John Legend has joined the dozens of artists cashing in on the recent music rights boom, and has sold his entire catalog to KKR & Co. and BMG.
Under the deal, Legend sold the copyrights and the rights to receive royalties from music he wrote dating back to his 2004 debut Get Lifted through early 2021, including his most recent release Bigger Love in 2020, to BMG and KKR, who each purchased a 50 percent stake in his catalog.
Throughout the past two years, artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, and more have sold off their catalog in blockbuster, multi-million dollar deals, including the most recent sale of Bruce Springsteen’s entire catalog to Sony Music Group for $500 million, and the David Bowie Estate, which sold the artist’s music to Warner Music Group for a reported $250 million.
The acquisition of Legend’s work is different from some of the more recent deals, because he has a “shallow” rather than “deep catalog” of work like many of the recent artists who have sold their music dating from 1960s, ’70s, and even further back.
In March 2021, KKR joined an acquisitive alliance with BMG and jointly acquired the catalog of rockers ZZ Top in December of that year.
BMG has worked with Legend since 2010, after acquiring music publisher, Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co.