WARNER CHAPPELL ACQUIRES DAVID BOWIE MUSIC PUBLISHING CATALOG
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Warner Chappell Music (WCM) and the estate of David Bowie today announced that WCM has acquired the global music publishing rights to Bowie’s revolutionary song catalog. The landmark deal includes Bowie’s entire body of work, encompassing hundreds of songs spanning the iconic artist and songwriter’s six-decade career, including trailblazers such as “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Life on Mars?,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “Starman,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fame,” “Young Americans,” “Golden Years,” “Heroes,” “Ashes to Ashes,” “Modern Love,” “Let’s Dance,” “Where Are We Now?,” “Lazarus,” and many more. The agreement comprises songs from the 26 David Bowie studio albums released during his lifetime, as well as the posthumous studio album release, Toy. It also includes the two studio albums from Tin Machine, along with tracks released as singles from soundtracks and other projects.
In making the announcement, WCM Co-Chair and CEO 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 catalogs in music history. 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. His work spanned massive pop hits and experimental adventures that have inspired millions of fans and countless innovators, not only in music, but across all the arts, fashion, and media. We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”
“I’d like to thank everyone involved with making this wonderful deal happen,” Moot continued, “including Bill Zysblat, Tom Cyrana, and the entire Bowie team at RZO, attorney Allen Grubman and firm, as well as our very own ‘Team Bowie’ made up of Warner Chappell colleagues Alice Aleksandrovich, Steve Butler, Michael LoBiondo, and David Woirhaye.”
This agreement with WCM follows the announcement last year of a global, career-spanning agreement between Warner Music Group (WMG) and the Bowie estate through which Warner Music has licensed worldwide rights to Bowie’s recorded music catalog from 1968. With this new deal with Warner Chappell, WMG is now home to Bowie’s body of work as both a songwriter and recording artist.
WCM Co-Chair and COO Carianne Marshall noted: “This fantastic pact with the David Bowie estate opens up a universe of opportunities to take his extraordinary music into dynamic new places. This isn’t merely a catalog, but a living, breathing collection of timeless songs that are as powerful and resonant today as they were when they were first written. We were pleased that the estate felt that Warner Chappell has the knowledge, experience, and resources to take the reins and continue to promote a collection of this stature. All of our global leaders and departments are incredibly excited and primed to get to work with these brilliant songs across multiple avenues and platforms. And with both sides of WMG now representing Bowie’s career, we couldn’t be better set up to represent this illustrious body of work.”
On behalf of the David Bowie Estate and RZO, 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.”
About David Bowie
David Bowie was born in 1947. Between the late-’60s and the mid-’70s, he experimented with multi-media, recording the albums The Man Who Sold The World, Space Oddity, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Station to Station, and Young Americans. The track “Fame,” taken from the latter album, was his first U.S. No 1.
In 1976, he relocated to Berlin, recording Low and Heroes with Eno and Tony Visconti. In 1980, he made his Broadway debut in The Elephant Man and released the Visconti co-production, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, followed in 1983 by the Nile Rodgers-produced Let’s Dance. Between the mid-’80s and early ’90s, he worked with his band Tin Machine, collaborated with the dance company La La La Human Steps, and wrote music for Hanif Kureishi’s Buddha of Suburbia.
1992 brought one of rock’s first CD-ROMs, Bowie’s Jump. In 1994, reunited once again with Eno, he produced the experimental Outside album, followed by Earthling in 1997 and hours… in 1999, the year he became a Commandeur dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Bowie’s next project was a further recorded collaboration with Tony Visconti, 2002’s Heathen. The accompanying live dates in Europe and America saw full performances of both Heathen and 1977’s classic Low. A year later, the Reality album was launched with the world’s largest interactive “live by satellite” event, followed by the rapturously received and critically acclaimed “A Reality Tour” of the world.
