John Legend becomes rare mid-career artist to sell his music catalog
There's been a major uptick in the number of artists selling the rights to their music catalogs as of late. That list — which includes Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, and Neil Young — typically highlights older artists with vast musical repertoires. But EGOT-er John Legend, 43, is among the younger musicians to do so.
Global music company BMG and global investment firm KKR acquired Legend's portfolio of songs that goes back to his first album, EW has learned. BMG also struck a new deal to administer Legend's future compositions, while it continues to administer his past library. Financial details of the deals are unknown.
Bloomberg was the first to report the news based off a UCC filing. EW reached out to representatives for Legend, BMG, and KKR for comment.
Springsteen, 72, made a splash last year when he sold his catalog to Sony Music Entertainment in a massive transaction reportedly valued at $550 million, according to The New York Times. Before that, Dylan, 80, sold off his prized discography for an estimated $300 million.
Legend is far younger than these veterans and is at the peak of his career with, as of now, seven studio albums under his belt, starting with 2004's Get Lifted.
BMG has worked continuously with Legend since the company's 2010 acquisition of Cherry Lane, Legend's former music publisher.
This acquisition also follows BMG and KKR acquiring ZZ Top's publishing catalog, in addition to income from recorded music royalties and performance royalties, in a deal announced in December.