Michael Jackson has released a statement insisting he has no plans to sell the rights to the Beatles’ song catalog. “I want to clarify a silly rumor: the Beatles Catalogue is not for sale; has not been for sale and will never be for sale,” Jackson said in a statement released today (May 9).
In recent days, rumors had surfaced that Jackson was putting the catalog up for sale to cover legal bills relating to canceled concert tours, as well as the maintenance of his Neverland ranch in California.
Jackson shocked the music world in September 1985 by outbidding Paul McCartney for the publishing rights to some 250 Beatles songs in the ATV catalog, for a reported $47 million. In 1995, Jackson merged ATV with Sony Music Publishing, a deal which netted him a reported $110 million. Under Jackson’s ownership, Beatles songs have appeared in commercials for the first time, including a much-hyped Nike ad that featured “Revolution.”
Jackson is set to release a long-delayed new album this fall, and will mark 30 years a solo artist with a gala concert on Sept. 7 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.