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David Bowie’s Estate Sells His Entire Catalog to Warner Chappell

The deal is worth a reported $250 million
David Bowie
(Credit: Stuart Mostyn/Redferns)

A few days before what would have been his 75th birthday, David Bowie‘s estate has sold the Starman’s entire catalog to Warner Chappell. According to Variety, which was first to report the news, the catalog is fetching “upwards of $250 million.”

The deal for the Bowie catalog includes all of the songs from the 26 studio albums that he released while alive and his upcoming posthumous studio album Toy. The deal also includes his works with Tin Machine as well as songs from soundtracks and additional projects.

David Bowie’s laundry list of hits doesn’t really need to be stated, but the deal includes songs like “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Starman,” “Young Americans,” “Heroes,” “Let’s Dance” and so many more.

Last year, the Bowie estate entered an agreement with Warner Music Group to license the worldwide rights to his catalog, beginning in 1968.

“All of us at Warner Chappell are immensely proud that the David Bowie estate has chosen us to be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential, and enduring catalogs in music history. These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever,” Warner Chappell Music CEO Guy Moot said. “Bowie’s vision and creative genius drove him to push the envelope, lyrically and musically – writing songs that challenged convention, changed the conversation, and have become part of the canon of global culture. His work spanned massive pop hits and experimental adventures that have inspired millions of fans and countless innovators, not only in music, but across all the arts, fashion, and media. We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”

“We are truly gratified that David Bowie’s body of music will now be in the capable hands of Warner Chappell Music Publishing. We are sure they will cherish it and take care of it with the greatest level of dignity,” attorney Allen Grubman said in a statement on behalf of the David Bowie estate and RZO.

As impressive as the $250 million deal seems, it is still about half of what Bruce Springsteen received last year for his catalog when he got around $500 million.

Bowie died on January 10, 2016, after releasing his final album, the lauded Blackstar. It was also two days after the Thin White Duke turned 69. He had been privately battling cancer.