LONDON — EMI Music has struck a 15-year worldwide licensing deal with David Bowie for the singer’s back catalog, a performance-related agreement that could pay as much as $2 million per year to Bowie for the period.
The deal begins June 30 and is linked to Bowie issuing a 10-year, $55 million bond — the first of its kind — against his future royalty earnings earlier this year.
The deal with EMI, which had been in the works since before the bond was issued, was put as collateral to Bowie’s investors.
The catalog covers 25 albums dating from 1969 to 1990 — including the classics “Ziggy Stardust,” “Aladdin Sane,” “Heroes” and “Scary Monsters” — as well as unreleased studio and live recordings Bowie currently is reviewing for possible release. After the 15 years of the EMI deal, ownership of the master tapes reverts back to Bowie.
Bowie’s original 1968 contract with RCA — now part of BMG — gave Bowie ownership of his masters 10 years after delivery of his last RCA album.
To date, the rock star has sold a total of 72 million albums in his 30-year career. Recent new releases have not performed well.