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03 January 2022

The David Bowie Estate Sells His Publishing To Warner Chappell

Liverpool David Bowie Fan Convention 2022
Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
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The David Bowie estate have sold the singer’s extraordinary publishing catalogue to Warner Chappell Music for a price upwards of $250 million. The agreement comprises songs from the 26 David Bowie studio albums released during his lifetime, as well as the posthumous studio album release, Toy, which comes out on Friday. It also includes the two studio albums from Tin Machine, along with tracks released as singles from soundtracks and other projects.

The announcement comes amid the “Bowie 75” celebration, surrounding what would be the late singer’s 75th birthday on 8 January 2022. The campaign also includes pop-up shops in New York and London, along with the release of Toy.

In November, Variety revealed that a new Bowie film culled from thousands of hours of rare performance footage, most of it previously uncirculated, is in its final stages and could premier as soon as the Sundance Film Festival later this month. Brett Morgen, the director behind Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck and The Kid Stays In The Picture, has been working on the project for four years with longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti is serving as music director.

In a statement confirming the news on Monday, Warner Chappell Music Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot said: “All of us at Warner Chappell are immensely proud that the David Bowie estate has chosen us to be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential, and enduring catalogs in music history. These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever. Bowie’s vision and creative genius drove him to push the envelope, lyrically and musically – writing songs that challenged convention, changed the conversation, and have become part of the canon of global culture. His work spanned massive pop hits and experimental adventures that have inspired millions of fans and countless innovators, not only in music, but across all the arts, fashion, and media. We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”

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