Question about Song Royalties?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
By admin

Question by Sophie: Question about Song Royalties?
Because most of The Beatles songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney I wonder, what happens to Lennon’s royalties because he is dead, does it all got to McCartney?

Also is songwriting more lucrative then being musician because Lennon and McCartney were far richer than Harrison and Starr, is that because Lennon would get royalties for writing the song and being on it as a musician?
but how come Lennon was a millionaire

Best answer:

Answer by Hurricain
There was a time when McCartney had to pay royalties to Michael Jackson whenever he wanted to perform or record one of the iconic Beatles songs that he and John Lennon wrote.

Lennon and McCartney were swindled out of the publishing rights to their songs years ago, when they were young and ignorant, by unscrupulous music executives.

Just a couple of years ago, after Michael Jackson’s death, Paul McCartney was able to win back the rights to a lot of his and Lennon’s songs. But not all of them.

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2 Responses to “Question about Song Royalties?”

  1. 1
    Ichabod Lame Says:

    Neither gets royalties.

    Most of the Beatles catalog is owned by Michael Jackson’s estate and Sony. (They get the royalties)

    However, Sir Paul is apparently close to buying back the rights. He doesn’t have to pay Lennon’s estate a dime if he does.

    Songwriting is more lucrative IF YOU OWN THE RIGHTS!

  2. 2
    Jeff J Says:

    Starr’s worth is listed at around $ 300 million, making him the world’s richest drummer. McCartney is said to have a net worth of $ 800 million.

    There could be more money ahead for him and the Lennon estate in 2018. That’s when full rights to the Lennon-McCartney song catalog revert back to the songwriters. Lennon and McCartney have received a percentage of royalties over the last decades. Singer Michael Jackson outbid McCartney in 1985 for the rights—paying nearly $ 50 million for them. Jackson later sold half-rights to Sony for $ 95 million.

    The TV show “Mad Men” paid about $ 250,000 for the rights to use the Lennon-McCartney song “Tomorrow Never Knows” in an episode in 2012.

    Rumors of a Beatles reunion—and there were many—ended suddenly with Lennon’s murder in 1980. Twenty-one years later, George Harrison died of cancer. But both continue to sell records, with Lennon’s estate taking in some $ 12 million in 2011 and Harrison’s $ 6 million that year.

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