Neil Diamond Sells Complete Catalog to Universal

Neil Diamond Sells Complete Catalog to Universal

Neil Diamond, the hitmaker behind “Sweet Caroline” and “Red Red Wine,” sold his complete publishing and master recordings catalogs to Universal Music Group, the company said Monday.

The acquisition includes previously unreleased tracks and also gives UMG the rights to Diamond’s future music, if the 81-year-old opts back into the studio.

“After nearly a decade in business with UMG, I am thankful for the trust and respect that we have built together,” Neil Diamond said in a statement, adding he is “confident” the team “will continue to represent my catalogue, and future releases with the same passion and integrity that have always fueled my career.”

Universal did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Posed portrait of American singer Neil Diamond in 1967. (Photo by CA/Redferns)

Calling the Brooklyn-born Diamond “a truly universal songwriter,” Universal’s head Sir Lucian Grange said the artist’s “immense songbook and recordings encompass some of the most cherished and enduring songs in music history.”

The sale is the latest in an avalanche of such blockbuster transactions, a rush that has seen artists including Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen sell off their catalogs for astronomical sums.

Honoree Neil Diamond performs onstage during the Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 14, 2018 in New York City. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)

The trend is driven in large part by the anticipated stability of streaming growth combined with low interest rates and dependable earning projections for time-tested hits.

It’s also useful for artists focused on estate planning, and those whose touring income has been stymied by the pandemic.

Companies have acquired a number of major catalogs including from David Bowie’s estate, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Motley Crue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Shakira.

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