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Madonna says she’ll never sell her back catalogue: “Ownership is everything, isn’t it?”

By Ellie Robinson

Madonna remains staunch on the importance of owning the rights to her own music, saying in a new interview that she has no plans to sell her sprawling back catalogue.

Speaking to Variety, the pop superstar vouched for claims made by her longtime manager Guy Oseary that Madonna would never sell her stake in the rights to her lengthy discography.

When asked why she wouldn’t consider offloading the rights – as the likes of Justin Timberlake, Sting, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and the estate of David Bowie have done in recent months – she responded bluntly: “Because they’re my songs. Ownership is everything isn’t it? I mean, that’s why [Oseary is] buying apes.” That last line refers to the NFT company Bored Ape Yacht Club, for whom Oseary signed on to represent last year.

Though she still retains ownership over her catalogue, Madonna did sign a new publishing deal with the Warner Music Group last August. Announcing the news, the singer asserted that Warner had been “amazing partners”, and confirmed that she would have an executive say in what sorts of ways her older material would be reissued.

Keeping in theme with her adamancy on retaining ownership of her art, Madonna said last week that she had decided to make her own biopic in order to stop “misogynistic men” from taking over the project.

As announced back in 2020, Madonna is directing and co-writing the film – which is yet to receive a title or release window – with Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody. In June, it was reported that Ozark actor Julia Garner had been offered the lead role,  after she “emerged the favourite” from over a dozen candidates.

Madonna’s last studio album was her 14th, ‘Madame X’, which arrived in June of 2019 and earned a four-star review from NME. Last December, she teased that new music could be released in 2022, sharing a photo of herself recording vocals in a studio. “So great to be back in the studio making Music again,” she captioned a post on social media, promising “suprises [sic] in the New Year”.

On what to expect from her future releases, Madonna told Variety this week that she’s “just looking for interesting, fun ways to rerelease my catalog and introduce my music to a new generation”.

Source: NME