Introduction: Music mogul Dr. Dre is making headlines with reports that he is selling off a portion of his music assets to Universal Music Group and Shamrock Capital. The deal is reportedly worth over $200 million and includes master recordings from Dre’s 1992 debut album The Chronic, as well as his stake in Kendrick Lamar’s releases and royalties from his first two solo albums. Additionally, Dre will retain his stake in Aftermath Records and keep his share of NWA royalties. This follows similar deals made by Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Keith Urban, and Iggy Azalea.
It is reported that Dr. Dre is preparing to sell several of its music assets to Universal Music Group and Shamrock Capital.
According to Billboard, the music assets will be sold for more than $200m (£164m). As part of the deal, Universal Music Group (UMG) will acquire master recording for Dre’s 1992 debut album The Chronic, which will return to Dre’s ownership of Death Row Entertainment in August.
The UMG deal also reportedly includes Dre’s stake in Kendrick Lamar’s releases through Top Dawg Entertainment’s deal with UMG subsidiary Interscope. Dre will retain his stake in the Aftermath label he founded in 1996.
Meanwhile, Shamrock Capital It will reportedly acquire Dre’s royalties on his first two solo albums, as well as producer royalties and a back catalog of songs he doesn’t own. This may also include the work of writer Dre from The Chronic. Billboard reports that Shamrock will also receive Dre’s share of his NWA royalties.
The reports come after Dre recently spoke out against the use of his music without his express permission. The rapper sent a letter to Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green after a far-right politician used his song “Still DRE” in an ad.
“I don’t license my music to politicians,” Dre told TMZ earlier this month. It’s unclear to what extent the rapper will be able to limit the licensing of his music following the deal with UGM and Shamrock Capital.
The deal with of Dre music assets followed a deal by Phil Collins and his Genesis bandmates, who sold some of their song assets to Concord Music Group last September. Bruce Springsteen previously sold his master recording and publishing rights to Sony Music in a deal worth around $500 million in 2021, and Bob Dylan sold his entire catalog of songs to UMG in 2020.
At the end of last year, both Keith Urban and Iggy Azalea sold their master records, while Azalea received an eight-figure sum for the deal.