Neil Diamond, whose decades-long career has spawned hits like “Sweet Caroline,” has sold his song catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but a flurry of recent catalog deals have reached into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The rise of streaming has set off a scramble to lock down music rights, sending valuations surging.
In addition to a number of well-known Diamond songs, including “Song Sung Blue,” “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Holy, Holy,” the deal encompasses 110 unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and archival long-form videos. Diamond, 82, has had more than 70 songs on the Billboard charts, selling more than 130 million albums.
Universal already had controlled publishing rights for Diamond’s catalog since 2014. The deal calls for the company to record and release any future music if Diamond decides to return to the studio.
“After nearly a decade in business with UMG,” Diamond said in a press release, “I am thankful for the trust and respect that we have built together and I feel confident in the knowledge that Lucian, Jody, Bruce, Michelle and the global team at UMG, will continue to represent my catalog, and future releases with the same passion and integrity that have always fueled my career.”
UMG CEO Sir Lucian Grainge called Diamond “by definition, a truly universal songwriter. His immense songbook and recordings encompass some of the most cherished and enduring songs in music history. Through our existing partnership, we are honored to have earned his trust to become the permanent custodians of his monumental musical legacy.”
Diamond’s songs have been woven into pop culture with increasing frequency as his career has unfolded. A cover of “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” factored prominently in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, and the director included him again on the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In 1980, he played the lead role in The Jazz Singer. “Sweet Caroline” has become ubiquitous as an anthem at sporting events.
The Neil Diamond Musical: A Beautiful Noise will begin a limited engagement in Boston this summer before heading to Broadway.
Diamond was repped in the deal by Gene Salomon from Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc. and his manager Katie Diamond.