Adele seals 'biggest album deal'

Singer Adele's multiple-record contract with Sony is worth up to a whopping £90 million (S$181.6 million), according to a report by The Guardian.
Singer Adele's multiple-record contract with Sony is worth up to a whopping £90 million (S$181.6 million), according to a report by The Guardian.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • British singer Adele has reportedly finalised a multiple-record deal with a headline value of £90 million (S$181.6 million) with record label Sony, which, if paid in full, would be the biggest album contract ever.

The 28-year-old is worth an estimated £85 million, said The Guardian, and her 2011 album, 21, is the most successful album of the past decade, having sold more than 30 million copies globally.

She is moving to Sony after the deal she signed at age 19 with British independent label XL expired, said the report. In the United States, her label was Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony.

Her new contract surpasses Robbie Williams' £80-million deal with EMI in 2002 and Whitney Houston's £70-million contract with Arista in 2001, said The Guardian.

Adele's manager, Mr Jonathan Watkins, brokered her deal before Christmas, said the report. Neither Sony, XL nor her management would comment on the contract.

Forbes said in its report: "Is that number hard to believe? Sure. Do British tabloid reports often turn out to be false? Of course. But is the rumoured deal feasible? Quite possibly."

The reported £90-million deal might not be paid in full, as it will be conditional on sales targets being met, said The Guardian. It quoted a music lawyer as saying the deal is best seen as an unsecured loan against the creation of future assets - albums and DVDs - with the singer getting as much as £30 million up front.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Adele seals 'biggest album deal''. Print Edition | Subscribe