Sony Music Reportedly Set To Acquire Queen's Discography For $1.9 Billion

20 June 2024 | 8:51 am | Mary Varvaris

Another label was close in the negotiations but stopped short with a bid of approximately $1.3 billion.


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Sony Music is reportedly set to acquire Queen’s discography (and other rights, excluding live performances) for £1 billion (approximately $1.9 billion), Variety reports.

Hits Daily Double first reported the news before two sources confirmed the move to Variety. According to the Hits report, live recordings aren’t covered in the deal as Queen’s surviving and continuing members, Brian May and Roger Taylor, still tour with singer Adam Lambert and retain those rights.

Another label was reportedly close in the negotiations for rights to Queen’s catalogue but stopped short with a bid of $900 million (approximately $1.3 billion).

Variety notes that the band’s royalties for recorded music in the US and Canada – which belonged to Disney in a $10 million deal solidified in the ‘90s – will now go to Sony. When the band’s distribution deal with Universal expires in the next few years, Sony will also snap that up.

Last year, the baby grand piano Freddie Mercury played on to complete one of Queen’s biggest hits, Bohemian Rhapsody, sold for a whopping £1.74 million ($3.4 million) at a Sotheby’s auction.

Mercury purchased the instrument in 1975. The baby grand piano was imported to England from Japan, and the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist used the Yamaha G2 baby grand piano for other Queen songs, including Don’t Stop Me Now and Somebody To Love.

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“Freddie treated the Yamaha with absolute respect,” Mercury’s longtime friend Mary Austin said in a Sotheby’s press release. “He considered it to be more than an instrument; it was an extension of himself, his vehicle of creativity. He would never smoke at the piano or rest a glass on top of it and would ensure nobody else did either. The piano was always pristine.”

The 1,500 items sold at the Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own auction at the London Sotheby’s house sold for £12.2 million ($23.9 million), smashing an estimated $11.3 million. Proceeds from the sale were noted to go to HIV/AIDS charities the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Earlier this year, The Music’s Jeff Jenkins went back in time and explored the day Queen were booed at the 1974 Sunbury festival. You can find out more about the event here.