Kurt Cobain Catalog to SESAC (Exclusive)

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, 11/18/93.

Frank Micelotta

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In advance of Nirvana's induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, SESAC has signed a deal to represent the Kurt Cobain catalog for public performance licensing. The deal covers all of his songs with Nirvana, including such tunes as "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "All Apologies," "Come As You Are," and "Heart-Shaped Box."

Cobain's "impact on music is undeniable, especially with the success of the Nirvana records," SESAC senior VP of writer/publisher relations Trevor Gale said in a statement. "Cobain’s songwriting was the foundation for the group’s success and his music continues to inspire.  We are honored to represent the work of this groundbreaking artist.”

Previously, the Cobain catalog had been represented by BMI. Unlike BMI and ASCAP, which must represent any songwriter that applies for membership due to consent decrees signed with the U.S. government, SESAC is selective about who it represents. Its also likes to sign high-profile songwriters to ensure its ability to negotiate higher rates from digital services, since it isn't constrained by consent decrees and usually not subject to rate courts.

Nirvana will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. This is the band's first year of eligibility as their first single, “Love Buzz,” came out in 1988. The band will be inducted alongside KISS, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, and Linda Ronstadt.