Tina Turner has sold the rights to her music catalogue spanning six decades, including hits such as What’s Love Got to Do With It, and Private Dancer, to the music publishing company BMG.
The “queen of rock’n’roll” sold her artist’s and writer’s shares of her recordings, as well as the management of her name, image and likeness, in the largest deal struck with a single artist in BMG’s history. The sums involved were not disclosed.
Turner, 81, is the latest big artist to cash in on the rocketing value of evergreen hits in the streaming era, following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan’s $300m deal with Universal Music, and Neil Young’s agreement with the music company Hipgnosis.
The streaming revolution has created a gold rush for artists’ royalty rights, and for ageing stars it is increasingly forming an important part of estate planning.
Turner, who will continue to be a recording artist on Warner Music’s books following the deal, acknowledged the need to plan. “Like any artist the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal,” she said. “I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music my work is in professional and reliable hands.”
In December Dolly Parton, whose hugely valuable portfolio of songs includes I Will Always Love You, and 9 to 5, said she was considering selling her 3,000 song credits “for business reasons, estate planning, and family things”.
BMG, part of the Bertelsmann media conglomerate, which owns the pan-European broadcaster RTL and publisher Penguin Random House, already represents or owns rights in the work of stars including Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, John Lennon and Ringo Starr, Mick Fleetwood, Iron Maiden, Kurt Cobain and David Bowie.
“Tina Turner’s musical journey has inspired literally hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences,” said Hartwig Masuch, chief executive of BMG. “We are honoured to take on the job of managing Tina Turner’s musical and commercial interests.”