Legendary 80s rock band Queen is reportedly in the process of selling its discography to Sony Music for the staggering sum of $1.27 billion—likely setting the record for most expensive single-artist catalog purchase in music industry history.

First reported by Hits Daily Double and later verified by Variety, the astronomical price tag on the deal will give Sony control of Queen’s lineup of hit songs and best-selling albums, as well as other rights. The only rights Sony will not retain are to revenue from the band’s live performances, which will remain with founding members Brian May (guitarist) and Roger Taylor (drummer). May and Taylor still actively tour under the Queen brand, with former American Idol winner Adam Lambert filling in for late frontman Freddie Mercury.

According to sources who spoke with Variety, another interested party had been involved in a bidding war with Sony but dropped out after the sale price climbed past $900 million.

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Despite the rumors, Sony has yet to disclose the terms—or even the existence—of the deal. The company is notoriously tight-lipped about its acquisitions, with past nine-figure deals with Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan never being officially confirmed.

Variety notes that American and Canadian distribution rights for Queen’s catalog—which includes hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Somebody to Love” and “You’re My Best Friend”—were acquired by Disney sometime in the early 2000s after an earlier $10 million licensing deal in 1991. Those rights will reportedly remain with Disney in perpetuity, but band members’ royalty fees will go to Sony once the deal is finalized.

Related: Queen Classic ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ Dropped from Greatest Hits Collection

The deal will also reportedly give Sony rights to the band members’ names and likenesses, potentially setting the stage for future film projects about the band. In 2018, the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” about Mercury’s life and rise to stardom grossed over $900 million and won four Academy Awards.


Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Valuetainment.com. Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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