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Neil Young sells 50 per cent stake of his songs to investment company

The 75-year-old singer-songwriter has a catalogue of 1,180 songs and Hipgnosis Songs Fund now owns half the rights to them.

Neil Young sells 50 per cent stake of his songs to investment company

FILE PHOTO: Singer/songwriter Neil Young performs during a concert honoring singer/songwriter Willie Nelson, recipient of the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, in Washington November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

Singer-songwriter Neil Young has sold a half share of the rights to his entire catalogue of 1,180 songs to London-listed specialist investment firm Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the company said on Wednesday (Jan 6).

Young, 75, famed for songs including Heart Of Gold, Rocking In The Free World and Devil's Sidewalk, has released over 50 studio albums and 20 live albums, of which seven went platinum and three multi-platinum.

"I bought my first Neil Young album aged seven," said Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis, saying the latest in a series of such rights deals would change his company for ever.

"Harvest was my companion and I know every note, every word, every pause and silence intimately. Neil Young, or at least his music, has been my friend and constant ever since," he added.

The deal is the third that Hipgnosis, listed on the stock market in 2018, has struck this week after agreements with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham on Tuesday and record producer Jimmy Iovine on Monday.

It follows the sale last month of Bob Dylan's entire back catalogue to Universal Music Group.

The rise of streaming services means artistes such as Dylan and Young are able to reach an ever-expanding audience of fans from a younger generation.

Financial details of the Young deal were not disclosed. Mercuriadis, a former music manager, said: "We will work together to make sure everyone gets to hear them (the songs) on Neil's terms."

Last month, Young ended his lawsuit against US President Donald Trump's campaign for playing of two of his songs at campaign rallies without permission.

(Source: Reuters)

Source: Reuters/sr