Bowie estate sells rights to star’s back catalogue of music for £186m

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    The agreement covers songs from 26 studio albums made during Bowie’s life as well as the posthumously released Toy and two with his band Tin Machine.

    Among the tracks changing hands were Heroes, Changes, Space Oddity, Fame, Let’s Dance and Rebel Rebel.

    Guy Moot, chief executive of new owner Warner Chappell Music (WCM), said: “We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”

    News of the deal comes days before the anniversary of Bowie‘s death from liver cancer on January 10, 2016.

    He turned 69 just two days earlier and celebrations are being planned for what would have been the star’s 75th year.

    The icon’s estate chose to pass the music to WCM – which is the publishing arm of Warner Music Group – after working withWarner since 2013.

    Then, the music giant started handling most of Bowie’s recordings – and re-releasing them after his death. It renewed that agreement last year, adding songs from 2000 to 2016.

    Yesterday Guy said: “All of us at Warner Chappell are immensely proud that the David Bowie estate has chosen us to be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential, and enduring catalogues in music history.

    “These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever. Bowie’s vision and creative genius drove him to push the envelope, lyrically and musically – writing songs that challenged convention, changed the conversation, and have become part of the canon of global culture.

    “His work spanned massive pop hits and experimental adventures that have inspired millions of fans and countless innovators, not only in music, but across all the arts, fashion, and media.”

    Allen Grubman, the lawyer representing the Bowie estate, said it was “truly gratified” the singer’s music would be in “capable hands”, adding: “We are sure they will cherish it and take care of it with the greatest level of dignity.”

    Warner also owns George Michael’s back catalogue.

    And its latest deal comes weeks after Bruce Springsteen sold the master recordings and publishing rights for his life’s work to Sony for a reported £376million.

    Paul Simon also hived off his publishing rights for six decades of music to Sony in April for a mystery sum.

    In December 2020 Bob Dylan opted for a deal with Universal Music Group for a reported £223million.

    Mick Fleetwood, Neil Young and Debbie Harry sold off their interests last year.

    Published at Tue, 04 Jan 2022 12:23:20 +0000

    Bowie estate sells rights to star’s back catalogue of music for £186m