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Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond handed shares in Tik Tok competitor by Timbaland and Swiss Beatz

Christmas seems to have come round early this year for music industry heavy weights Jay Z, Timbaland, Swiss Beatz, Kirk Franklin , Fred Hammond and others. Jay-Z made headlines last week after selling the majority stake of his streaming platform TIDAL to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's mobile payment company Square, for a whopping $297million.

Although Forbes didn’t disclose the financial windfalls of the 16 co-owners, pop-culture website The Shade Room reported that their 3% stake in the company earned each of them almost $9m from Jay-Z’s deal.

Social media sites were buzzing this morning with news that Timbaland and Swizz Beatz had sold their livestreaming song battle franchise Verzuz to the parent company of Tik Tok’s competitor, Triller Network. The Award-winning producers released a statement saying: “This is a momentous occasion not only for Verzuz and Triller, but the music business as a whole.” It turns out that the duo meant every word of their statement as it’s reported that all the artists who have performed on Verzuz since its inception stand to gain an equity stake. Grammy award winner Fred Hammond took to social media to applaud Timbaland and Swizz Beatz for the gracious gesture saying: “Y’all didn’t even have to do that. Y’all could have taken the money for yourselves and we would still have been cool… thank you for thinking about the artists. I wish more people did.” In the wake of George Floyds murder last year, over 300,000 Instagram viewers tuned in to watch Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin’s Verzuz battle, dubbed “The Healing.”

Reacting to the news, Integrity music recording artist Noel Robinson said: “...I thought it was absolutely amazing. We are seeing a transfer of wealth and we see that with Fred and Kirk as they were part of the Verzuz battles. It also speaks to the power of gospel music, that they would have been recognised to be a part of the actual Verzuz battles and that they had enough catalogue and songs to actually show the breadth of the impact of gospel music globally. I know Kirk and Fred personally so I see another side to this - God knows how to preserve the things that He’s set in place even during a pandemic. Kirk and Fred have again proven that gospel music has an amazing story to tell..”

Written by Akosua Dwomo-Fokuo, Premier Gospel Presenter

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