ZZ Top Sells Publishing Catalog and Royalties For $50 Million

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 11: (L-R) Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons of the American band ZZ Top perform live on stage during a concert at the Zitadelle Spandau on June 11, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

On Tuesday (Dec. 21), news broke that the legendary blues-rock group, ZZ Top, has sold their “entire music interests” to BMG and KKR for $50 million. According to the initial report from Variety, the deal includes the complete sale of the band’s publishing catalog, their recorded royalties, and their performance royalties.

This move was a bit of a natural progression—previously, BMG was the co-publisher and administrator of ZZ Top’s publishing catalog. The deal alongside KKR comes as the two organizations have made a partnership explicitly for the purpose of acquiring catalogs like this.

“This deal is a testament to the success, staying power, and continuing musical relevance of ZZ Top, but also to the power of our partnership with KKR,” BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said. “This agreement furthers our vision of providing artists and songwriters, not just a financial exit, but also a vehicle committed to respecting and treasuring their artistry.”

Likewise, ZZ Top’s manager, Carl Stubner, said, “We are proud to continue working with and expand our long-standing relationship with BMG. This new deal ensures ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.”

The deal comes as many artists—especially legends from the 20th century—are selling their catalogs. Last year, Bob Dylan sold his catalog for an unspecified “nine-figure” number. This year, BMG acquired catalogs from Tina Turner and Motley Crue, and KKR acquired a beefy catalog from Kobalt Capital Limited. Just this month, Bruce Springsteen made headlines for a $550 million deal selling his catalog to Sony. 

For ZZ Top, the sale marks the end of a difficult year—bassist Dusty Hill died this past January, ending the band’s 50-year streak without any lineup changes. Since his passing, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard have continued touring with longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, filling in on bass.

Read more coverage on ZZ Top HERE.

Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns

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