John Legend is the latest major name to sell the publishing rights of their music catalog.
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It’s been announced today (January 7), the EGOT winner has inked a lucrative deal with music imprint BMG and global investment firm KKR that sees him sell both the rights and future royalties from his catalog – dating back to his debut album, 2004’s ‘Get Lifted.’
Legend joins a growing list of heavy hitters to have sold their publishing rights. Indeed, the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Shakira, and the estate of David Bowie have all struck similar deals in recent months.
Unlike those pacts, the financial terms of Legend’s deal have not been disclosed; though it is known that the agreement was finalized in September 2021.
With the 43-year-old being one of the youngest acts (both in age and career span) to have inked such a deal, some industry analysts are wondering whether the allure for BMG and KKR is the star’s comparatively high streaming statistics compared to the legacy acts hashing out equivalent deals.
Other insiders are wondering how much of a catalyst the lack of touring is for artists selling their publishing rights for high upfront sums. Especially as, historically, many musicians have strived to own their publishing catalog in perpetuity.
In Legend’s case though, he’s reported to bring in north of $100 million annually via his various business interests – which include a starring role as a coach on ‘The Voice,’ live engagements, as well as his role as a producer across TV and film. He also recently announced a Las Vegas residency. As such, it’s safe to assume this decision had broader incentives for the star.
With that, what are…