Celebrity net worth: Tina Turner sells music catalogue rights to BMG in $50m deal

In our fortnightly round-up of celebrities and their money, Amitabh Bachchan endorses cryptocurrencies and Daniel Craig is set for a stirring pay cheque

Tina Turner has sold the rights to her music catalogue to BMG in a deal reportedly worth $50 million. Rob Verhorst / Redferns
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Related: Why music royalties are hitting the right note for investors

Tina Turner

Nutbush, Tennessee native Tina Turner famously walked away from her marriage to Ike with only the rights to her name in 1976. Forty five years later, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” has sold the management of her name, image and likeness along with her share of her music rights to BMG, the world's second-largest record label, in a landmark deal.

The bulk of the deal covers 19 albums and compilations that have combined to sell more than 100 million records and includes evergreen hits such as What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Private Dancer, Nutbush City Limits and Simply the Best.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but media reports suggest it is worth $50 million. It follows on the heels of Bob Dylan’s $300m deal with Universal Music and Neil Young’s agreement with investment and management company Hipgnosis. It is part of a wider trend in which artists are cashing in on the value of their music catalogues as they consider their legacies and estate planning.

Turner, 81, had a net worth of $250m before the deal. A good chunk of that is thought to have come from ticket sales of the 12-time Grammy winner’s concert tours, which regularly filled out football stadiums before she hung up her tour heels a decade ago. Her final Tina! 50th Anniversary Tour grossed a cumulative $134m in North America and Europe over two years in 2008 and 2009, according to trade publication Pollstar.

“Like any artist, the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal. I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music my work is in professional and reliable hands,” Turner says.

BMG is part of the of the Bertelsmann media conglomerate alongside publisher Penguin Random House and pan-European broadcaster RTL. The publisher already owns or represents rights for the work of other artists such as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Roger Waters, Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, Scorpions, Iron Maiden and more.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Does lab-grown beef taste the same as traditionally farmed livestock? Leonardo DiCaprio hopes enough people will think so. In September, the Academy Award-winning actor and environmental activist invested an undisclosed sum in Aleph Farms and Mosa Meat, two early contenders in the emerging field of cultivated companies.

Both companies have shown how beef can be grown directly from animal cells. Dutch brand Mosa Meat debuted the world's first cultivated hamburger in 2013, while Israel’s Aleph Farms has grown steak and rib-eye in a laboratory in 2018 and 2021.

“One of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis is to transform our food system. Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms offer new ways to satisfy the world's demand for beef, while solving some of the most pressing issues of current industrial beef production. I'm very pleased to join them as an adviser and investor as they prepare to introduce cultivated beef to consumers,” DiCaprio says.

One of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis is to transform our food system
Leonardo DiCaprio

Cultivated meat is expected to be a $25 billion global industry by 2030, representing half a per cent of the world’s meat supply, according to McKinsey forecasts. Start-ups in the field are pursuing at least 15 different products, including chicken, beef, shrimp, duck, white fish, tuna, foie gras, lamb, kangaroo and sturgeon. Overall production is expected to grow from 40 to 70 per cent by 2050, according to some forecasts, as part of a broader protein transformation.

Cultivated beef production could reduce climate impact by 92 per cent, cutting air pollution by 93 per cent, while using 95 per cent less land and 78 per cent less water when compared with industrial beef production, an independent Life Cycle Analysis study shows.

DiCaprio has a portfolio of at least 14 different investment ventures, with sustainable businesses representing a significant percentage.

Other investments include alternative meat manufacturer Beyond Meat, as well as lab-grown diamond manufacturer Diamond Foundry and recycling technology developer Rubicon, sustainable meal prep company Love The Wild, and ethical finance start-up Aspiration.

Technology stakes include Magnus, an app described as a Shazam for art and technology investment company Struck Capital, based in his native Los Angeles. The Wolf of Wall Street star has also pledged $43m to conservation in the Galapagos Islands through his Re:wild charity.

Daniel Craig

“You can imagine why I’ve come back to play,” James Bond says in No Time To Die. In the case of actor Daniel Craig, a $25m pay cheque might have had something to do with it. Not including final bonuses from the post-pandemic box-office record breaker, the English actor is estimated to have earned a total of $85.4m from his five outings as the world’s most famous fictional spy, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Should the film go on to equal Skyfall’s $1-billion-plus box-office takings, the website speculates that Craig may take home an additional $25m to $50m, depending on the earnings bonus he negotiated. That could take his cumulative salary as James Bond to $110m over 16 years.

By comparison, Pierce Brosnan, the actor who previously played Bond, earned $41.4m over four films – or an inflation-adjusted $65m.

Craig is currently estimated to be worth a stirring $160m.

In February, the actor was among a number of celebrities to invest in tech wellness devices company Therabody, alongside Jay-Z, Kevin Hart, Karlie Kloss, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, Maria Sharapova, Justin Timberlake and Marcus Rashford.

Craig made headlines in August when he said he planned to spend or give away his entire fortune in his lifetime, rather than leaving it to his two daughters and teenage stepson.

“Isn’t there an adage that if you die a rich person, you’ve failed? I think Andrew Carnegie gave away what in today’s money would be about $11bn, which shows how rich he was because I’ll bet he kept some of it, too,” he told Candis magazine at the time, referring to the Scottish-born US industrialist who is one of the wealthiest men in history.

“But I don’t want to leave great sums to the next generation. I think inheritance is quite distasteful. My philosophy is get rid of it or give it away before you go.”

Amitabh Bachchan

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is the new brand ambassador of Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX, the company said this week. The veteran actor will be the face of a campaign that seeks to popularise cryptocurrencies in India.

“Being a crypto investor himself and having launched his own NFT [non-fungible token] recently, Amitabh Bachchan is well-versed with the crypto space,” says Sumit Gupta, co-founder and chief executive of CoinDCX.

“His knowledge will prove valuable in building trust and credibility among new users. We are certain that his association with CoinDCX will help bring greater visibility to the world of crypto and develop a strong brand recall for us.”

The exchange recently raised $90m in a Series C funding round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group. The subsequent $1.1bn valuation makes it India’s first crypto unicorn.

Being a crypto investor himself and having launched his own NFT recently, Amitabh Bachchan is well-versed with the crypto space
Sumit Gupta, co-founder and chief executive of CoinDCX

In September, Bachchan said he would create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for a new Indian platform, Beyondlife.club. The works will be available from November in what is being called the country’s first rare NFT auction and will include poetry set to music, autographed original posters and other undisclosed gifts. Throughout October, fans are being encouraged to suggest NFT ideas for Bachhan to work on. The website does not say if conceptualisers will receive a share of any eventual sales.

The actor, now 78, set up the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation in the mid-1990s to produce movies. The company went into administration within a few years and Bachchan faced the spectre of losing his home, Prateeksha, in Mumbai’s Juhu area to creditors.

Bachchan is now estimated to have a net worth of $400m.

Updated: October 10, 2021, 5:00 AM