Five jewels in the EMI Music Publishing crown

From Queen and Carol King to Drake, the UK based music publishing company has a staggering number of hits to its name

Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), singer with Queen, standing in front of a drumkit as he sings into a microphone on stage during a live concert performance by the band at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom,  on 5 June 1982. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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Sony Music is now in control of the music publishing company, EMI Music Publishing, after Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company sold its 60.1 percent share in the label. As a result, Sony is now in charge of a massive body of musical riches that includes over two million songs. Let's take a look some of the highlights:


With nearly 300 million units shifted, the body of work amassed by the British rockers would be a jewel for any publishing company. With hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions used regularly in television, films and advertising campaigns, their enduring catalogue has remained a steady earner for nearly three decades.


An influential body of work that remains under-utilised. With so many of today’s hits by artists ranging from Pharrell Williams to Bruno Mars paying tribute to the soul genre, it remains a mystery why these collection of hits by the likes of The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and The Supremes are not effectively used in today’s retro-appreciating entertainment scene.

Carol King

She is one of the most successful US singer-songwriters in pop. Over the course of a near six-decade career, King either penned or co-wrote nearly over 110 pop songs including solo hits You've Got a Friend and It's Too Late to classics sung by others including Aretha Franklin's You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman and On Broadway, which has been performed by a variety of acts ranging from jazz man George Benson to doo-woppers The Drifters. King's enduring hits were also heard on stage with a show of her life completing a successful run at New York's Broadway and London's West End in recent years.


The Canadian rapper should benefit from this move. With Sony already having a stake in Spotify, it will be interesting to see if the newly acquired works will receive prominent airplay on the streaming giant. With Drake being one of Spotify’s biggest artists, this could prove a win-win for everyone.

Best of the rest

EMI Music Publishing is not just home to vintage acts. The catalogue also boasts a healthy smattering of current acts big enough to keep the money rolling through. In addition to Drake, other modern big sellers include Pharrell Williams, Pink, Calvin Harris and Kanye West.


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