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It’s no secret that the music business is quite lucrative, with the artists, writers and producers behind some of our favorite songs making enough money to live in the lap of luxury. A select few have amassed such a strong musical following that over time see their catalogs evolve into a mini fortune in itself.

Rap sensation Future, who’s released nine studio albums over the past decade, recently made headlines by selling his extensive publishing catalog to investment firm Influence Media Partners in an eight-figure deal estimated between $65 to $75 million.

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The Atlanta-born hitmaker’s past seven albums have each topped the Billboard 200, in addition to hitting number 1 on the Hot 100 this year with his Drake & Tems-assisted single “Wait for U.” With that said, IMP’s hefty price tag to acquire the music of an artist who still proves to be a hot commodity in the current music industry definitely doesn’t seem too out of place. According to Variety, the deal covers recordings from 2004 to 2020 that amount to a staggering 612 titles. Some of those include his work with Drake (“Life Is Good,” “Jumpman”), Kendrick Lamar (“King’s Dead”), Rihanna (“Selfish”) and the Weeknd (“Low Life”).

Kanye West on the other hand isn’t having as much luck in the same category, with the controversial rap icon debunking recent reports that he’s shopping his catalog for $175 million. Ye actually fired back by claiming someone else was trying to make negotiations without his permission, writing on Instagram in all caps, “JUST LIKE TAYLOR SWIFT, MY PUBLISHING IS BEING PUT UP FOR SALE WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE. NOT FOR SALE.”

As seen from the two examples above, selling off your music publishing requires a great mind for business, negotiations that will fetch a few figures or better and, in the case of Ye, a team that won’t go behind your back to lowball for a quick cash grab.

We took a minute to reflect back on some of the biggest hitmakers to make off with an even bigger check on the sale of their music catalogs, including icons Smokey Robinson, Tina Turner and the late King Of Pop Michael Jackson just to name a few. Some are still alive, while others received a posthumous payday for their estate beneficiaries. However, one thing they all have in common is making timeless hits that will continue each of their legacies for decades to come.

1996 Royal Concert in BruneiSource: William Nation / Getty

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Keep scrolling for a look at prominent musicians from our culture that made millions by selling their music catalog:

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Musicians That Made Millions Off Selling Their Music Catalog  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. Luther Vandross – $40 Million (Estimated)

Acquired by Primary Wave Music in 2021.

2. James Brown – $90 Million (Estimated)

Acquired by Primary Wave Music in 2021.

3. Smokey Robinson – $22 Million (Estimated)

Acquired by Primary Wave Music in 2016.

4. Bob Marley – $50 Million (Estimated)

Acquired by Primary Wave Music in 2018.

5. John Legend – $50 – $100 Million (Estimated)

Acquired by BMG and investment firm KKR in 2022.

6. Tina Turner – $50 – $300 Million (Estimated)

Acquired by BMG in 2021.

7. Michael Jackson – $750 Million 

Acquired by Sony Corp. in 2016.