KKR and BMG Buy Into ZZ Top’s Songs

KKR & Co. Inc. and BMG are betting on ZZ Top.

The investment decision company and music firm have acquired all of the Texas blues-rock trio’s audio interests—the publishing catalog, as properly as earnings from recorded music royalties and effectiveness royalties, the firms explained.

The offer is valued at all-around $50 million, in accordance to men and women common with the issue.

BMG Legal rights Management—both a record label and publisher, and a subsidiary of Germany’s Bertelsmann SE—and KKR in March teamed up to commit at minimum $1 billion on audio copyrights. That determination came amid a big shift into music this yr for KKR, which last January struck a $200 million deal for a majority stake in Ryan Tedder’s catalog of hits, like tracks from Beyoncé, Adele, Stevie Speculate and Mr. Tedder’s band, OneRepublic. In October, KKR invested $1.1 billion on expense advisory agency Kobalt Capital Ltd.’s KMR Tunes Royalties II portfolio, which contains additional than 62,000 copyrights across music genres.

ZZ Top’s offer is the latest in a string of artists seeking to income in on their music legal rights and protected their legacies with partners they feel will choose care of their life’s work. Quite a few are hurrying to near offers though they can choose edge of a significant tax gain for songwriters.

Earnings from streaming new music has grown with the level of popularity of solutions from

Spotify Technologies SA,

Apple Inc.


Amazon.com Inc.,

earning the right to royalty profits far more appealing to buyers, specifically economic gamers, this sort of as

Blackstone Inc.

and Eldridge Industries LLC.

On streaming products and services, intake is in excess of 65% catalog, or songs older than 18 months, in accordance to MRC Knowledge, previously Nielsen New music. Older hits, this kind of as those people uncovered in ZZ Top’s catalog, are commanding greater costs than pre-Covid-19 since they are commonly perceived as safe bets primarily based on confirmed longevity, and classic tunes have witnessed an even even larger surge in streaming during the pandemic.

ZZ Leading fashioned in Houston in the late 1960s, with

Billy Gibbons,

Dusty Hill


Frank Beard

heading on to provide extra than 50 million copies of 15 albums unveiled more than a 50-calendar year span, such as the business breakthrough “Tres Hombres” in 1973, “Degüello,” “El Loco,” “Eliminator,” “Afterburner,” “Recycler” and “Antenna.”

The trio, recognized for their distinctive look—with Messrs. Gibbons and Hill donning prolonged beards for decades—was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Their documentary “ZZ Prime: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” was nominated for ideal tunes movie at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Mr. Hill died in July at age 72 amid the band’s North American tour, which is slated to run as a result of spring 2022.

“This new deal makes sure ZZ Top’s amazing legacy will endure for generations to come,” said ZZ Top rated manager Carl Stubner of Shelter Tunes Group.

Create to Anne Steele at [email protected]

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Appeared in the December 22, 2021, print version as ‘ZZ Top rated Sells Its Catalog for $50 Million.’