Tina Turner sold her music, image and likeness for $50 million to BMG


In March, Tina Turner released an autobiographical documentary for HBO . Then in May, Tina was finally inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Now, Tina is joining the ranks of Stevie Nicks and Bob Dylan by selling her catalog. Tina has sold her music catalog from the last 60 years, image and likeness to the tune of $50 million to BMG. Compared to Bob and Stevie, the sum is a lot lower. Below are a few more details from People:

“Like any artist, the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal,” Turner, 81, said in a press release from BMG. “I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music my work is in professional and reliable hands.”

With the new move, she lets go of the rights to her hits, including “The Best,” “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”

“Tina Turner’s musical journey has inspired hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences,” BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said in a release. “We are honored to take on the job of managing Tina Turner’s musical and commercial interests. It is a responsibility we take seriously and will pursue diligently.”

“She is truly and simply, the best,” he added.

Turner joins a long list of artists whose work rights are owned by the music company, including Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Mick Fleetwood, David Bowie, Scorpions and Kurt Cobain.

[From People]

To us common folk $50 million is a lot of moolah but when you look at the deals other rockers are making, it seems low. Tina gave over the rights to her image and likeness along with her music catalog. Tina’s catalog also includes some of her earlier hits with Ike Turner. Stevie Nicks received $100 million for the same rights and only a 80% stake along with her name and image and Bob Dylan (larger catalog) got at least $300 million for his catalog alone. Tina is just as big an icon as Stevie and Bob, but it is what it is. I am sure Tina, her husband, and her attorneys did not come to this sum lightly and I have to trust that it was the best negotiated offer. However, I feel Tina deserves better. The woman has a Broadway show AND movie (not including the documentary) about her life for goodness sake. Tina’s impact on music and rock n roll surely deserves a higher sum. I am sure Tina is living her best life on her estate in Switzerland, snuggled up with her beau and reminiscing about the good ole days (post Ike). I do hope BMG does right by Tina and that we will get to hear music and be inspired by her life for years to come.

Update by CB As many of you are pointing out in the comments, Tina Turner’s catalog is smaller than the other artists mentioned and she did not write her hit songs. This amount still seems low.

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16 Responses to “Tina Turner sold her music, image and likeness for $50 million to BMG”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    Does Tina write her songs? I wonder how big a factor that is -both Stevie Nicks and Bob Dylan are the songwriters on their biggest hits. So buying the rights to Tina’s version of Proud Mary may not give you the rights to Proud Mary since she didn’t write it, like buying the rights to Stevie’s songs gives you the rights to Dreams (to have others record it etc.) And obviously for Bob Dylan his songwriting is his biggest legacy.

    I don’t know, i’m far from a music industry expert lol, so maybe that doesn’t make a difference, but it was the first thing that came to my mind.

    • helonearth says:

      Tina does not write songs/lyrics. This would be the reason she doesn’t get the big money that others like Stevie and Bob, who do.

    • rrabbit says:

      None of her 1980s solo hits were written by Tina, and that does indeed reduce the value of her pool. Can’t sell rights which aren’t hers.

  2. Scorpion says:

    Yeah, I think her catalogue was undervalued and she was lowballed.

    It should be at least £250 million. She has indisputable hit after hit. I still stream her albums to this day.

  3. Miranda says:

    Tina Turner is 81? TINA TURNER IS 81. What does she do to still look this damn good? Is she sacrificing virgins? Bathing in unicorn tears? Or did God just decide she deserved a break after all she’d been through, and bestowed upon her eternal youth?

  4. D says:

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think she’s as prolific a song writer as the others and so doesn’t have as large of a song catalogue? I’m not entirely sure how it works but Dylan writes all of his songs and Stevie wrote a large portion of her songs and if they owned the rights they then could sell them. Or it could just be totally sexist and racist that she gets such a small amount, I don’t know.

  5. Boxy Lady says:

    I’m going to echo the opinion that Tina Turner got less money than Stevie Nick’s and Bob Dylan because she’s not really a songwriter.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yes, unfortunately. Though selling her likeness and her performances does sound low, plus it’s 50 years of her singing, videos, etc.. She certainly is worth more than $50 million, to me. Though I know nothing of how this works.

  6. A says:

    Are all these older icons selling their catalogues now as some form of estate planning or something? The cash is easier to divvy up than figuring out who gets what percentage of a song catalogue? I’m not trying to be morbid, I’m just wondering what the reasoning is behind selling at all.

    Anyway, it does certainly -feel- like Turner is underrated when compared to the likes of Fleetwood Mac or whoever else. I don’t know about where y’all live but she isn’t even on the classic rock radio stations that often around here. I’m sure everyone’s right that there are legit reasons for her work being sold for $50mil but I don’t think she’s getting her due just, like, in a general sense.

    • Liz says:

      I’d say that estate planning is likely part of the thought process. They are all in their late 70s/early 80s and have seen their friends pass. The estates of Prince and Tom Petty have been particularly messy and I think a number of artists are looking around and thinking about ways to avoid that. Turner has children, grandchildren and a husband who is considerably younger than she is. She needs to have a good estate plan in place.

      Dylan is a prolific songwriter, as is Nicks. Turner was an outstanding performer, but didn’t write much of her own material. Much of the compensation paid to Dylan & Nicks is for the publishing rights to the music they wrote.

    • lucy2 says:

      I would think it’s estate planning for financial reasons, but also wanting a say in who controls it after they’re gone, and what that company can do with it.. I imagine the contracts spell all that out.
      I’ve always thought she was underrated too.

  7. phlyfiremama says:

    All due respect to Tina, but Bob Dylan and his enormous catalog of music are in NO WAY comparable. Dylan is one of (if not THE) best song writers of all time, and one of the most covered musicians in history. Tina has her unique niche, but Dylan is ubiquitous~a musician’s musician if you will. Switzerland isn’t cheap, good on her for cashing out & being able to relax into her retirement without additional financial pressure.

  8. Michael says:

    Musicians should do everything they can to own their own masters. Some have been lucky enough to own them from the start (The Weeknd) and some had to fight to get them or get them back (Taylor Swift) but it is an outstanding thing to cash in on when they decide to retire

  9. JanetDR says:

    I wish her Simply the Best! (Whoever wrote it 😂)