The estate of the late Ramones’ frontman Joey Ramone has sold his music publishing to Primary Wave Music for $10 million. The deal includes the non-exclusive rights to license Ramone’s name and likeness, a stake in the income of the band’s catalog, and is reportedly part of a larger $2 billion partnership with Primary Wave and investment company Brookfield Asset Management.
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“Joey Ramone was a total original—his songwriting, style, and voice are all undeniably unique and immediately recognizable still today,” said Lexi Todd, vice president, business affairs and legal at Primary Wave Music in a statement. “A counterculture icon and prime mover of punk rock, Ramones demonstrated first-hand the power of music in influencing culture and built a foundation that has influenced decades of musicians.”
Born Jeffrey Ross Hyman in Forest Hills, Queens, New York on May 19, 1951, Joey Ramone co-founded the Ramones in 1974 and co-wrote some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Rock n’ Roll High School” “Judy Is a Punk,” and “Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio,” among others.
Throughout their 20 years together, The Ramones released 14 albums together, from the 1976 self-titled debut through their final Adios Amigos in 1995 and continued to tour before breaking up in 1996. In 2002, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ramone also released three EPs, and several singles, including his 2002 cover of the 1967 Louis Armstrong standard “What a Wonderful World,” in addition to two posthumous solo albums of previously recorded material, including debut Don’t Worry About Me in 2002—released a year after his death on April 15, 2001, at the age of 49, following a battle with lymphoma—and …Ya Know? in 2012.
“I’m happy to welcome Primary Wave as partners in my brother’s interests in Ramones,” said Joey Ramone’s brother Mitchel Hyman (Mickey Leigh), in a statement. “I’m thoroughly convinced of their eagerness to perpetuate his legacy and their sincerity about doing it in a way that will never compromise his credibility. I, very much, am looking forward to working with them.”
Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images