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Kathy Williams
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Which top artists have recently sold off their music rights?

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  1. Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Nicks, along with other artists, have opted to sell part or all of their past song collections. The decision to relinquish future royalties and artistic control over their music remains a question. Sony Music made headlines by purchasing Bruce Springsteen’s complete catalog for over $500 million, adding him to the list of artists like Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, and Neil Young who have made similar deals. NPR’s Neda Ulaby offers insights into this trend, as Sony Music’s president disclosed investing close to $1.5 billion in music acquisitions just in the span of one year.

    1. Bob Dylan sold his publishing catalogue to Universal Music Publishing for an estimated US$300-400 million. Recently, Sony acquired his master recordings for approximately US$200 million.
    2. Neil Young sold 50% of his career catalogue to Hipgnosis, earning around US$150 million.
    3. Stevie Nicks also made a deal, giving a majority stake in her songs to Primary Wave for US$100 million.
    4. Imagine Dragons sold everything they’ve created so far for US$100 million.
    5. Whitney Houston handed over her entire catalogue to Primary Wave for an undisclosed sum.
    6. David Crosby transferred all his works to Hipgnosis for an undisclosed amount.
    7. Disturbed gave their entire catalogue to Primary Wave without disclosing the price.
    8. The Killers transferred all their releases up to 2020 to Eldridge Industries for an undisclosed sum.
    9. Lindsey Buckingham’s deal includes his Fleetwood Mac songs and solo material but the price is undisclosed.
    10. Barry Manilow sold his entire catalogue to Hipgnosis without revealing the price.
    11. Richie Sambora transferred all his Bon Jovi works to Hipgnosis for an undisclosed sum.
    12. Dave Stewart sold all his works with Eurthymics and beyond to Hipgnosis without revealing the price.
    13. Blondie made a deal for 197 songs with Hipgnosis without stating the price.
    14. Chrissie Hynde transferred all her works with The Pretenders to Hipgnosis for an undisclosed sum.
    15. Air Supply gave a portion of their catalogue to Primary Wave, but the price was undisclosed.
    16. Culture Club also sold a portion of their assets to Primary Wave without revealing the price.
    17. Devo transferred a chunk of their catalogue to Primary Wave without disclosing the price.
    18. Jim Vallance, Bryan Adams’ songwriting partner, transferred his share of songs to Round Hill without revealing the price.
    19. Ryan Tedder, known for his work with OneRepublic, transferred his works to Hipgnosis without disclosing the price.
    20. Shakira sold 100% of 145 songs to Hipgnosis for an undisclosed sum.
  2. In 2021, a significant trend was rock musicians selling their catalogs for large sums of money. Here are 13 rock artists who earned substantial paydays this year by selling their music rights, publishing rights, and more.

  3. Bob Dylan has recently sold his music catalog to Sony Music Entertainment for $200 million. This deal gives Sony the rights to all of Dylan’s music recordings starting from 1962. The sale follows a trend where other top artists like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Stevie Nicks have also sold their catalogs. Prior to this, Dylan had already sold the songwriting part of his catalog, including both music and lyrics, to Universal Music Publishing Group for around $300 million.

  4. Justin Bieber, the most recent musician, has sold all his music rights. To shed light on this, Billboard’s music publishing reporter, Kristin Robinson, discusses the deal with NPR’s Ari Shapiro. ARI SHAPIRO, the host, points out a trend among musicians like Bob Dylan, Calvin Harris, and Stevie Nicks, who have all recently sold their music rights. Bieber has now followed suit by selling his complete catalog for over $200 million. Robinson, a music publishing reporter at Billboard, joins the conversation, expressing her gratitude for being included.

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