- 28 Feb 22
One of the best-selling musicians of all time, Neil Diamond has sold more than 100 million records globally since starting a career in 1962.
Brooklyn-born singer Neil Diamond has sold his complete back catalogue and master recordings to Universal Music Group in a worldwide agreement.
The new deal encompasses huge hits, from 'Sweet Caroline', 'Red Red Wine' and 'Solitary Man', to 'Cracklin' Rosie', 'Song Sung Blue', 'Love on the Rocks' and 'America'. The iconic artist's musical works are now united in one place, with Universal ultimately hoping to grow Diamond's legacy.
The global company has acquired the rights to all recordings from Neil Diamond's career - including 110 unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and archival long form videos.
Diamond’s legacy of unforgettable hooks, warm baritone and unique ability to articulate emotions has inspired audiences worldwide, selling more than 130 million albums over the past 50 years. As noted at his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, “Neil Diamond wrote for himself, but he spoke to everybody” – an appeal that put more than 70 songs onto the Billboard charts.
Universal has served as his publishing administrator since 2014. Diamond's early Bang recordings and post-1972 recordings were recorded exclusively with UMG’s MCA Records between 1968 and 1972, a period in which he created and released hits like 'Sweet Caroline,' 'Holly Holy,' 'Cracklin’ Rosie', 'Song Sung Blue'. The company will also record and release Diamond’s future music, should he decide to return to the studio.
In making the announcement, Neil Diamond said: “After nearly a decade in business with UMG, I am thankful for the trust and respect that we have built together and I feel confident in the knowledge that Lucian, Jody, Bruce, Michelle and the global team at UMG, will continue to represent my catalogue, and future releases with the same passion and integrity that have always fuelled my career.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group said: “Neil Diamond is by definition, a truly universal songwriter. His immense songbook and recordings encompass some of the most cherished and enduring songs in music history. Through our existing partnership, we are honoured to have earned his trust to become the permanent custodians of his monumental musical legacy.”
A Brooklyn native, Diamond was inspired to become a songwriter when he was still a teenager, after Pete Seeger performed at his summer camp and Diamond saw fellow campers sharing their own music with the celebrated folksinger. Some years later, Diamond ended up dropping out of New York University to pursue his creative dream full time, only to endure several very lean years as a freelance songwriter, often subsisting on hot dogs and hard candy.
Diamond’s songs have been covered by Johnny Cash singing 'Solitary Man,', UB40 performing 'Red Red Wine,' Frank Sinatra singing 'Sweet Caroline,' Andrea Bocelli’s re-interpretation of 'September Morn' as 'Sara’ Settembre,', The Monkees’ signature 'I’m A Believer' and Barbra Streisand singing 'You Don’t Bring Me Flowers'.
His music has been used to soundtrack some of the most popular film and TV series of all time, from The Simpsons, Friends, Mr. Robot and The Big Bang Theory to Donnie Brasco, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and The Jazz Singer.
Diamond’s accolades, among others, include a Grammy, a Golden Globe and induction into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Neil Diamond have sold their back catalogues in recent years.
Photo credit: Andreas Terlaak