Katy Perry Sells Music Catalog for $225 Million

Pop singer Katy Perry has sold her music rights to Litmus Music — a company cofounded by Capitol Records president Dan McCarroll and financed by the Carlyle Group — for a reported $225 million. The deal includes Perry's stakes in publishing rights and master recordings for five of Perry's six studio albums: One of the Boys, Teenage Dream, Prism, Witness, and Smile. The deal does not include Perry's 2001 debut album, Katy Hudson.

Variety reports that McCarroll said, “Katy Perry is a creative visionary who has made a major impact across music, TV, film, and philanthropy. I’m so honored to be partnering with her again and to help Litmus manage her incredible repertoire.”

“Katy’s songs are an essential part of the global cultural fabric,” said Litmus Music cofounder and CEO Hank Forsyth. “We are so grateful to be working together again with such a trusted partner whose integrity shines in everything that she does.”

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Katy Perry 2019 by Glenn Francis cropped scaled e1695064468811
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Toglenn – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Perry's debut album, Katy Hudson, is an unsuccessful gospel record she recorded at age 16. She changed her name to Katy Perry — her mother's maiden name — upon moving to Los Angeles and signed to Capitol Records. Perry rose in popularity thanks to songs such as “I Kissed a Girl,” “Firework,” “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “E.T.,” “Roar,” and “Dark Horse.” She has sold over 143 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists in history, and released the music documentary film Katy Perry: Part of Me in 2012.

Outside the music world, Perry voiced Smurfette in The Smurfs movies and has a shoe line called Katy Perry Collections. She is engaged to actor Orlando Bloom, with whom she has a daughter.

According to Deadline, American Idol announced in July that Perry will return for a seventh season as a judge on the singing competition show in spring 2024. She started her gig on the show in 2018 for a reported salary of $25 million.

Variety reports that “Carlyle Global Credit has invested capital for this partnership from its Credit Opportunities strategy, and has deployed more than $3 billion in and around the sports, media, and entertainment space since 2018. Carlyle Global Credit brings to the table the ability to structure bespoke financial solutions for partners and artists.”

The New York Times reports that “William Conway, David Rubenstein and Daniel D’Aniello founded Carlyle in Washington in 1987. It made a splash with a string of deals in the defense sector. But the buyout firm became famous — and at times a lightning rod — for its extensive political connections as much as for its deal-making. Carlyle recruited top political leaders like former President George H.W. Bush, former British Prime Minister John Major and former Secretary of State James Baker — after they left office.”

In 1995, the Bin Laden family reportedly invested $2 million into Carlyle's $1.3 billion Carlyle Partners II Fund, a controversial move that Michael Moore criticized in Fahrenheit 911. The Bin Laden family liquated its holdings in the Carlyle fund immediately following 9-11. In more recent years, the Carlyle Group hasn't shown as much interest in the defense industry, focusing more on entertainment investments such as the Perry catalog.

“We believe this [deal with Katy Perry] is a testament to the team’s ability to partner with the world’s top artists,” says Matt Settle, managing director at Carlyle. “Katy’s iconic songs have not only achieved outstanding commercial success but have significantly influenced popular culture.”