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Queen sell music catalogue to Sony Music for over $1billion

Queen have reportedly reached a deal with Sony Music for the acquisition of their music catalogue and more, which has been in the works for some time now.

  • READ MORE: Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! – Brian May

Per a report from Variety, sources with information on the deal have confirmed that Sony is now in the process of acquiring Queen’s back catalogue, along with merchandising and other business opportunities. Per Variety, the only aspect of the band’s revenue not included in the deal will be from live performances.

Variety‘s sources claim the deal has been closed for USD$1.27billion (£1billion), making it the biggest acquisition of its kind ever. Back in 2021, Bruce Springsteen sold his back catalogue to Sony for an estimated $500 million (£393 million). In 2022, Sony acquired all of Bob Dylan’s back catalogue in deal. Sony had also acquired a 50 per cent interest in Michael Jackson‘s music catalogue for roughly $600 million (£471 million).

Queen perform in concert with Freddie Mercury wearing black leotard at the Forum on December 22, 1977 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Variety also reports that another bidder was close to securing Queen’s catalogue, but had stopped short at $900million. It is currently unclear who this party was. Sony Music has declined to comment on the deal.

The logistics of Queen’s deal remains somewhat complicated, seeing as Disney currently owns the band’s recording rights in the US and Canada per a deal that was struck sometime in the ’90s. Universal Music Group are also serving as the band’s worldwide distributor, and will remain to do so for the next handful of years until that existing contract expires.

As per company filings, Queen’s surviving members – Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon – and the estate of late frontman Freddie Mercury are all equal shareholders in Queen Productions Ltd and reported revenues of $52 million (£40.8 million) in 2022.

Brian May of Queen, 2023. Credit: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images
Brian May of Queen, 2023. Credit: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

In other Queen news, guitarist and founding member Brian May praised The Who‘s Pete Townshend, saying that he “basically invented” rock guitar in May. The guitarist recently joined The Offspring on stage for a live performance of ‘Gone Away’ and a cover of ‘Stone Cold Crazy’. He also teamed up with French composer and performer Jean-Michel Jarre at the Starmus Festival.

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