Many of the music catalogue sales in recent times have been from artists who are, to put it politely, later on in their recording and/or songwriting careers (and, indeed, in their lives). So it’s interesting to see John Legend, an artist who is very much still in his prime, following suit.

Legend has sold his catalogue from 2004 to early 2021 to KKR and BMG, who are taking a 50% share in the copyrights and royalties accruing to them. It’s part of a partnership between KKR and BMG to buy music rights together: they swooped for ZZ Top’s catalogue in December for example.

Legend is still writing, recording and performing new music that isn’t covered by the acquisition, so that’s another aspect to watch: are catalogue sales a cherry that younger artists can take multiple bites of over the course of their careers, rather than one big payoff towards the end?

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