KKR & Co. Inc. and BMG have acquired the songwriting catalog of John Legend.
The deal, disclosed in a regulatory filing, closed last fall and illustrates how red-hot the market for music investments has become. Mr. Legend, at 47 years old—still an active songwriter, recording artist and performer—is younger and earlier in his career than many of his peers who have been inking deals to help set up their legacies and cash in on their life’s work.
The R&B crooner sold his publishing copyrights and the rights to receive royalties from music he penned from 2004 through early 2021. BMG Rights Management and KKR each purchased a 50% stake in the catalog. BMG, which has been administering Mr. Legend’s work since it bought Cherry Lane Music Publishing in 2010, also struck a deal to administer his future compositions, according to a person familiar with the matter. BMG, both a record label and publisher, is a subsidiary of Germany’s Bertelsmann SE.
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