Photo: PhotobralAdam Bielawski

David Bowie’s Estate Sells The Artist’s Publishing Catalogue

Today (1.03) Warner Chappell, the publishing arm of Warner Music Group, announced that it has acquired the rights to David Bowie’s song catalog from the singer-songwriter’s estate.

Included in the lucrative deal is every song that Bowie wrote throughout his entire career, including all of the compositions he penned for his full length albums, plus those he wrote for his band Tin Machine and various soundtrack projects.

After signing several dodgy deals early in his career, Bowie became hip to monetizing the rights to his songs and his recordings, which he later re-acquired the rights to. In 1997, the chameleon-like artist signed a 15-year licensing deal to his catalog with EMI Music and turned some of his future royalties into “Bowie bonds,” which raised $55 million that he later used to buy his former manager’s share of his back catalog.

In a statement about their first acquisition of 2022, Warner Chappell co-chair and CEO Guy Moot said: “All of us at Warner Chappell are immensely proud that the David Bowie estate has chosen us to be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential, and enduring catalogs in music history.” “These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever. Bowie’s vision and creative genius drove him to push the envelope, lyrically and musically — writing songs that challenged convention, changed the conversation, and have become part of the canon of global culture.”

In recent years, Warner Music Group acquired some rights to Bowie’s catalog when it purchased the Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group and last year, Warner signed a global deal to license Bowie’s recorded music catalog, effective 2023.

Warner Chappell co-chair and COO Carianne Marshall said in the announcement: “This fantastic pact with the David Bowie estate opens up a universe of opportunities to take his extraordinary music into dynamic new places,” “We were pleased that the estate felt that Warner Chappell has the knowledge, experience, and resources to take the reins and continue to promote a collection of this stature.”

Bowie died in January 2016 of liver cancer.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: PhotobralAdam Bielawski