Catalog cover

ZZ Top sells publishing catalog and royalties for $50 million

On Tuesday (December 21), news broke that legendary blues-rock band, ZZ Top had sold “all of their musical interests” to BMG and KKR for $50 million. According to the initial report of Varietythe deal includes the full sale of the band’s publishing catalog, their recorded royalties and their performance royalties.

This move was a bit of a natural progression – previously, BMG was the co-publisher and administrator of ZZ Top’s publishing catalog. The deal alongside KKR comes as the two organizations have entered into an explicit partnership with the aim of acquiring catalogs like this.

“This deal is a testament to ZZ Top’s continued success, stamina and musical relevance, but also the power of our partnership with KKR,” said 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.”

Likewise, ZZ Top Director Carl Stubner said, “We are proud to continue working and expanding our long-standing relationship with BMG. This new agreement ensures that ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.

The deal comes as many artists, especially 20th-century legends, sell their catalogs. Last year, Bob Dylan sold his catalog for an undetermined “nine-figure” number. This year, BMG acquired catalogs from Tina Turner and Motley Crue, and KKR acquired a hefty catalog from Kobalt Capital Limited. This month, Bruce Springsteen made headlines for a $550 million deal selling his catalog to Sony.

For ZZ Top, the sale marks the end of a difficult year – bassist Dusty Hill died last January, ending the band’s 50-year streak without any lineup changes. Since his passing, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard have continued to tour with longtime guitarist Elwood Francis filling in on bass.

Learn more about ZZ Top HERE.

Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns