Bob Dylan Just Sold His Whole Song Catalog

Universal Music Group likely paid hundreds of millions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2020 6:51 AM CST
Bob Dylan Just Sold His Whole Song Catalog
Bob Dylan in 2015.   (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP, File)

Bob Dylan just became a very, very rich man. The music legend has sold his entire song catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group, and early reports say the deal is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Terms were not disclosed for the catalog spanning six decades and more than 600 works, but the Wall Street Journal, Variety, and Bloomberg all report that it's easily nine figures. Consider that Stevie Nicks recently sold an 80% stake to her publishing catalog for $100 million, and the nine-figure mark for Dylan is easy to reach. As the Journal notes, only the Beatles are in comparable territory in terms of value.

“By bringing to UMG the vast and brilliant Dylan songwriting catalog, in an instant, we have forever transformed the legacy of this company,” says Universal Chief Executive Lucian Grainge in an email to staffers. The deal means that every time you hear "Blowin' in the Wind," "Tangled Up in Blue," or any other Dylan classic in a movie or on TV, or anywhere really, the money for that will be going to Universal instead of Dylan from here on out. (Dylan even won a Nobel for literature for his lyrics.)

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