Maverick (company)

This article is about the company co-founded by Madonna. For the Florida-based film distributor, see Maverick Entertainment Group.
Entertainment management
Industry Music, Film, Entertainment
Founded 1992 (original company)
2014 (management group)
Founder Madonna
Frederick DeMann
Veronica "Ronnie" Dashev (1992)
Guy Oseary (2014)
Headquarters Burbank, California, United States
Key people
Guy Oseary (CEO)
Ron Laffitte
Caron Veazey
Gee Roberson
Cortez Bryant
Larry Rudolph
Adam Leber
Scott Rodger
Clarence Spalding
Products Management, Music, Entertainment, Film, Television program, Music Video

Maverick was an entertainment company founded in 1992 by Madonna, Frederick DeMann and Veronica "Ronnie" Dashev. It was owned and operated by Warner Music Group. It included a recording company (Maverick Records), a film production company (Maverick Films), book publishing, music publishing, Latin record division (Maverick Musica) and a television production company. The first releases for the company were Madonna's 1992 coffee table publication, Sex and her studio album Erotica which were released simultaneously to great controversy.

DeMann was bought out of the company for a reported $20 million in 1998. Guy Oseary increased his stake in the company and took control as Chairman and CEO. Madonna and Dashev left in 2004 after a lawsuit between Maverick and Warner Music Group.

As of 2014, the company was revived as a management group founded by Oseary in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment. It consists of Oseary and other recording artist managers Ron Laffitte, Caron Veazey, Gee Roberson, Cortez Bryant, Larry Rudolph, Adam Leber, Scott Rodger and Clarence Spalding. All nine managers and their companies joined and rebranded as "Maverick" on October 17, 2014.

Maverick Records

Maverick Records was launched in April 1992 as a unit of the Maverick entertainment company. It was a joint venture between Madonna, Frederick DeMann, Veronica "Ronnie" Dashev and Time Warner.[1] The name is combined from the names of three of the founders; Madonna, Veronica and Frederick. The company had divisions for recording, music publishing, television, film, merchandising and book-publishing. The venture was part of a $60 million recording and business deal between Madonna and Time Warner . It gave her 20% royalties from the music proceedings, one of the highest rates in the industry, equalled at that time only by Michael Jackson's royalty rate established a year earlier with Sony.[1]

At the time of its launch. the company was bi-coastal; having offices in both New York City and Los Angeles. The record company division of Maverick also consisted of sub-label, Maverick Musica (a Miami, Florida-based satellite label focusing on Latin-American music) and Maverick Music Publishing. The first releases for the company were Madonna's 1992 coffee table publication, Sex and her studio album Erotica which were released simultaneously to great controversy.[2]

Commercial success

Platinum record (middle) for Madonna's 2001 greatest hits album, GHV2, released by Maverick Records.

Maverick's first commercial success was with the self-titled debut album by Seattle-based grunge rock band Candlebox; released in 1993, the album would go on to be RIAA certified quadruple platinum in the United States. The following year, the label signed Canadian musician Alanis Morissette, whose third album (and Maverick debut) Jagged Little Pill was released in 1995, and would be eventually certified 16x platinum in the U.S. (with international sales of thirty-three million)–making it the best selling album in the label's history, and of the 1990s.

DeMann was bought out of the company for a reported $20 million in 1998, after which Guy Oseary increased his stake in the company and took control as Chairman and CEO.

Throughout the 1990s to the middle 2000s, Maverick would also release albums by Michelle Branch, Meshell Ndegeocello, U.N.V., Dana Dane, N-Phase, Dalvin DeGrate, The Prodigy, Cleopatra, Tyler Hilton, Deftones, No Authority and William Orbit.

