John Legend is the latest (and youngest) music superstar to sell entire music catalog, royalties

Karu F. Daniels
New York Daily News

John Legend is in very good company with his money moves.

The singer, songwriter and producer is the latest star to sell his music catalog.

Like some of pop music’s greatest such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Tina Turner and Stevie Nicks, Legend has cashed in by selling the rights to his catalogs of songs and recording royalties.

According to a public filing back in September, cited by Bloomberg, the 12-time Grammy Award-winning crooner sold both the copyrights to and royalties from music he wrote from late 2004 through early last year.

John Legend

The deal includes his chart-topping pop hit “All of Me.”

BMG Rights Management, the international music company which has worked with the artist since acquiring his music publisher, Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., in 2010, bought the rights, in partnership with the private equity firm KKR & Co.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Legend is considerably much younger than most of the living veteran rock stars who’ve made hundreds of millions lately by selling rights to their music and likeness.

In December, 72-year-old Springsteen reportedly cut a deal worth up to $500 million with Sony Music Entertainment.

Dylan, 80, also sold his entire music catalog to Universal Music Publishing in what the company called a “landmark deal” in its announcement in December.

Nicks, 73, of Fleetwood Mac fame, sold 80% of her songs recently for an estimated $100 million, while recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Tina Turner, 82, sold her extensive song catalog to BMG for an estimate that could be worth “north of $50 million.”

At 43, the Springfield, Ohio, native (whose given name is John Roger Stephens) selling his early catalog is a possible trend-setting move.

The business-savvy Legend is still on a roll.

Bloomberg noted the fact that “The Voice” mentor is an A-lister and continues to record, release music and tour would “help drive streaming revenue for the songs purchased by KKR and BMG.”

In 2020, he released “Bigger Love,” his final full-length project under longtime label home Columbia Records.

Last November, the Kanye West discovery signed a new deal with Republic Records, and released the new holiday single, “You Deserve It All.” His full-length debut with the label is expected this year.

Legend, who also produces in the film, television and theater realms, is scheduled to headline a residency called “Love in Las Vegas” at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino starting in April.