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David Bowie's entire back catalogue sold to Warner Music Group in landmark deal

@SamWKemp

David Bowie is the latest music icon to have his catalogue bought by a major corporation. Warner Music Group bought the rights to the late Bowie’s estate following a historic deal that will forge a global, career-spanning partnership. Following the deal, Warner Music will have worldwide rights to the music Bowie recorded throughout his 50-year career. The news follows the major label’s huge success in reaching streaming audiences with Bowie, including TikTok.

The deal will expand on Warner Music’s current agreement with Bowie’s estate, which encompasses Bowie material from 1968 to 1999. The new agreement will include all of Bowie’s creative output from 2000-2016. Many of Bowie’s later releases were previously owned by Columbia and Sony, but now, albums like 2016’s Blackstar – released shortly before Bowie’s death -will be absorbed by Warner Music.

In a statement, Max Lousada, CEO of Warner Music Group, said: “It’s an incredible honour to have been chosen as the stewards of one of the most important and dynamic bodies of creative work in modern culture. The impact of Bowie’s repeated reinvention and endless experimentation continues to resonate around the world – through the genres he transformed, the timeless songs and sounds he invented, and the immeasurable influence he’s had on music, art, and fashion.”

“We’re excited that our expanded partnership with the Bowie estate will help us deliver innovative, career-spanning projects and attract new generations to his extraordinary musical universe,” Lousada added.

Adding: “To be entrusted with this phenomenal body of work is truly gratifying. For the past eight years, we’ve enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Bowie estate, collaborating on a fantastic series of releases. Nigel and our entire catalogue team have taken great care to be thoughtful and steadfast in our promise to stay true to his artistic vision, while revealing previously unheard music and framing his genius in fresh contexts. With the addition of his immensely powerful later work to the Warner Music portfolio, we’re looking forward to bringing Bowie’s music to fans across the globe for many years to come.”

Kevin Gore, president of Warner Music’s global catalogue went on to say: “To be entrusted with this phenomenal body of work is truly gratifying. For the past eight years, we’ve enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Bowie estate, collaborating on a fantastic series of releases. Nigel and our entire catalogue team have taken great care to be thoughtful and steadfast in our promise to stay true to his artistic vision, while revealing previously unheard music and framing his genius in fresh contexts. With the addition of his immensely powerful later work to the Warner Music portfolio, we’re looking forward to bringing Bowie’s music to fans across the globe for many years to come.”

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