David Crosby sells music catalogue, citing Covid restrictions on touring

Crosby sold his catalogue to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group for an undisclosed sum

David Crosby has sold the recorded music and publishing rights to his entire music catalogue – including the works of the Byrds, Crosby & Nash, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Crosby Stills Nash and Young – citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Given our current inability to work live, this deal is a blessing for me and my family and I do believe these are the best people to do it with,” he said in a press release.

In December, Crosby said in response to a wave of sales of catalogues belonging to high-profile artists – among them Bob Dylan and Lindsey Buckingham – that he planned to sell his recording and publishing rights.

“I can’t work … and streaming stole my money,” he tweeted on 7 December, when news emerged of the Dylan deal. In response to a fan saying they didn’t want to hear canonical artists’ works on advertisements once they no longer controlled the rights, Crosby said: “If we could get paid for records and play live we would not be doing it. None of us.”

Crosby sold his music to music executive Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group (IAG) for an undisclosed sum. “I’ve known David as a friend and have admired him as a great artist since our earliest days at Geffen Roberts Management shortly after I moved to Los Angeles,” said Azoff.

“This is an incredible time to be involved with David and his tremendous catalogue of music. He’s truly one of music’s most prolific songwriters and artists and I’m honoured he has made Iconic the steward of his timeless musical legacy.”

These sales come amid a gold rush of investors buying up artists’ musical rights. Dylan’s sale of his complete song catalogue to Universal Music in December was reportedly worth more than $300m (£225m). Universal called it “the most significant music publishing agreement this century and one of the most important of all time”.

Crosby’s former bandmate Neil Young sold 50% of his entire song catalogue to Merck Mercuriadis’s Hipgnosis fund in January. Last month, IAG bought a controlling stake in the music catalogue of the Beach Boys, including their sound recordings, brand, select compositions and memorabilia, also for an undisclosed sum.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

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