January 25, 2022

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John Legend sells music catalog to KKR and BMG

John Legend sold his existing music catalog, including royalty rights, to KKR and record label BMG, as first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

Why it’s the BFD: 43-year-old Legend is the first “midcareer” artist to do one of these deals, which typically are done by those closer to their twilights (or by the estates of those who’ve died).

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Details: This appears to cover Legend’s work from late 2004 through the end of 2020. I’m also told there’s a separate, parallel deal whereby BMG will administer Legend’s future compositions.

  • No financial terms were disclosed. KKR and BMG last year announced a partnership to buy music catalogs, and recently announced that platform’s first deal, buying ZZ Top’s publishing catalog for around $50 million.

The bottom line: “Dubbed ‘Music Mogul of the Year’ by Variety in 2020, Legend released his debut studio album ‘Get Lifted,’ on Dec. 28, 2004, and has gone on to expand into other areas of the entertainment field, in part through the founding of a production studio that’s created shows for Netflix Inc. and ABC.” — Miles Weiss & Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

Go deeper: New music gadgets: No lessons (or instruments) required

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