2006 saw Bowie return to acting, with the Chris Nolan-directed The Prestige (#1 at the box office) adding to such cinematic highlights as Nic Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, Tony Scott’s The Hunger, and Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. In May 2007, Bowie was the inaugural curator of the highly successful 10-day “High Line” arts and music festival in New York. That June, he was honored at the 11thAnnual Webby Awards (known as the “Oscars of the Internet”) with the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award for pushing the boundaries between art and technology.
Later in 2007, Bowie starred as himself in an acclaimed episode of Extras, Ricky Gervais’ series on HBO. 2012 saw the erection of a plaque in Heddon Street, London (the scene of the Ziggy Stardust cover shoot) to commemorate the extraordinary influence of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and, of course, David himself.
Further excitement accompanied the 2012 announcement that the David Bowie Archive had given unprecedented access to the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum for an exhibition to be curated solely by the V&A in London. It was the first time a museum had been given access to the David Bowie Archive. The exhibition went on to break records in the U.S., Berlin, and France.
On January 8, 2013, quite without fanfare and out of the blue, David Bowie released a new single entitled “Where Are We Now?” and announced the release of a new album. The Next Day was Bowie’s first new studio album in 10 years. Critically lauded across the world, it features songs that are now widely seen as amongst his best.
In 2014, to celebrate his 50th year in music, the compilation Nothing Has Changed was released, and yet again Bowie surprised everyone by releasing the seven-minute jazz murder ballad “Sue (or In a Season of Crime),” a collaboration with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. Bowie ended 2014 by revealing “Tis A Pity She Was a Whore,” an uncompromising piece that pointed to a possible future of even further experimentation.
Spring 2015 brought the announcement of the off-Broadway theatre production, Lazarus, a collaboration between Bowie and renowned playwright Enda Walsh. Directed by Ivo Van Hove, Lazarus also played in London at the King’s Cross Theatre to rave reviews.
★ (pronounced Blackstar) was Bowie’s 28th studio album, released on his 69th birthday, January 8, 2016. Co-produced by Bowie and Visconti, and featuring backing from local NYC jazz saxophonist Donny McCaslin and his quartet, ★ was released to overwhelming acclaim, garnering many of the best critical notices of Bowie’s entire career. ★ was the first David Bowie album to hit No. 1 in the U.S., topped the charts in more than 20 countries, and won five Grammy Awards.
On January 10, 2016, David Bowie died peacefully surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. His body of work, multi-generational influence, and legacy of fearless innovation and endless reinvention will live on forever.
During 2022, Bowie75 celebrates 75 years of David Bowie, one of the world’s greatest artists and creative pioneers, from music to fashion to art.
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About Warner Chappell Music
Warner Chappell Music, the global music publishing company of Warner Music Group, is home to a wide array of legendary songwriters and a rich catalog of contemporary hits and influential standards. With offices in more than 20 countries, Warner Chappell provides deep expertise across a range of creative services and the most innovative opportunities for songwriters and copyright holders. Warner Chappell, which has a history dating back more than 200 years, currently publishes and administers music from A-Lin, Angèle, Anderson .Paak, Apache 207, Ava Max, Aya Nakamura, Bruno Mars, Capital Bra, Cardi B, Celeste, Chris Jeday, CJ, Cole Porter, Dan + Shay, Dave, David Bowie, Duran Duran, El Guincho, Fraser T. Smith, Gamble and Huff, Gene Autry Music Group catalog, George Gershwin, George Michael, Grateful Dead, Jasmine Sokko, Jesse & Joy, Justin Tranter, Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Kevin Yi, Kool & the Gang, Led Zeppelin, Lin Xi, Lizzo, Madonna, MNEK, Oscar Holter, Pablo Alborán, Pop Smoke, Quincy Jones, Rauw Alejandro, RAYE, Stormzy, Summer Walker, Ta-You Lo, Thomas Rhett, and Tones and I, among many others.
-Warner Music Group Corp.