Tina Turner sells music rights for reported $50m sum - BBC News


Category:  Entertainment

Via:  evilgenius  •  3 years ago  •  12 comments

By:   BBCWorld (BBC News)

Tina Turner sells music rights for reported $50m sum - BBC News
The star hands over the rights to songs like The Best and Nutbush City Limits to music company BMG.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

By Mark Savage
BBC Music Correspondent

Published 1 day agoShareclose Share page Copy link About sharingImage source, Getty ImagesImage caption,

Tina Turner sold the rights to her music catalogue, including hits like The Best and Nutbush City Limits, to music publishing company BMG.

The deal also sees BMG acquire the rights to Turner's name, image, and likeness for future sponsorship and merchandising deals.

The company did not disclose how much it paid, but industry sources said the figure would be north of $50m (£37m).

Turner said she was confident her music was "in reliable hands".

The 81-year-old is one of the most recognisable and vibrant stars in pop music history.

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, she 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.

Image source, Getty ImagesImage caption,

Ike and Tina married in 1962, but their relationship was turbulent and violent and she filed 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 Turner documentary is a 'farewell' to fans

Her biggest hits include that record's title track, What's Love Got To Do With It, The Best, Steamy Windows and the Bond theme Goldeneye.

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.

Simply the best

The deal with BMG sees her handing over her share of the recording and publishing rights for those hits and dozens more, spanning the six decades of her career. Warner Music will remain the record company distributing the star's music.

"Tina Turner's musical journey has inspired hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences," said BMG boss Hartwig Masuch.

"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."

He said the company intended to introduce Turner's work to new audiences, particularly on streaming and music-focused social media platforms like TikTok.

Figure caption,

"Like any artist, the protection of my life's work, my musical inheritance, is something personal," said Turner in a statement.

"I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music, my work is in professional and reliable hands."

The star has largely been in retirement since 2009, but interest in her work has surged thanks to the 2021 HBO documentary Tina, and a West End musical based on her life, Tina.

Media caption,

She 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.

Universal Music Group paid somewhere near $400m (£295m) to acquire Bob Dylan's entire songbook last year, while Neil Young made about $150m (£110m) by selling a 50% share of his music to London-based investment company Hipgnosis.

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.

The pandemic seems to have accelerated the trend, with rock legend David Crosby saying 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."

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

  • Music

More on this story

  • Tina Turner documentary is a 'farewell' to fans

    Published 25 March
  • Tina Turner: 'Once you leave, don't go back'

    Published 19 October 2018
  • How does Tina Turner rate her own musical?

    Published 18 April 2018


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Guide
1  seeder  evilone    3 years ago

Great for Tina. I'm glad she got paid, but what does trend of older artists selling their whole catalogs to these huge corporations mean to us music enthusiasts in the long term? 

Professor Principal
1.1  Kavika   replied to  evilone @1    3 years ago

Good question, and I'm not sure what it will mean. 

Professor Silent
1.2  SteevieGee  replied to  evilone @1    3 years ago

I think it's good for her.  She's flush with cash now for life and she doesn't have to spend resources on defending her copyrights.  That's someone else's problem now.

Professor Guide
1.2.1  seeder  evilone  replied to  SteevieGee @1.2    3 years ago

Yes, it's definitely good for her.

Junior Silent
1.2.2  zuksam  replied to  SteevieGee @1.2    3 years ago

She already had about 250 million so it's not the money.  Defending copyrights and collecting royalties is much easier and cheaper for big companies that employ full time lawyers plus she's 80+ so she needs to get her estate in order. Better for her to sell them outright than have her children and grandchildren arguing about whether Nike can use a song or not.

Professor Guide
2  seeder  evilone    3 years ago

I don't wanna lose you

Professor Principal
3  Kavika     3 years ago

Tina is one of my all time favorite artists. 

Private Dancer being on the top of my list of her songs.

I thought she was a kick in some of the movies she was in. 

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome as Auntie Entity was great.

Professor Principal
4  JohnRussell    3 years ago

I saw Tina Turner in concert years ago. She was really good, but the opening act, Lionel Ritchie, was fantastic.

I wonder if anyone who buys rights to her music for 50 million dollars will ever get their money back though. It is very easy to get music for free these days. 

Professor Guide
4.1  seeder  evilone  replied to  JohnRussell @4    3 years ago
I wonder if anyone who buys rights to her music for 50 million dollars will ever get their money back though.

Yes we as consumers don't have to pay much to get music, but the people who post the music OR stream the songs have to pay for copywrite usage. Also TV, movies and other creative projects that use music have to pay. They'll definitely make a sizable profit on this investment. 

Sparty On
Professor Principal
5  Sparty On    3 years ago

Tina was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. 

She rocked hard.

Professor Principal
7  Gsquared    3 years ago

One of her very best was "River Deep, Mountain High".

Anna Mae Bullock at 81.  Rock on!


Who is online