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Queen’s Music Catalog to Be Acquired by Sony Music for a Massive Amount of Money: All About the Deal

Learn about the band’s legacy and what this new deal entails

This news will definitely rock you: the entirety of the Queen music catalog is set to be acquired by Sony Music for a whopping $1.27 billion. The archive includes all the band’s massive hits from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “We Will Rock You.”

The only bit from their catalog that will not be included in the purchase is the live performances, which will be retained by founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor. There were multiple bidders who got close to obtaining the music, but the runner up stopped their bid at $900 million.

Queen’s music catalog has been in play for several years and it was recently announced that Sony would be the winner of that bid. Sony Music has acquired multiple music catalogs, including those from Bruce Springsteen, as well as Bob Dylan.

A look at the Queen music catalog

Some of the group’s most successful songs include “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and “I Want to Break Free.” Other songs in the catalog include “The Show Must Go On,” “Love of My Life” and “Somebody to Love.”

The catalog has moved around a few times, but it currently belongs to Disney. The group’s distribution rights, however, currently belong to Universal. Sony’s $1.27 billion deal will include the band’s royalties and distribution rights.

man performing on stage
Freddie Mercury of Queen performing (1982)Getty

Queen’s recorded-music rights for the U.S. and Canada, which were acquired by Disney at some point in the 2000s, will remain with Disney in perpetuity. The distribution deal will go to Sony in all territories outside of the U.S. and Canada when the current Universal deal expires. This will not happen until 2026 or 2027.

Catch up with Queen’s early days

Queen originally formed in 1970 in London by Brian May and Roger Taylor, the members who performed together prior in another band. Soon after, they were joined by lead singer, Freddie Mercury, and later on, John Deacon.

The group was successful early on with songs like “Killer Queen” and “Keep Yourself Alive.” But their massive success didn’t come until the group released the six-minute-long song, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This became not only one of the band’s highest rated songs, but also one of the most successful songs of all time.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” became Queen’s first top 10 hit in the U.S. and rose to number one in the United Kingdom. The song was so successful that it became the name of the 2018 biopic, which focused on the formation of the iconic group and their journey to stardom.

Where the band Queen stands today

group of men sitting on instruments; queen music catalog
Queen (1973)Getty

Unfortunately, the world lost Mercury in 1991, which changed Queen forever. In 1997, John Deacon retired from music and left Queen, but May and Taylor have continued to perform together as a part of Queen over the years. In 2011, musician Adam Lambert joined the band as the lead singer and has been touring with the group ever since.

Queen reigned supreme in the ‘70s and ‘80s when they were first formed, but the group is still extremely popular, as seen with the recent biopic and this music catalog deal. The current members of Queen are still touring today, and their songs are often played everywhere you listen to music.May and Taylor shared their perspective of being a part of a band that has been criticized the same as it has been loved. “It’s about entertaining,” May explained about Queen. “And the hugeness and the grandeur that we got from our idols, and that we wanted to give back.”

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