Queen has reportedly agreed to sell their recording, publishing and other rights to Sony Music for a record-smashing $1.27 billion.

According to Hits, the deal also includes name and likeness rights, potentially opening the door to musicals, commercial and film placements, merchandising and other money-making opportunities. The band's 2018 autobiographical film Bohemian Rhapsody earned over $900 million worldwide.

Disney and Universal Music Group will permanently retain the rights to distribute Queen's records in North America, but the band's share of the royalties will now go to Sony Music. For the rest of the world, those rights are expected to transfer from current owners UMG to Sony Music in either 2026 or 2027.

According to Variety, revenue from live performances is not included in the deal. Founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor continue to perform live with singer Adam Lambert. Bassist John Deacon retired shortly after the 1991 death of founding singer Freddie Mercury.

The $1.27 billion marks the largest music rights sale on record, surpassing Bruce Springsteen's previous $500 million deal in 2021, also to Sony Music, as well as a deal reached earlier this year in which Sony agreed to pay $600 million for half of Michael Jackson's publishing and recorded masters catalog.

Rumors of a potential deal for Queen began circulating in 2023 and continued for over a year. Universal Music was also reported to be interested in purchasing the catalog.

Other Rockstar Catalog Sales

Queen is the latest rock act to sell the rights to their catalog, joining a list of artists that include Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Blondie, Chrissie Hynde, Journey, Nikki Sixx, Steve Winwood and a number of others.

READ MORE: The Best Song From Every Queen Album

"I can't work, and streaming stole my record money," the late David Crosby, who sold his catalog in 2021, explained on social media. "I have a family and a mortgage and I have to take care of them, so it's my only option. I'm sure the others feel the same."

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Gallery Credit: Allison Rapp

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