JaQuel Knight made history as the first choreographer to protect his iconic dance moves. In a giant leap to take creative control, Knight launched Knight Choreography and Music Publishing Inc.
Knight rose to fame after shaping the moves in Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” video, since then he has become her go-to choreography, choreographing the artist’s tours and epic Coachella performances. He also orchestrated the moves behind Jennifer Lopez-Shakira’s Super Bowl 2020 halftime show, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video.
“The copyright protection movement is about putting power back in the hands of the artist,” Knight tells Variety. “We have set a historic precedent with our achievement of ‘Single Ladies’ copyright, and we are excited to launch Knight Choreography & Music Publishing, Inc. so that the next generation of artists have the same platform, the same resources and tools to thrive creatively and financially in the commercial music industry. “
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The company will operate in the same manner as a music publisher where it will negotiate license agreements and protect intellectual property, except for copyrighted music, Knight Choreography & Music Publishing will oversee the rights to the dance movements of the Knights.
In addition, the company plans to represent the rights of a wide range of choreographers and creatives of all genres and mediums, acting as a strategic partner in copyright, licensing and beyond, while they are changing the landscape of protections for choreographers, creatives and advertising artists. The music industry.
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Credit issues for dance moves emerged recently when TikTok star Addison Rae received backlash for performing on “The Tonight Show” a series of dances popularized on the video platform and did not. not credited the predominantly black creators of the movements. Host Jimmy Fallon addressed the controversy on air the following night, telling viewers, “We recognize that the creators of these dances deserve to have their own spotlight,” and urging influencers to perform the dances.
Knight will work in partnership with attorney David Hecht, who helped secure the copyright to “Single Ladies,” and his manager, producer Mary Pelloni.
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Last year, Knight served as Creative Director of Megan Thee Stallion’s Virtual Concert, but her career spans decades. The Atlanta-born dancer has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Britney Spears, Nicole Scherzinger, Rihanna and Tinashe. But it was his work with Beyonce that put him on the map. He went on to win 2 MTV Awards for his work on “Training” from 2016 which he shared with Chris Grant and Dana Foglia, and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (2008) which he shared with Frank Gatson Jr.
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