Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Mercury Rising: Sony Pays $1.2 Billion for Everything to Do with Rock Group Queen — Is This the Real Life?


Hitsdailydouble.com is reporting the sale of everything to do with Queen — the song publishing, the recording rights, the use of image, dramatic productions, etc.

Sony, they say, has paid 1 billion sterling, or $1.2 billion for the entire deal. They’ll put out the records, monetize the songs, produce a decent stage show (not the We Will Rock You show that’s so popular in London).

Mind you, this is after the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” was such a mega hit. But that probably drove up the value of Freddie Mercury’s songs (and also the ones by Brian May and Roger Taylor.

None of this addresses what happens to former member John Deacon, who retired a while ago. Deacon contributed to 22 Queen hits including “Under Pressure,” “You’re My Best Friend,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” Deacon, along with manager Jim Beach, are likely going to get slices of this pie.

The big winner here is Mary Austin, who Freddie considered his common law wife. He left her half his estate. (The other half was divided between his parents and his sister.)

He also gave Mary his home Garden Lodge and all of his other possessions.

Sony Music Publishing now owns a big chunk of pop music publishing including the Beatles and Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and so on. This sale does make you wonder what the Beatles catalog would be valued at if it were on the market. (It’s also been a hot potato between Sony and Michael Jackson.) My guess would be $2 billion under these rules.

Sony has been monetizing the Beatles lately using “Come Together” in commercials. It won’t be long before we hear the Queen songs pitching cat food, credit cards, and Big Phama. We will never get away from “We Are the Champions.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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