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John Legend performing in Orangeburg, South Carolina, in February 2020.

John Legend sold his existing music catalog, including royalty rights, to KKR and record label BMG, as first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

Why it's the BFD: 43-year-old Legend is the first "midcareer" artist to do one of these deals, which typically are done by those closer to their twilights (or by the estates of those who've died).

Details: This appears to cover Legend's work from late 2004 through the end of 2020. I'm also told there's a separate, parallel deal whereby BMG will administer Legend’s future compositions.

  • No financial terms were disclosed. KKR and BMG last year announced a partnership to buy music catalogs, and recently announced that platform's first deal, buying ZZ Top's publishing catalog for around $50 million.

The bottom line: "Dubbed 'Music Mogul of the Year' by Variety in 2020, Legend released his debut studio album 'Get Lifted,' on Dec. 28, 2004, and has gone on to expand into other areas of the entertainment field, in part through the founding of a production studio that’s created shows for Netflix Inc. and ABC." — Miles Weiss & Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

Go deeper: New music gadgets: No lessons (or instruments) required

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Jan 7, 2022 - Economy & Business

Music sounds like money to Wall Street

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street and music’s love affair has reached a fever pitch.

Why it matters: Artists and investors are finding it mutually beneficial to trade song rights in exchange for large payouts.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

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