Neil Diamond, whose decades-long career spawned hits like “Sweet Caroline,” has sold his catalog of songs to Universal Music Publishing Group.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but a flurry of recent catalog deals have reached hundreds of millions of dollars. The rise of streaming has sparked a rush to lock down music rights, driving up valuations.
Along with a number of well-known Diamond songs, including “Song Sung Blue”, “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Holy, Holy”, the deal includes 110 previously unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and archive videos from long duration. Diamond, 82, has had more than 70 songs on the Billboard charts, selling more than 130 million albums.
Universal had already controlled Diamond’s catalog publishing rights since 2014. The deal calls for the company to record and release any future music if Diamond decides to return to the studio.
“After nearly a decade in business with UMG,” Diamond said in a press release, “I am grateful for the trust and respect we have built together and I am confident in knowing that Lucian, Jody, Bruce , Michelle and the UMG World Team, will continue to represent my catalog and future releases with the same passion and integrity that has always fueled my career.
UMG CEO Sir Lucian Grainge called Diamond “by definition a truly universal songwriter. His huge songbook and recordings encompass some of the most cherished and enduring songs in the history of the music.Through our existing partnership, we are honored to have earned his trust to become permanent custodians of his monumental musical legacy.
Diamond’s songs have been woven into pop culture with increasing frequency over the course of his career. A cover of “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” features prominently in Quentin Tarantino pulp Fictionand the director included it again in the soundtrack of Once upon a time in Hollywood. In 1980, he played the main role in The jazz singer. “Sweet Caroline” has become ubiquitous as an anthem at sporting events.
The Neil Diamond Musical: A Beautiful Noise will begin a limited engagement in Boston this summer before heading to Broadway.
Diamond was replaced in the deal by Gene Salomon of Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc. and his manager Katie Diamond.