Paul Simon has sold his songwriting catalog, which includes classics like “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson,” to Sony Music Publishing.
Sony gave few details in its announcement of the deal, other than noting it was acquiring the “complete collection” of Simon’s compositions, The New York Times reported. That includes Simon’s solo work, plus his work with Simon and Garfunkel.
The blockbuster deal is the latest transaction in the music business. The database of BMI, the performing rights organization Simon is affiliated with, lists more than 400 titles under his name.
That includes classics such as “I Am a Rock,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “Kodachrome,” “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Homeward Bound,” “America,” “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “Still Crazy After All These Years.”
According to BMI, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” has had more than 5 million broadcast performances, the Times reported.
“Paul Simon is a masterful, once-in-a-lifetime songwriter whose remarkable body of work has generated an enduring influence on our culture and consciousness,” Sony Music Publishing CEO John Platt said in a statement. “From Simon and Garfunkel standards like ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to solo classics such as ‘Graceland,’ Paul Simon’s music resonates deeply as a cultural touchstone for people all over the world. To represent his indelible songs is an incredible honor for Sony Music Publishing, so with tremendous pride, I welcome Paul to our family.”
Other major composers to sell their catalog include Bob Dylan, who sold his compositions in December 2020 to Universal Music Publishing Group; and Stevie Nicks, who sold her song catalog to Primary Wave for a reported $100 million, Rolling Stone reported. Neil Young sold half of his copyrights to Hipgnosis Songs Fund in January for an estimated $150 million, and Lindsay Buckingham also sold their publishing rights this year, while Mick Fleetwood sold his recorded rights to BMG, according to Rolling Stone.
In a statement, Simon, 79, said he was pleased to have Sony as “the custodian of my songs for the coming decades.”
“I began my career at Columbia/Sony Records and it feels like a natural extension to be working with the publishing side as well,” Simon said in his statement.