Music business

BMG acquires musical interests of blues icon John Lee Hooker

BMG acquired the musical interests of iconic American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist John Lee Hooker from his estate.

The deal includes its entire publishing catalog (Boom Boom, A Bourbon, A Scotch, A Beer, boogie chillinamong others), co-acquired with longtime BMG partner Fujipacific Music.

The deal also includes all of John Lee Hooker’s recorded and performance royalty income, as well as a selection of Hooker’s recorded catalog spanning Alone, Vol. 1 (1980) to Dark night falls (2020), acquired only by BMG.

In a media statement announcing the deal, BMG said that due to “what is a complex musical heritage, certain rights will still remain with third parties”, but BMG will now “play a leading role in promoting the exceptional catalog of Hooker”.

BMG currently represents or owns the rights to many of blues music’s most influential artists including Son House, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and many more.

The acquisition is the latest in a string of recent deals BMG has struck to acquire the rights to superstar musicians.

In January last year, BMG bought Mick Fleetwood’s royalties to a string of Fleetwood Mac hits – including the TikTok sensation Dreams.

In October, BMG picked up a rights package from Tina Turner.

In November, the company acquired Mötley Crüe’s catalog of records for approximately $90 million.

In December, BMG and KKR, after announcing in March that they would be buying the copyright together, confirmed for the first time a joint acquisition: “the entire musical interests” of rock icons ZZ Top.

John Lee Hooker’s work is widely recognized for its impact on modern music.

Among his early recordings was boogie chillin (1948) which became a No. 1 hit, selling over a million copies.

This success was soon followed by a string of hits, including I’m in the mood, Crawling King Snake (famously covered by The Doors), and Hobo Blues.

Over the next 15 years, Hooker maintained a prolific recording schedule, releasing over 100 songs, including the most important song of his career. Boom boom.

One of the most recognizable and memorable blues standards, boom boom was first a chart success in the US and UK, and over the years has been featured extensively in films and commercials, as well as being covered by numerous artists.

Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, Hooker received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. government’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.

In 1991 Hooker was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, while in 1997 he was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

A five-time Grammy Award winner, in 2000, shortly before his death, Hooker received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

“This is a rare triple win for everyone: the Hooker family, BMG and the millions of John Lee Hooker fans around the world.”

Jeff Jampol, JAM Inc.

Jeff Jampol, CEO of JAM, Inc., said, “As longtime managers of the John Lee Hooker Estate, JAM, Inc. was pleased to assist the Estate and BMG in completing this transaction.

“We are very pleased that an artist-focused company like BMG will be stewards of this great legacy in the future, and we are grateful to continue in an advisory and stewardship role for the legacy of John Lee Hooker, in partnership with BMG, to move forward. .

“This is a rare triple win for everyone: the Hooker family, BMG and the millions of John Lee Hooker fans around the world.

“We can’t wait to see – and be a part of – what’s to come!”

“BMG will ensure that the legacy of John Lee Hooker is honored and respected wherever and whenever John Lee Hooker’s music is used, performed, recorded or sold.”

Thomas Scherer, BMG

Thomas Scherer, BMG President, Repertoire and Marketing, New York and Los Angeles, added, “BMG is proud to be the definitive home to the music of John Lee Hooker, one of music’s foremost inspirations and cornerstones. popular.

“BMG will ensure that the legacy of John Lee Hooker is honored and respected wherever and whenever John Lee Hooker’s music is used, performed, recorded or sold.”

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