Monday, June 17, 2024

John Legend Is Latest to Sell Catalog, But It’s Not on the Same Scale As Legacy Rock Stars Recent Bonanzas


It’s reported that John Legend has sold his catalog and royalty rights to BMG Rights Management and investment firm KKR.

But despite everyone appreciating John Legend’s talents, I’m not sure what he sold. He hasn’t had a hit record in a long time. His biggest hits were “All of Me,” and “Ordinary People,” about a decade ago. His Oscar song with Common, “Glory,” was from the movie, “Selma,” but it’s not really played on the radio. His other hit single, “Save Room,” was a sample of the 60s hit, “Stormy,” written by Buddy Buie and James B. Cobb, Jr. of the Classics IV.

Legend’s bread and butter is live performances, either on tour or one offs for private customers. HeĀ  also does a lot of TV, which pays something.

But Legend’s catalog is not on a par with Springsteen, Dylan, or most of the others who’ve cashed in lately. I hope he got a good price. I’ll bet he needs some cash. Legend, whose real name is John Stephens, recently invested in the Broadway show, “Ain’t Too Proud.” The show is closing January 16th. Legend also just changed record labels after 16 years, moving from Columbia to Universal. What he should release next is a live album of all the covers he’s done at charity functions, etc. He’s brilliant at them.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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