There’s been a major uptick in the number of artists selling the rights to their music catalogs as of late.
Musicians are selling the rights to their music more often than ever these days, it seems, and now John Legend has joined those ranks: Bloomberg reports that Legend sold his copyrights and rights to royalties of his catalog to KKR & Co. and BMG, with each company getting a 50-percent stake. A regulatory filing notes the deal was actually reached in September.
How much Legend earned in this deal was not disclosed. For reference, though, it was reported last week that David Bowie’s catalog had sold for about $250 million. A few weeks earlier, Bruce Springsteen sold his masters and publishing rights for about twice that much. In December 2020, Stevie Nicks sold 80 percent of her publishing for around $100 million and Bob Dylan also sold his for an unknown amount that “was easily in nine figures.”
While Legend isn’t as established as the aforementioned legacy acts, his discography is impressive. In includes four top-four albums (his first four LPs: 2004’s Get Lifted, 2006’s Once Again, 2008’s Evolver, and 2013’s Love In The Future. His seventh and latest album, Bigger Love, was released in 2020. He also had a No. 1 single in 2013 with “All Of Me,” and other recognizable hits include “Ordinary People” and the Andre 3000 collaboration “Green Light.”
BMG also struck a new deal to administer Legend’s future compositions, while it continues to administer his past library. Financial details of the deals are unknown.