David Bowie’s ‘entire body of work’ sold to Warner Music for US$250 million

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David Bowie’s estate have sold the publishing rights to his “entire body of work” for more than $250 million.


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The late ‘Changes’ hitmaker – who died of cancer in 2016 – released a total of 111 singles in his career, and the deal with Warner Chappell Music (WCM) includes tracks from his 26 studio albums, his upcoming posthumous record ‘Toy’, the two albums he released with supergroup Tin Machine, and songs featured on soundtracks and other projects.

WCM co-chairman and chief executive Guy Moot said they were “proud” to be “chosen as caretakers” for the ‘Space Oddity’ singer’s “extraordinary” music.

“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 catalogues in music history,” he said in a statement. “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.”


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“His work spanned massive pop hits and experimental adventures that have inspired millions of fans and countless innovators, not only in music, but across all the arts, fashion, and media. We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”

The new agreement follows a previous deal between Bowie’s estate and Warner Music Group for them to oversee his full back catalogue of albums between 1968 and 1999.

“This fantastic pact with the David Bowie estate opens up a universe of opportunities to take his extraordinary music into dynamic new places,” WCM Co-Chair and COO Carianne Marshall added. “This isn’t merely a catalogue, but a living, breathing collection of timeless songs that are as powerful and resonant today as they were when they were first written.”


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“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,” she said. “All of our global leaders and departments are incredibly excited and primed to get to work with these brilliant songs across multiple avenues and platforms. And with both sides of WMG now representing Bowie’s career, we couldn’t be better set up to represent this illustrious body of work.”

The legendary singer’s estate are “truly gratified” by the deal.

“We are truly gratified that David Bowie’s body of music will now be in the capable hands of Warner Chappell Music Publishing,” Allen Grubman said on behalf of the David Bowie Estate and RZO. “We are sure they will cherish it and take care of it with the greatest level of dignity.”

Although the cost of the deal hasn’t been disclosed, Variety – who broke the news – estimated it to be worth “upwards of” $250 million.



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