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Neil Young recently made an announcement that he has sold 50% of the worldwide copyright along with income interests in his song catalog exactly 1,180 in number to the British investment company with the name of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited. However, Neil Young has become the latest musician who stroked gold with his song catalog by his act of selling a 50 percent stake in his music in a deal. But terms of this deal has been disclosed by anyone yet.
One month earlier, Bob Dylan sold his worldwide publishing rights to almost more than 600 songs to the Universal Music Publishing Group for approximately $300 million and a half-billion dollars. He is a worldwide famous American singer, songwriter, author, and visual artist. He is widely known as one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Dylan has maintained his persona as a major figure in most popular culture for almost more than 50 years. It is not at all easy to maintain such repute for such a long time.
Stevie Lynn Nicks also sold near about 80 percent of her stake in her music to Primary Wave for approximately $100 million. She is a well known American singer and songwriter who is known for her work with the band Fleetwood Mac. She also made her place in the industrial as a solo artist. She is worldwide famous for her distinctive voice, mystical stage persona, and poetic, symbolic lyrics.
Neil Young performed on May 25, 2019, for charity purposes at the Bottle Rock Napa Valley Music Festival which was organized at Napa Valley Expo in California. The Hipgnosis Songs Fund said, “We had acquired half of the copyright and income interests in some 1,180 songs written by the 75-year-old rock star and composer of songs like Heart of Gold, Rocking in the Free World and Cinnamon Girl.”
Song publishing is a valuable asset nowadays in the industry where music sales have literally dwindled and the concert industry has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. The companies are generally in favor of pushing for the use of an artist’s songs in different movies, video games, and advertising. The latter use remained a sticking point for Young for ages. His 1988 song “This Note’s For You” sharply criticized various artists in the industry for leasing their music for advertising campaigns. The accompanying video parodied various ads featuring Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton Young even sang in one of his songs: “Ain’t singin’ for Pepsi, ain’t singin’ for Coke. I don’t sing for anybody. Makes me look like a joke.” His lyrics were loved by everyone. It has become a common trend for musicians to earn their income by the way of leasing their songs for advertising campaigns. But Young was seen resisting this way of using his music throughout his career.
Merck Mercuriadis, the founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said, “I was seven years old when I bought my first Neil Young album when.” He further added, “Harvest’ was my companion and I know every note, every word, every pause, and silence intimately,” he said. “Neil Young, or at least his music, has been my friend . . . ever since.”Young’s late manager, Elliot Roberts, was also not less than an idol to Merck Mercuriadis.
It still remains uncertain on the fact whether the Hipgnosis deal augers any kind of change in Young’s policy of not leasing his music for advertising campaigns or not. In an official announcement, Mercuriadis said, “My company and Young have common integrity, ethos, and passion born out of a belief in music and these important songs. There will never be a Burger of Gold but we will work together to make sure everyone gets to hear them on Neil’s terms.”
Young has released on an approx. 70 albums as a solo artist as well as with famous bands like Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He has been an inspiration for many musicians. One can learn to be honest and kind to him. He always preferred to do his part for society and people in general. He is undoubtedly a legend.