March 18, 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, famed for the James Bond theme “Nobody Does It Better”, has become the latest artist to sell her catalogue to Hipgnosis Songs Fund, as a surge in streaming makes up for concert earnings lost to the pandemic.
London-listed Hipgnosis did not disclose the size of the deal in its announcement on Thursday, although it has said the year had got off to its “strongest start ever”.
COVID-19 has prompted musicians to monetise their older work by selling tracks and albums as the global health crisis has all but shut down live concerts.
“This is one of the most important deals we have ever made,” Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis said in a statement on its latest deal.
Carole Bayer Sager has written and produced songs for a host of artists from Michael Jackson and Barbra Streisand to Ray Charles and Whitney Houston, winning an Oscar, a Grammy and three Golden Globe awards, as well enjoying a successful solo career in the 1970s.
Her best known work includes the lyrics for “Nobody Does It Better,” which was the theme song for the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” and “Heartlight” by Neil Diamond.
“Hearing his (Mercuriadis’s) plans to keep these songs aliveand bring them to a new generation of listeners, excited me and convinced me now was the right time to allow a new custodian to take charge of their future,” Bayer Sager said.
Hipgnosis has also sealed deals this year with Neil Young and Shakira, as well as Metallica producer Bob Rock.
Bob Dylan last year sold his entire back catalogue of more than 600 songs, including classics, such as 1965’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” to Universal Music Group’s publishing arm.
(Reporting by Tom Wilson; editing by Barbara Lewis)