Bob Dylan’s entire catalogue of songs has been acquired by the Universal Music Publishing Group.
The 79-year-old legend’s catalogue – which includes songs that span his 60-year career – were previously represented by Sony/ATV, but Universal has secured the rights to the tracks, describing the move as the «most significant music publishing agreement this century».
Jody Gerson, the chairman and CEO of the publishing company, said: «To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time – whose cultural importance can’t be overstated – is both a privilege and a responsibility.
«The Universal Music Publishing Group global team is honoured to be Bob Dylan’s publishing partner and I especially want to acknowledge [chief operating officer] Marc Cimino whose passion and perseverance were instrumental in bringing this opportunity to us.
«We look forward to working with Bob and the team in ensuring his artistry continues to reach and inspire generations of fans, recording artists and songwriters around the world.»
Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, also stressed the significance of the move, admitting it’s given him an «enormous» sense of pride.
He added: «It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art.
«Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless – whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday.»
The deal covers 600 song copyrights, including Dylan classics such as ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’.
The cultural icon is one of the best-selling artists of all time and has been awarded a number of accolades during his career, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an Academy Award and the Nobel Prize in Literature.
And after Stevie Nicks’ publishing catalogue was reportedly acquired by Primary Wave for around $100 million, it’s thought that Dylan’s catalogue will have been sold for considerably more.