David Bowie’s “entire body of work” has been sold to Warner Chappell Music for a deal worth a reported $250 million (£185 million).
The deal, which includes the rights to hundreds of beloved songs by the late Bowie, such as Space Oddity, Life on Mars?, Changes, Starman, and Let’s Dance, was announced via press release on Monday.
Revealing his firm had acquired the music icon’s back catalogue, WCM co-chair and chief executive officer Guy Moot said: “All of us at Warner Chappell are immensely proud that the David Bowie estate has chosen us to be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential, and enduring catalogues in music history.”
Hailing Bowie’s creative genius, he added: “These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever. Bowie’s vision and creative genius drove him to push the envelope, lyrically and musically – writing songs that challenged convention, changed the conversation, and have become part of the canon of global culture.”
The agreement covers songs from the 26 studio albums released during Bowie’s lifetime, as well as the posthumous release, Toy. It also includes the two albums released by his band Tin Machine, and tracks from soundtracks and other projects.
On behalf of the David Bowie Estate, Allen Grubman added: “We are truly gratified that David Bowie’s body of music will now be in the capable hands of Warner Chappell Music Publishing. We are sure they will cherish it and take care of it with the greatest level of dignity.”
Although financial details of the deal were not released, editors at Variety have reported it is worth “upwards of $250 million (£185 million)”.
Bowie begun his career in the 1960s, before becoming an icon of the glam rock movement in the 1970s with his Ziggy Stardust persona. He continued to be one of music’s biggest stars until his death in 2016 – which prompted tributes from contemporaries such as Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones. He is survived by his widow Iman, their daughter Alexandria, his ex-wife Angie, and their son, filmmaker Duncan Jones.