ZZ Top Sells Catalog for a Cool $50 Million

by Chris Haney

Like many other legendary musicians in recent years, ZZ Top has sold the rights to their music catalog for a whopping $50 million.

Several outlets have reported that investment firm KKR and record company BMG struck a deal recently for the band’s music. The deal also includes the rights to ZZ Top’s publishing catalog and income from recorded music and performance royalties.

The iconic Texas trio is best known for singles like “Gimme All Your Lovin,'” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs.” The KKR and BMG deal gives the companies the rights to all the music from their 50-year career. That includes 15 albums worth of material that feature six No. 1 singles.

Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard formed ZZ Top in 1969 while living in Houston, Texas. Of course, they became synonymous in the following years for their long beards, which made them one of the most recognizable acts in the music industry. In 2004, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The ZZ Top music deal comes on the heels of numerous other artists selling the rights to their catalogs. Just last week, Sony bought Bruce Springsteen‘s catalog for an astounding $500 million. Last December, Universal bought Bob Dylan‘s massive 600-song catalog for upwards of $400 million. Additionally, Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks sold 80% of the rights to her songwriting catalog for $100 million.

Further, other reports have suggested that Universal is in advanced talks with Sting to buy his catalog for $250 million. In addition, Warner Music Group is supposedly raising $535 million to buy David Bowie‘s expansive catalog.

ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Passes Away at Age 72

Earlier this year in July, ZZ Top founding member and bassist Dusty Hill unexpectedly passed away in Texas at age 72. The musician suffered from a hip-related issue, and the band paused their summer tour so he could seek treatment. At the time, the band stated that it would be “a short detour” for the bassist.

“The members of ZZ Top, Billy, and Frank, would like to share that Dusty, their fearless Bass player, is on a short detour back to Texas to address a hip issue,” their Facebook post read. “They await a speedy recovery and have him back pronto.”

The band did not disclose any further details as Hill returned to Texas. Shortly after, the bassist died to the shock of the band’s fans around the world. The remaining ZZ Top members, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard, shared their sorrow with fans in another social media post.

“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. Along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, we will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’. We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo. Frank & Billy,” their touching Facebook post read.