- 06 Oct 21
Tina Turner is one of the most recognisable and vibrant stars in pop music history.
Tina Turner has become the latest global music star to sell the rights to their back catalogue after reaching an agreement with BMG.
The 81-year-old, widely referred to as the Queen of Rock and Roll, signed over her share of her recordings, her music publishing writer's share, and her name, image and likeness, according to BMG.
The company did not disclose how much it paid Turner for her work, but industry sources said the figure would be over $50 million.
According to BMG, the acquisition forms part of a wider strategy to create a "21st century home for the most iconic music rights in popular music history" and the company expects further announcements in the coming weeks.
Turner’s catalogue includes the hits 'Private Dancer', 'What’s Love Got To Do With It', 'The Best' and 'GoldenEye' and her solo works include 10 studio albums, two live albums, two soundtracks and five compilations, which together have sold more than 100 million records.
Warner Music will remain the record company distributing the 12-time Grammy winner's music.
"Like any artist, the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal," Tina said of the deal. "I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music my work is in professional and reliable hands."
BMG chief executive Hartwig Masuch said: "Tina Turner’s musical journey has inspired hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences.
"We are honoured to take on the job of managing Tina Turner’s musical and commercial interests. It is a responsibility we take seriously and will pursue diligently. She is truly and simply, the best."
Masuch said the company intended to introduce Turner's work to new audiences, particularly on streaming and music-focused social media platforms like TikTok.
Turner retired after a sold-out farewell tour, which ended in 2009, and was recently the subject of a documentary which was billed as a way of saying goodbye to her fans - titled Tina.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, Tina joined Ike Turner's band as a backing singer when she was 18. Within two years, she was the star of the show, and the duo scored a string of hits with future R&B standards like 'A Fool In Love', 'River Deep', 'Mountain High' and 'Nutbush City Limits'.
Ike and Tina married in 1962, but their relationship turned turbulent and violent, leading her to file for divorce in the '70s. Turner's solo career quickly eclipsed that of her partnership with Ike, with five platinum albums including 1984's Private Dancer, which went three times platinum in the UK.
Tina will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist in October - her second induction after entering the pantheon with Ike Turner in 1991.
Turner is the latest artist to cash in on the value of their back catalogue, following in the footsteps of Blondie, Shakira and Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks.
Tina Turner sells her music catalog, including her share of her solo recordings and publishing assets, and rights to her name and image. https://t.co/YjN8UUhQLN Here's what I wrote about this in 2020—and it's even more valid now than back then. pic.twitter.com/wY97jaImvw
— Ted Gioia (@tedgioia) October 6, 2021
In December, it was announced Bob Dylan had sold his back catalogue to Universal Music Group in a deal reportedly worth 300 million dollars (£215 million).
Neil Young sold half of his catalogue to music investment fund Hipgnosis Songs for an estimated $150 million while Stevie Nicks sold a majority of her rights for a reported $100 million.
The deals give superstar artists and writers a guaranteed windfall, while the new owners collect royalties every time the songs are streamed, sold or placed in movies.
Rock legend David Crosby recently said he was forced to sell his songs to Irving Azoff's Iconic Artists Group in March because of his "inability to play live".
"I can't work...and streaming stole my record money," he explained in a tweet while the deal was being negotiated. "I have a family and a mortgage and I have to take care of them so it's my only option... I'm sure the others feel the same."
Check out the Hot Press review of Tina here.