Rod Stewart sings Van Morrison -- The rocker's cover of ''Have I Told You Lately'' has done much better than the original version

By EW Staff
Updated August 13, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

We were wondering: Just how big a dinner does Van Morrison owe Rod Stewart? Van wrote ”Have I Told You Lately,” and did quite nicely with it on both 1989’s Avalon Sunset and 1990’s The Best of Van Morrison (which, combined, sold 2.2 million copies). Rod covered the song on Vagabond Heart, his 1991 2 million-selling album and did even better — a No. 5 single. Rod covered it again on Unplugged…And Seated (1.5 million copies sold so far), and as the album’s single it has been certified gold (650,000 copies), and is still selling steadily. According to the National Music Publishers Association, the current royalty rate for a song is 6.25 cents per album or single sold. Add to that another 7 cents each time the song is played on radio, and you’re talking $280,000 in royalties that Rod has brought Van. Even after Van’s publisher, Songs of PolyGram, gets its 50 percent cut, he’s still looking at least $40,000. So we’d say go for wine and dessert, Rod.