Litigation and decline

By the early 2000s, Maverick saw its commercial fortunes decline and business operations financially unravel. In March 2004, the label and Madonna filed suit against Warner Music Group (and its former parent company, Time Warner), claiming that mismanagement of resources and poor bookkeeping had cost the company millions of dollars. Warner filed a countersuit, alleging that Maverick had lost tens of millions of dollars on its own.[3][4][5]

On June 14, 2004, the dispute was resolved when Maverick shares owned by Madonna and Dashev were purchased — which effectively exiled the two of them from the company, as it then became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group. Then Maverick CEO Guy Oseary, meanwhile, would retain his position until WMG purchased his label shares in 2006. Also, Madonna was still signed to Warner under her recording contract.[4] The same year, the band Lillix, which at the time was signed to the label, claimed that the Maverick no longer existed and that all the artists were now handled by Warner Bros. directly. In 2007 the record company folded.[6]

Two of the label's most successful artists, Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch, left in the late 2000s. Branch left in 2007 after disbanding The Wreckers, while Morissette left in 2009 after the release of Flavors of Entanglement. Madonna's recording contract remained with Warner Bros. Records under a separate agreement until 2009.

In 2010, Maverick Records et al. brought teenage file-sharer, Whitney Harper, to court and won the case. Harper was ordered to pay $750 per song for the three dozen uploaded on the Internet.[7] The case is known as Harper v. Maverick Recording Co..[8]

In 2011, Maverick Records co-released Greyson Chance's debut album Hold On 'til the Night, but other than that the label has remained in dormancy.

Recording artists

Maverick Films

Maverick Picture Company was the film division of Maverick founded in 1992.[1] The first film it produced was Dangerous Game in 1993, directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Madonna, Harvey Keitel and James Russo.

In 2001, the company was rebranded as simply Maverick Films and was solely managed by Madonna and Guy Oseary, CEO of another Maverick division, Maverick Records. In 2004, Madonna and Dashev were bought out of Maverick after a lawsuit with Warner Music Group and they no longer have an interest in the company. Madonna has since formed another company, Semtex Films which oversees productions relating to the singer. Oseary has retained the rights to the Maverick name.

Film productions

Maverick Films:[9]

Maverick Picture Company:[10]

Maverick Management

In 2014, Oseary announced that he was forming a joint venture with Live Nation Entertainment to establish a management group and will amalgamate other managers and their companies into one venture. Oseary is joined by Laffitte Management's Ron Laffitte, I Am Other's Caron Veazey, Blueprint Group's Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant, Reign Deer's Larry Rudolph and Adam Leber, Quest Management's Scott Rodger and Spalding Entertainment's Clarence Spalding.

All nine managers joined together their companies and rebranded them and their respective employees as "Maverick" on October 17, 2014.[6]

As of February 2015, the only Maverick recording artists still signed to Warner Music are Muse (who were transferred to Warner Bros. Records in 2003), Deftones (transferred to Reprise Records) and The Prodigy (who returned to Warner Bros. in 2014).

In March 2015, founder Madonna released her album Rebel Heart, featuring the Maverick logo on the back cover. This signifies a new collaboration between Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary and Live Nation Entertainment as a management group, not a record label.[6]

Managed artists

Other divisions

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Holden, Stephen (April 20, 1992). "Madonna Makes a $60 Million Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2008.
  2. Kirschling, Gregory (October 25, 2002). "The Naked Launch". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 27, 2008.
  3. "Madonna's label sues record giant". BBC. March 26, 2004. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  4. 1 2 Shawhan, Jason (August 26, 2007). "Madonna sells record company". NME. Retrieved June 9, 2008.
  5. "BBC NEWS - Entertainment - Madonna's label sues record giant". BBC.
  6. 1 2 3 Hampff, Andrew (October 17, 2014). "Managers of U2, Pharrell, Madonna & More Unite to Revolutionize the Music Industry". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 13, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  7. "Court rejects teen's appeal in Internet music case". Seattle Times. November 29, 2010.
  8. "Harper v. Maverick Recording Co.". Loeb.
  9. "Maverick Films [us]". IMDB.
  10. "Maverick Picture Company [us]".
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