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BMG Acquires Tina Turner's Music Rights in Huge Deal With 'Queen of Rock and Roll'

Photo Credit: Alberto Venzago
The Queen of Rock and Roll no longer rules her kingdom, but she has declared that it is in good hands following a deal announced Tuesday with BMI — reportedly worth $50 million — to buy her massive back catalog, name, image and likeness rights.

“Like any artist, the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal. I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music my work is in professional and reliable hands," Tina Turner, who also gave up her artist's share of her recordings, her music publishing writer's share, neighboring rights (public performance royalties due to the sound recording copyright holder) in the deal, said in a statement.

The 81-year-old, owner of 12 Grammys and soon to be twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, joins a legion of music's biggest names who have made the move in recent years. Bob Dylan's catalog was sold for over $300 million according to most estimates. Stevie Nicks sold 80 percent of the rights to her songwriting catalog for $100 million.

As part of what it calls its long-term strategy to "create a 21st century home for the most iconic music rights in popular music history," BMG has made a big push to snap up the rights to some of music's best. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Mick Fleetwood, Roger Waters, Kurt Cobain, Blondie and David Bowie highlight its extensive roster of classic artists.

"Tina Turner's musical journey has inspired hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences. We are honored to take on the job of managing Tina Turner's musical and commercial interests," BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said in a statement praising the acquisition and promising to be a benevolent caretaker to Turner's legacy. "It is a responsibility we take seriously and will pursue diligently."

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennesee, Turner first came to musical prominence as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. She, along with ex-husband Ike, had a string of hits in the 1960s and '70s. Two of their songs from that period, "River Deep – Mountain High" and "Proud Mary" were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Ranked No. 2 by Rolling Stone on its list of 20 Greatest Duos of All Time, a well-chronicled cycle of drug addiction and abuse by Ike eventually ended the marriage and their collaboration. The group's legacy was cemented, however, when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for their work together in 1991.

Following the couple's divorce in 1978, Turner became a dominant force as a solo artist in the '80s, releasing hit albums such as "Private Dancer", "Break Every Rule" and "Foreign Affair" and hit singles including "What’s Love Got To Do With It," "Private Dancer," "We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)", "Typical Male", "I Don’t Wanna Fight", "The Best" and "Goldeneye."

Ten studio albums, two live albums, two soundtracks, and five compilations later Turner has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist, starred in films, been the subject of several biopics about her own life and will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the second time Oct. 30.

Earlier this year Turner, who retired in 2009, and has suffered health challenges over recent years; including a stroke, intestinal cancer and kidney failure that led to a transplant in 2017, released a documentary on HBO titled "Tina." Many took it as a goodbye from the artist, but its success has raised interest in both her life and work.

Watch the trailer below:

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