Singer Tina Turner sells music rights to BMG

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but BMG said it includes all of Turner's artiste's share of her recordings. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Legendary American hitmaker Tina Turner has sold her music rights in a major deal with BMG, the record publisher announced on Wednesday (Oct 6), the latest legacy artiste to cash in on their extensive catalogue.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but BMG said it includes all of Turner's artiste's share of her recordings and her music publishing writer's share, as well as neighbouring rights and name, image and likeness.

Turner, 81, has sold over 100 million records. Warner Music will remain the Grammy-winner's record company, BMG said.

"Like any artiste, the protection of my life's work, my musical inheritance, is something personal," Turner said in a statement released by BMG, saying she was "confident" her work "is in professional and reliable hands".

The company's chief executive Hartwig Masuch said BMG was "honoured" to manage the interests of Turner, responsible for classics including What's Love Got To Do With It and Private Dancer.

"It is a responsibility we take seriously and will pursue diligently. She is truly and simply, the best," Mr Masuch said.

The sale is part of a song rights purchasing boom as financial markets increasingly are drawn to the lucrative portfolios as an asset class. In many cases, the transactions have come at staggering prices.

Rock legend Bob Dylan sold his full publishing catalogue for a reported sum of US$300 million (S$408 million) to Universal Music Publishing Group, while Stevie Nicks of rock band Fleetwood Mac sold a majority stake in her catalogue reportedly for US$100 million.

BMG, part of the Bertelsmann media conglomerate, represents or own rights of the work of celebrities including former Beatles John Lennon and Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, former Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and David Bowie.

It said it was planning to announce more acquisitions in the coming weeks.

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