Neil Young sells 50% stake in his music

NEW YORK – Neil Young is the latest high-profile musician to cash in on his song rights, selling a 50% stake in his music to British investment company Hipgnosis.

The company said it acquired half of Young’s global copyright and income interests of his catalogue, which includes 1,180 songs.

Hipgnosis did not disclose terms of the deal.

The writer of hits including Heart of Gold, Rockin’ in the Free World and Cowgirl in the Sand, Young has remained famously guarded and outspoken against the commercialisation of music.

Merck Mercuriadis, founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, described himself as a lifelong fan of Young’s and vowed the music would be used tastefully.

“We have a common integrity, ethos and passion born out of a belief in music and these important songs,” he said in a statement.

“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’s deal comes just a month after Bob Dylan sold his entire back catalogue to Universal Music Publishing Group for a lofty sum reportedly in the realm of $300 million to $500 million.

Hipgnosis also recently acquired the publishing rights of Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Blondie co-founders Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and producer royalties for prominent music executive Jimmy Iovine.

The prolific Canadian-born Young has released dozens of solo albums as well as records with bands including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Crazy Horse and Buffalo Springfield. – AFP

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