A number of legacy artists have made headlines of late for selling their catalogs in blockbuster deals worth hundreds of millions. The latest to hand over their reigns and rights is legendary artist Neil Diamond, who announced a deal this week to sell his collected works to Universal Music Group (UMG).
The landmark agreement includes transfers of rights to all of Diamond’s song and master recordings (including 32 studio albums and eight live albums), as well as an additional 110 unreleased tracks and an unreleased album.
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UMG will also retain the rights to release any future music that Diamond should record. “Neil Diamond is by definition, a truly universal songwriter. His immense songbook and recordings encompass some of the most cherished and enduring songs in music history,” said UMG CEO and chairman, Sir Lucian Grainge, in a statement to Billboard. “Through our existing partnership, we are honored to have earned his trust to become the permanent custodians of his monumental musical legacy.”
As Grainge’s comment suggests, this isn’t the first time UMG has had an ownership stake in Diamond’s output. He was signed to MCA Records between 1968 and 1972, and MCA would eventually come under UMG ownership decades later. The latest deal seeks to take all of Diamond’s released, unreleased and future recordings and put them in one singular home.
“After nearly a decade in business with UMG, I am thankful for the trust and respect that we have built together, and I feel confident in the knowledge that Lucian, Jody (Gerson, chairman and CEO of UMPG), Bruce (Resnikoff, president and CEO, Universal Music Enterprises), Michelle (Jubelirer, chair and CEO, Capitol Music Group) and the global team at UMG, will continue to represent my catalogue and future releases with the same passion and integrity that have always fueled my career,” Diamond said in a statement.
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No monetary value was disclosed in the announcement of the deal.
Diamond joins other legendary artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, who each sold their music catalogs several months ago for an estimated $200 million and $500 million, respectively.