cohen: Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s entire catalog of songs has been sold to a UK company which acquired Neil Young’s songs
The London-based company said it has acquired the rights to “all 278 songs and derivatives” written by Cohen, including the haunting anthem “Hallelujah”, which Hipgnosis says has been covered more than 300 times and “played over five billion times.
He did not reveal what he paid to the heirs of the Montreal songwriter, who died at 82 in 2016. Cohen’s longtime manager Robert Kory represented the heirs in the negotiations.
A total of 127 of the songs are from Cohen’s “Stranger Music” catalog, for which Hipgnosis acquired “the songwriter‘s share” of royalties for songs written through 2000.
The company said it also acquired full copyright and royalty ownership for the “Old Ideas” catalog, 67 songs written from 2001 until Cohen’s death.
“Being stewards and stewards of Leonard Cohen’s incomparable songs now is a wonderful but very serious responsibility,” said Hipgnosis Founder and CEO Merck Mercuriadis.
“Leonard wrote words and songs that changed our lives,” said Canadian-born Mercuriadis, who has managed artists including Beyonce, Elton John and Mary J. Blige.
The acquisition was made by Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and Blackstone LLP.
Hipgnosis has previously bought the catalogs of stars including American-Canadian Neil Young and alternative rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Several great artists have sold their catalogs for impressive sums. British singer Sting sold his entire catalog in February for an estimated $250 million, US media reported.
Bruce Springsteen sold his music rights to Sony last year for around half a billion dollars, a record, while Bob Dylan sold his catalog to Universal Music for some $300 million.