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What’s Money Got to Do with It?: Tina Turner Also Was a Legend at Dealmaking, Selling Her Music Catalog for $50M

Following a prolonged illness, legendary singer Tina Turner died on May 24 at the age of 83. While the accolades are pouring in, even before her death her career and life were celebrated worldwide in music, film, and on the stage.

Tina Turner, Flanders Expo, Gent, Belgium, 10th May 1996. (Photo by Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)

During her five-decade career, she racked up hit after hit, performed in front of record-breaking crowds, and in the process amassed an estimated net worth of $250 million.

Turner is leaving behind a $76 million, 10-building waterfront estate near Lake Zurich called the Chateau Algonquin. Located in the town of Kuesnacht, on the shore of Lake Zurich, she shared the house with her husband, Erwin Bach. She purchased the mansion in 2021.

A Trove of Hits

When she retired, Turner sold her entire music catalog to German music company BMG for a reported $50 million in October 2021. The deal not only included her massive hits, but also her name, image, and likeness.

Turner said that she was selling her catalog in order to “secure my legacy and ensure that my music will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.” She also said that she was confident that BMG would be a good steward of her music.

BMG is a global music company that owns the rights to a wide range of music, including the catalogs of artists such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and The Rolling Stones. The company has said that it plans to use Turner’s music to “grow its global business and reach new audiences.”

Turner had 17 solo hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Some of Turner’s solo hits includes, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “Better Be Good to Me,” “Private Dancer,” “Proud Mary,” “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome),” “GoldenEye (007),” and “The Best.”

Of course, most fans know that Turner began her singing career in the early 1950s, and she met musician and producer Ike Turner in 1956 in East St. Louis, Illinois, when he headed the Kings of Rhythm band.

By 1960, she has joined his band, he renamed it the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. They released their first album, “A Fool in Love,” in 1960. In 1962, they married.The album was a hit, and it launched their career as one of the most popular music acts in the world. They went on to release a string of successful albums, including “River Deep – Mountain High” (1966), “Nutbush City Limits” (1973), and “Rough Justice” (1975).

It is unclear if any of her work with Ike Turner was included in the BMG deal. She wrote a number of songs the two released.

Turner and Ike’s marriage was troubled, with Ike being heavy drinker and drug user. She later wrote in her autobiography “I, Tina” that he was physically and emotionally abusive. In 1976, Turner left Ike and filed for divorce.

After years of struggling following the divorce, her career got a restart with the multiplatinum album “Private Dancer” in 1984.

As Finurah previously reported, recent years, a number of major artists, including Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, and Prince, have sold their catalogs for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why Artists Sell

Artists selling their music catalogs is part of a growing trend where they are looking to relinquish the rights to their creative work, with some wanting the money now and up front rather than spread out over years.

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