Photo: Lunchbox LP

John Legend Sells Off Publishing Catalogue + Royalty Rights

The latest in a litany of singer/songwriters to relinquish their music for money, John Legend has sold his publishing catalog and his royalty rights to BMG and the investment firm KKR for an undisclosed amount, Bloomberg reports.

Per regulatory filings, BMG Rights Management and KKR each purchased a 50% stake in Legend’s catalogue. The deal covers all the music the superstar musician wrote between 2004 and 2021, including such hits as “Ordinary People,” “Green Light,” “All of Me,” and his 2014 Grammy and Oscar-winning track with Common, “Glory.” 

Legend’s catalogue is the second BMG / KKR acquisition since they announced a new partnership in March of 2021. In December, the two companies announced that they’d gone in together on ZZ Top’s publishing rights and any income from recorded music royalties and performance royalties. Separately, BMG and KKR have acquired the catalogs of Mick FleetwoodTina Turner, and Mötley Crüe, while KKR bought a majority stake in Ryan Tedder’s publishing rights earlier this year. 

The majority of the blockbuster catalog acquisition deals announced over the past few years have involved legacy acts like Bob DylanDavid BowieBruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks, Legend is one of several contemporary artist or songwriter to sell, including Tedder, as well as Shakira and the Red Hot Chili Peppers who’ve sold their publishing rights to Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs Fund.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Lunchbox LP