ZZ Top have sold their publishing catalog and the rights to their music royalties to BMG and investment firm KKR.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ZZ Top has likely grossed millions of dollars as the gold rush for legacy acts catalogs continues. The agreement covers all of ZZ Top’s “musical interests”, including their publishing rights and any income from recorded music royalties and performance royalties (BMG had previously served as co-publisher and administrator of ZZ Top’s publishing catalog). ZZ Top.)
“We are proud to continue working and expanding our longstanding relationship with BMG,” ZZ Top director Carl Stubner said in a statement. “This new agreement ensures that ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.”
“This agreement is a testament to the success, durability and continued musical relevance of ZZ Top, but also to the power of our partnership with KKR,” added BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. “This agreement reinforces our vision to provide artists and songwriters with not only a financial outlet, but also a vehicle committed to respecting and cherishing their artistry.”
ZZ Top has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and its catalog features a range of classic rock staples like ‘La Grange’, ‘Legs’, ‘Sharp Dressed Man’, ‘Tush’, ‘Cheap Sunglasses and “Gimme All.” Your love. The band remain a regular touring band, and while longtime bassist and vocalist Dusty Hill died in July at the age of 72, the band carried on with his replacement, Elwood Francis.
Barring surprise announcements, the purchase will likely cap off a big year for BMG and KKR, which announced their partnership in March. In 2021 alone, BMG also acquired the catalogs of Mick Fleetwood, Tina Turner and Mötley Crüe, while KKR bought its own majority stake in the publishing rights of Ryan Tedder earlier this year.
Other artists and estates that have benefited from blockbuster acquisition deals over the past two years include the James Brown estate, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. Earlier this month, Bruce Springsteen sold his entire music catalog — both publishing rights and his even more lucrative masters — to Sony Music and Sony Music Publishing for $500 million.