David Bowie’s Songwriting Catalog Is Sold To Warner Music


According to the sources that spoke to Variety, David Bowie’s estate decided to sell the late singer’s legendary publishing catalog including his hit songs and albums to Warner Chappell Music for approximately $250 million. The company’s Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot confirmed the news with a statement.

After Bob Dylan, who sold his music catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group for $400 million, many artists wanted to follow his steps not to miss that opportunity especially in the middle of a global pandemic. Therefore various music and publishing companies reached out to the musicians and bands to make deals about their catalogs full of iconic songs. As one of them, David Crosby sold his catalog to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group.

Then, it’s reported that E Street Band’s Bruce Springsteen made a deal with Sony Music for around $500 million which can be considered as one of the highest payments until now. In addition to the singer, Mötley Crüe started to negotiate and finally agreed to sell their works’ rights to BMG approximately for $150 million. The latest news came from ZZ Top manager Carl Stubner who announced that the band sold their entire music catalog to BMG for $50 million.

Recently, Warner Chappell Music’s Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot released a statement to share his ideas about the deal and he stated that the whole company is proud to own David Bowie’s publishing catalog. The CEO drew attention to the musician’s extraordinary style and unmatchable talent as a singer and songwriter. Variety revealed that his estate sold the catalog for $250 million to clear the air about the deal.

Here’s what Warner Chappell Music CEO Guy Moot said:

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 catalogs in music history. 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.

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.”

It can be said that David Bowie won’t be the last musician whose music catalog was sold to a company. Many other bands and artists might consider negotiating with these companies to dismiss the possibility of financial crisis caused by COVID-19 and the changes in the music industry.