ZZ Top has sold its entire music interests to global music company BMG and global investment firm KKR. BMG has served as co-publisher and administrator of the band’s publishing catalog, and the ZZ Top deal marks the latest major music rights deal the two companies have struck together since announcing in March 2021 that they would join forces in the fast-growing market for music IP.
Although no dollar amount was announced, industry sources are whispering the deal was in the neighborhood of $50 million.
ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill died in his sleep this past July 27th at age 72. Guitarist Billy F. Gibbons along with Frank Beard — the band’s drummer for over 50 years — are carrying on, per Hill’s wishes with his bass tech taking his place, 30-year-band veteran, Elwood Francis.
ZZ Top manager Carl Stubner of Shelter Music Group said of the deal, “We are proud to continue working with and expand our long-standing relationship with BMG. This new deal ensures ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.”
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch added: “This deal is a testament to the success, staying power and continuing musical relevance of ZZ Top, but also to the power of our partnership with KKR. This agreement furthers our vision of providing artists and songwriters not just a financial exit, but also a vehicle committed to respecting and treasuring their artistry.”
It’s going on 40 years after ZZ Top’s MTV era-defining 1983 Eliminator album, which featured such instant band classics as “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs.” We asked guitarist Billy Gibbons how the band was able to embrace the 1980’s while staying true to themselves musically: “Yeah, well as the old saying goes: ‘One foot in the blues.’ It keeps it honest and kinda straight ahead. We can narrow the range — take it far left, far right; let’s go back to step one — the blues.”