Bob Dylan has sold his entire catalog of songs to Universal Music Group’s publishing division, covering over 600 copyrights and spanning the folk-rock legend’s nearly 60-year career.
The deal was announced in a press statement issued Monday, which notes that the agreement includes such enduring tunes as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Make You Feel My Love” and “Things Have Changed,” the latter of which won a Best Original Song Academy Award in 2000.
The statement also points out that Dylan was honored with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 for his body of work.
“To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time — whose cultural importance can’t be overstated — is both a privilege and a responsibility,” says Universal Music Publishing Group chairman and CEO Jody Gerson. “We look forward to working with Bob and the team in ensuring his artistry continues to reach and inspire generations of fans, recording artists and songwriters around the world.”
Adds Universal Music Group’s chief executive, Lucian Grange, “It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art. Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless — whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday.”
Dylan has made no public comment about the deal, nor has the price tag of the agreement been revealed, but according to The New York Times, the acquisition is estimated at over $300 million, possibly the most lucrative ever involving the music publishing rights of a single act.
By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.