The Universal Music Group (UMG) said Monday that it has acquired the rights to music legend Bob Dylan's entire collection of songs in a deal that likely represents one of the highest-valued acquisitions of an artist's work by a music company.
The company said in a press release that it had purchased the copyrights to more than 600 individual pieces spanning more than six decades of Dylan's prodigious career. The amount paid for the collection was not disclosed.
“To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time — whose cultural importance can’t be overstated — is both a privilege and a responsibility," said Jody Gerson, chair and CEO of UMG's music publishing division.
UMG "is honored to be Bob Dylan’s publishing partner," Gerson continued, adding: "We look forward to working with Bob and the team in ensuring his artistry continues to reach and inspire generations of fans, recording artists and songwriters around the world.”
"It is with enormous pride that today we welcome Bob Dylan to the UMG family. It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art," added Lucian Grainge, CEO and chairman of UMG.
Dylan, whose work has won the Nobel Prize in literature, is one of the most famous recording artists alive and the entirety of his music catalogue is valued at roughly $300 million, according to The New York Times.
A purchase of the song catalogues of artists 50 Cent, Skrillex, Lindsey Buckingham and others in November by Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd. was valued at roughly $323 million.