Singer Justin Timberlake has become the latest artist to cash in on his catalog of songs, selling the rights to hits such as “SexyBack” and “Cry Me a River” to a London-based music investment firm backed by the equity firm. Blackstone investment.
Terms of the deal with Hipgnosis Song Management were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that it is valued at just over $100 million and does not cover future releases.
Timberlake, 41, is handing over full ownership and control of some 200 songs he wrote or co-wrote during his career as the frontman of boy band NSYNC, as a solo artist and for bands movie sound.
Her stable of hits includes “Bye Bye Bye” and “Girlfriend” from her NSYNC days; “Cry Me a River”, “SexyBack” and “Mirrors” from his solo career, and “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from the 2016 animated film “Trolls”.
“I can’t wait to enter this next chapter,” the pop star said in a statement.
Timberlake’s deal marks the continuation of a trend of a long line of established artists selling their songbooks to investors or big-money music labels. They’re also fueled by streaming, which offers the possibility of more lucrative royalties as customers flock to services like Spotify and Apple Music.
In recent months, Sting sold his catalog of songs to Universal Music Group for $250 million, and the estate of David Bowie sold his catalog of music for $250 million to Warner Chappell Music, Warner’s publishing arm. MusicGroup. Late last year, ZZ Top sold its music catalog to investment firm KKR and record label BMG for $50 million. Just weeks before Bruce Springsteen sold his iconic song and publishing catalog to Sony Music for a whopping $500 million.
Meanwhile, last year Bob Dylan sold his massive catalog of 600 songs to Universal Music Publishing Group for $300-400 million in December 2020.
Hipgnosis, which was founded in 2018 by former music executive Merck Mercuriadis, formed a partnership with private equity firm Blackstone in October to launch Hipgnosis Song Capital. Blackstone poured $1 billion into the fund, which this year announced it was buying an 80% royalty stake in Kenny Chesney’s recorded music, as well as Leonard Cohen’s share of its songwriting catalog. of songs from the late singer’s estate.
The Timberlake deal is the vehicle’s third major deal and largest to date, the company said.