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Universal Music snaps up Aerosmith back catalog from Sony

U

niversal Music has snapped up most of Aerosmith’s back catalog from Sony.

The world’s biggest music group, already behind stars from Taylor Swift to Elton John, will hold the rights from 2022. UMG then plans to work with the band on future film projects and music releases.

The “Walk This Way” hitmakers’ entire back catalog will be united for the first time, as UMG already holds the Geffen records, and there are plans to open up the rock band’s archives and publish never-before-seen material.

Universal labelled the deal a “multifaceted partnership”, while the band’s lead guitarist, Joe Perry, said said the deal bringing 50 years’ worth of work under one roof “will allow us to bring our music to our fans in ways we never were able to before”.

He said: “It’s something we’ve dreamed about happening for a long time. It’s a win for Aerosmith, UMG and ultimately our fans. Needless to say we are very excited.”

Band members Perry, Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford, will actively help curate their collections of music, photos, video footage, artwork, journals, set lists and memorabilia.

Aerosmith, which will mark its 50th anniversary next year, is the biggest selling American Rock band in history, with more than 150 million albums sold.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of UMG, said: “We look forward to building upon their incredible legacy and ensuring their music continues to inspire fans around the world.”

It comes as the group tunes up for a blockbuster float in Amsterdam next month, and just after Pershing Square, the London-listed hedge fund controlled by billionaire investor Bill Ackman, bought a 7.1% stake worth £2 billion from group owner Vivendi.

Universal’s profits were up 38% to €753 million (£641m) for the six months to June. Revenues were up 17% to €3.8 billion amid a boom for record labels as streaming income soars.

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