John Legend becomes latest artist to sell recording catalogue

KKR and BMG have purchased 50 per cent of the songwriter's catalogue each for an undisclosed fee

John Legend has become the latest artist to sell rights to his recording catalogue in a big money deal.

According to Bloomberg, the companies KKR and BMG have each acquired a 50 per cent stake in Legend’s catalogue for an undisclosed fee.

The two companies first came together to purchase the publishing rights and back catalogue of ZZ Top last month, while BMG have also recently acquired the rights to the back catalogues of Mick FleetwoodTina Turner and Mötley Crüe.


The new report, coming from a US regulatory filing, sees KKR and BMG each owning half of Legend’s rights for music recorded between 2004 and 2021, including his 2004 debut album ‘Get Lifted’ and biggest hit ‘All Of Me’ (2013).

Another huge catalogue sale recently came from the estate of David Bowie, who sold the late singer’s publishing catalogue to Warner Chappell Music for a price reported to be upwards of $250million (£186million).

The catalogue spans Bowie’s career from 1968 to 2016, including songs from the musician’s 26 solo studio albums and the two albums from his Tin Machine side project. Bowie’s “lost” 2001 posthumous album, ‘Toy’, which is released this Friday (January 7), also falls under the agreement.

Last year, Warner Music announced that it was bringing all of Bowie’s albums under the Warner umbrella, including the ones that were originally released on Sony Music.

A wide-ranging series of deals by Warner Chappell have seen them strike catalogue deals with Bruno MarsCardi BQuincy JonesAnderson .PaakSaweetie and the estate of George Michael, among many others.


Other artists who have sold their rights elsewhere include Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

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