pop of the Beach Boys and heartfelt soul of Otis Redding; from the folk rock of the Mamas & the Papas to singer-songwriter Paul Simon; from the classic rock and pop of Elton John, Neil Diamond and Billy Joel to the alternative rock of R.E.M. and Pearl Jam; from the new wave of The Cars and INXS to the urban pop of Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake; from the hip-hop of 2Pac and Eminem to the dance pop of Justin Bieber. Universal Music Publishing Group's iconic songs represent the soundtrack to our lives.

Scroll through and click to either watch the video or play a song clip.


Bessie Smith - Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer
Bessie Smith - Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer

Nicknamed the "Empress of the Blues," Bessie Smith popularized this Blues standard written by Wesley Wilson.

Bessie Smith - Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer


Fred Astaire - The Way You Look Tonight
Fred Astaire - The Way You Look Tonight

Fred Astaire had the first hit version, a number one, of this co-written Jerome Kern 'Great American Songbook' standard. 


Andrews Sisters - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Andrews Sisters - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

The Andrews Sisters were one of the most popular artists of the 1940's. Don Raye co-wrote this hit for the group which went on to become one of greatest songs of the 20th century.

The Andrews Sisters - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy


Louis Jordan - Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby
Louis Jordan - Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby
Louis Jordan combined Blues and Jazz laying the path to R&B.

Louis Jordan - Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby


The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

The most famous version of the classic written Jerome Kern song came from American doo-wop group the Platters, and was a number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Platters - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


Beach Boys - I Get Around
The Beach Boys first US Billboard Hot 100 number one single and a classic of their Surf Rock Pop sound.


The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin'
The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin'
A Folk Rock benchmark and a defining song of the 60’s capturing the allure of the California lifestyle.

The Mamas and The Papas - California Dreamin'


Neil Diamond - Solitary Man
One of Diamond's early hits and the start of a recording and hit making career that is still going strong.


Aretha Franklin - Respect

Written by Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin's signature song, and one of the defining hits of the soul era has gone on to become a powerful statement anthem.


Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady
A Psychedelic Rock classic taken from Hendrix's first album 'Are You Experienced'.


Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

Recorded just a few days before passing in 1967, this was the first ever posthumous number one single to enter the UK and US charts, and went on to become the most successful release of his career. 


Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
A defining song and number one hit taken from the duo's last studio album.


Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft
Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft

Hayes had a number one crossover hit with this signature song.

Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft


Elton John - Rocket Man

Elton John and Bernie Taupin's atmospheric pop ballad, documenting the lonely life of an astronaut, appeared on Elton's fifth studio album 'Honky Château'. 


Billy Joel - Piano Man
The first, and one of the most famous, of Billy Joel's many hit singles.


Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird
One of Classic Rock's most iconic songs from perhaps the most well-known Southern Rock band.


Abba - Dancing Queen
This Disco flavored Euro Pop classic was a worldwide hit right as "Abbamania" reached its peak.


Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive

One of the standout out songs from the film soundtrack that helped bring disco into the mainstream - helped along by John Travolta's legendary strut through the streets of New York for the 'Saturday Night Fever' opening credits. 


Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive

Written by Frederick Perren and Dino Fekaris this big hit of the Disco era has gone on to become an empowerment anthem.


The Clash - London Calling

The Clash's powerful political anthem was a response to social problems in Britain at the end of the 1970s, and regarded by many as one of their finest pieces of work. 


Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Arguably one of the most memorable electronic introductions to any track, Annie Lennox and David Stewart's hit single continues to ignite dancefloors today. 


The Cars - You Might Think
American rock band the Cars are the epitome of the classic New Wave sound that shook the music scene from the late 70's into the 80's.


Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine - Conga
Gloria Estefan's breakthrough chart success and the beginning of a hit laden career.


INXS - Need You Tonight
A memorable riff kicks off INXS's biggest worldwide hit taken from the equally successful 'Kick' album.


R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
R.E.M.'s biggest chart success marks the moment Alternative Rock crossed-over into the mainstream.


Pearl Jam - Jeremy
Pearl Jam's debut hit album 'Ten' showcased a number of their now classic songs, along with "Jeremy" others include "Alive" and "Even Flow".


Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
The breakthrough hit for the Red Hot Chili Peppers showcasing their melodic ballad side.


2Pac - I Get Around
The breakthrough crossover hit from one of Hip Hop's most iconic artists.


Mariah Carey - Dreamlover
Mariah Carey holds the record for the most amount of number one hits by a female artist in the Rock Era, this being one of them.


Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On

Recorded by Celine Dion, UMPG writer Will Jennings co-wrote this world wide hit that was the theme song to one of the biggest grossing films of all time, 'Titanic.'


Coldplay - Clocks

Built around an unforgettable piano riff, 'Clocks' won the band the prestigious 'Record of the Year' Grammy award.


Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
Justin Timberlake brought "SexyBack" on his second solo album FutureSex/LoveSounds.


Eminem - Love The Way You Lie feat. Rihanna
This powerful Rap and R&B ballad by Eminem and Rihanna reached number one on various charts across the world.


Adele - Rolling In The Deep
The debut single from Adele's second album was a worldwide hit becoming her first US Hot 100 number one.


Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger
Adam Levine had everyone doing their best Mick Jagger impression across the dance floor on this worldwide hit.


Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
Singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen’s breakthrough Pop song became her first number one single on US Hot 100.


Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
Imagine Dragons are one of today’s most successful Alternative-Rock bands, this loud rock anthem was the second single from their debut album 'Night Visions.’


Justin Bieber - What Do You Mean?

The debut single from Justin Bieber's fourth album was his first number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Ariana Grande – Into You

The second single from Ariana Grande’s critically acclaimed, Platinum-selling album ‘Dangerous Woman’ is a glorious slice of pop perfection.


Ed Sheeran - Shape of You

Steve Mac co-wrote and produced this global hit, which topped the charts in 60 countries worldwide - including 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.


Khalid & Normani - Love Lies

The smooth grooves of double platinum hit “Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani topped Billboard’s Pop Songs airplay chart in September 2018. UMPG publish a share in the song via writer Charlie Handsome.