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Neil Diamond Sells Entire Catalog To Universal

Neil Diamond is the latest music elder to sell his song catalog, with Universal Music Group purchasing the rights to all recordings through his 60-year career, 110 unreleased tracks and an unreleased album for an undisclosed sum.

But even though UMG are still tight-lipped they clearly have deep pockets, acquiring Sting’s music last month for a reported US$250 million, and Bob Dylan’s catalog in 2020, reportedly for more than US$300 million. The Diamond deal is widely believed to match Dylan’s.

David Bowie’s estate recently sold his music catalog for US$250 million to Warner Chappell Music, the publishing arm of Warner Music Group.

ZZ Top sold their catalog to investment firm KKR and record company BMG for US$50 million.

Bruce Springsteen sold his song and publishing catalog to Sony Music for US$500 million.

In the end, the artist gets a hefty retirement fund, while the purchaser gets the rights to their masters.

Universal will also release any release any future Diamond music, if he decides to return to the studio, which would no doubt return a lot on their investment.

The 81-year-old has sold more than 130 million records, with huge hits like Sweet Caroline and Red Red Wine, which was also a smash for UB 40.

His 1972 live double album Hot August Night is one of the biggest-selling albums in Australia, spending 29 weeks at number-one. It was still in the top 20 in 1976, and reentered the top 10 in 1982, then came back in 1991-92, peaking at 21 and earning 14x platinum status.

A musical telling of the Brooklyn-born star’s life is also due to open on Broadway, set to bring further interest in his catalog.

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