ZZ Top have sold their “entire music interests” to BMG and KKR for an estimated $50 million.
The deal includes a buyout of the Texas trio’s publishing catalog and income from recorded and performance royalties, Variety reports. ZZ Top have history with BMG, which previously served as co-publisher and administrator of the band’s publishing catalog.
“This deal is a testament to the success, staying power and continuing musical relevance of ZZ Top, but also to the power of our partnership with KKR,” BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said in a statement. “This agreement furthers our vision of providing artists and songwriters not just a financial exit, but also a vehicle committed to respecting and treasuring their artistry.”
Band manager Carl Stubner of Shelter Music Group added: “We are proud to continue working with and expand our long-standing relationship with BMG. This new deal ensures ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.”
ZZ Top have sold more than 50 million albums around the world since launching their career in Houston in 1969. The band’s 1983 album Eliminator sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, and its 1985 follow-up Afterburner sold an additional 5 million stateside copies. Their catalog includes classic-rock staples such as “La Grange,” “Tush,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs.”
Longtime bassist and singer Dusty Hill died in July at the age of 72, but the band continued to tour with longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis, per Hill’s directive. Singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons released his latest solo album, Hardware, in June. Gibbons’ solo work is not part of ZZ Top’s catalog sale.
Other artists to sell all or part of their music catalogs over the past two years in blockbuster deals include Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro ($30 million), Neil Young ($150 million), Bruce Springsteen ($500 million) and Stevie Nicks ($100 million).
ZZ Top Albums Ranked
From the first album to ‘La Futura,’ we check out the Little ‘ol Band From Texas’ studio records.