Universal Music Group acquired the catalog in one of the most significant music deals of the century.

By Nick Romano
December 07, 2020 at 08:50 AM EST
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Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Bob Dylan's songwriting catalog, one of the most coveted music libraries of rock 'n' roll alongside the Beatles, has just been acquired by Universal Music Group in a splashy deal.

The deal, considered one of the biggest in music of the century, spans 600 copyrights on songs that include “Blowin’ In the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “Forever Young,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Gotta Serve Somebody,” “Make You Feel My Love,” and “Things Have Changed.” Financial terms were not disclosed, but per The New York Times it is estimated to be worth more than $300 million.

Dylan has sold more than 125 million records worldwide since landing on the scene in New York City's Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. His songs have been recorded more than 6,000 times. Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" is one of the more notable. June marked the release of the album False Prophet, the singer-songwriter's first album of original music in eight years.

And just last month, a collection of documents that belonged to Dylan, including some of the musician's unpublished lyrics and writings about anti-Semitism, sold at auction for $490,000 through the Boston-based R.R. Auction.

“As someone who began his career in music publishing, it is with enormous pride that today we welcome Bob Dylan to the UMG family," Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said in a statement. "It's no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art. Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless — whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday. It is no exaggeration to say that his vast body of work has captured the love and admiration of billions of people all around the world. I have no doubt that decades, even centuries from now, the words and music of Bob Dylan will continue to be sung and played — and cherished —everywhere.”

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