The “queen of rock’n’roll” Tina Turner has sold all the rights to her music catalogue spanning 60-years in a US$50 million deal with the music publishing company BMG.
In the largest deal struck with a single artist in BMG’s history, the Simply The Best singer relinquished the artist’s and writer’s shares of her recordings, as well as the management of her name, image and likeness.
Since the pandemic hit, pushing the streaming era to greater heights, the ‘gold rush’ trend has spread like wildfire among ageing artistes in the entertainment industry who have been cashing out on royalty rights and master recordings.
Turner is just the latest to join in.
She is following in the footsteps of musicians like Latin-singer Shakira who also sold the rights to her music for a multi-million dollar sum. All 145 of her songs, including “Hips Don’t Lie”, “Whenever, Wherever” and “She Wolf”, are included in the deal.
Also, Hip-Hop producer, songwriter and rapper Timbaland have sold the playing rights of his musical oeuvre to music investor Hipgnosis, the company where Chic-leader Nile Rodgers is on the board.
The 81-year-old Tina Turner is in good company after raking in big money for her music catalogue, even American singer Bob Dylan is in the bunch after signing away his catalogue for a whopping US$300 million in a deal with Universal Music, and Neil Young’s agreement with the music company Hipgnosis.
Securing her retirement plan
Turner went into retirement in 2009, releasing a documentary on HBO titled “Tina in March,” which is a musical based on her life.
The documentary is Turner’s way of bidding a final ‘farewell’ to her fans.
She will continue to be a recording artist on Warner Music’s books following the deal, she acknowledged the need to plan.
The “What’s Love Got To with It” singer noted that the decision was made to secure her musical inheritance.
“Like any artiste the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal,” Turner said in a statement.
Tina: “My work is in professional and reliable hands”
Turner said she is confident her music is ‘in reliable hands’.
“I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music my work is in professional and reliable hands,” Turner said.
Chief executive of BMG Hartwig Masuch says that Turner is an inspiration to millions around the world.
“Tina Turner’s musical journey has inspired literally hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences,” he said.
BMG Rights Management GmbH is an international music company based in Berlin, Germany. It combines the activities of a music publisher and a record label. BMG was founded in October 2008 after Bertelsmann sold its stake in Sony .BMG owns rights to the work of stars including Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, John Lennon and Ringo Starr, Mick Fleetwood, Iron Maiden, Kurt Cobain and David Bowie.
“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 added.
Anna Mae Bullock aka Tina Turner
Tina Turner, whose real name is Anna Mae Bullock is from Tennessee, and her journey to superstar status started when an 18-year-old Anna Mae joined Ike Turner’s band as a backing singer.
Two years later and the energetic performer was dubbed the star, the duo going on to release chart-topping hits in Tennessee.
Ike and Tina married in 1962, which was the start of an abusive and turbulent relationship, Tina ultimately filed for divorce from Ike.
Tina was a breakout star in her own right and was quick to leave Ike Turner in the rare view as she burned even brighter as a solo artiste.
As a solo act, she has accomplished five platinum albums including 1984’s Private Dancer, which went three times platinum in the UK. She has received 12 Grammy Awards and will enter the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist in October – her second induction after entering the pantheon with Ike Turner in 1991.