Kenny Chesney Sells Majority Rights to His Musical Catalog
Kenny Chesney has joined the ranks of artists who have sold off the rights to their successful music catalogs. The country superstar sold 80 percent of the royalty rights to his catalog to Hipgnosis Song Management, Variety reports.
According to Variety, Chesney's deal with Hipgnosis includes his catalog beginning with his 1994 debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, all the way up through Live in No Shoes Nation from 2017. The deal takes in 22 albums, including 15 that have achieved Platinum certification.
The deal Hipgnosis signed with Chesney is the first the company has made since it recently struck a partnership with Blackstone to acquire music rights and administer song catalogs, according to Variety. Chesney's catalog comprises 32 No. 1 hits, including "She's Got It All," "How Forever Feels," "The Good Stuff," "When the Sun Goes Down," "The Boys of Fall," "Come Over" and many more.
The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.
"Kenny Chesney is one of the truly great American artists. He has been bringing joy to music fans all over the world for almost 30 years," Hipgnosis founder-CEO Merck Mercuriadis says in a statement. "His incredible success of more than 30 million records sold including nine No. 1 albums on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart and 17 No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Country chart tells you everything you need to know. Add in his unparalleled success as a touring artist and the juggernaut that is No Shoes Radio, and you realize Kenny is genuinely a phenomenon. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to welcome Kenny and [manager] Clint [Higham] to the Hipgnosis Songs family and we are delighted to launch our new Blackstone backed fund with this landmark acquisition.”
“To know that this music has a home that views the work as a collective body, something that builds on itself and captures the heart of No Shoes Nation, was important to me. How these songs live going forward is critical, and I believe Merck has the best interests of not just the recordings but the people who love them as his driving interest," Chesney adds. "For the people who love these songs and albums, this is a scenario that allows the music to grow and reflect who those of us living inside these songs truly are.”
Chesney is one of a growing number of high-profile artists who have sold their catalogs or large portions thereof in recent years. Several of the names on Rolling Stone's newly published list of the highest-paid musicians of 2021 made a large portion of that money from selling off their rights. including Bruce Springsteen, who received $550 million for his catalog, and Paul Simon. Blake Shelton was the sole country artist to make the list in 2021; he earned a reported $83 million, $50 million of which derived from the sale of his catalog.