Layne Staley and Mike Starr’s Estates Sell Stakes In Alice In Chains’ Catalog


Lately, many big-name musicians have been divesting themselves of the rights to their song catalogs in exchange for some big ol’ payouts. Only last week, legendary arena-rock act Def Leppard sold stakes in their catalog, including the rights to such songs as “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Rock of Ages.” Now, it appear that the estates of Layne Staley and Mike Starr, vocalist and bassist for grunge icons Alice In Chains respectively, have sold their stakes in the band’s catalog.

According to Rolling Stone, Staley and Starr’s stakes go to Primary Wave Music, the same company that bought Def Leppard’s catalog. The company declined to disclose the financial details of the deal — which makes us wonder why, though maybe Layne and Mike’s families just don’t want their personal business broadcast across the Internet — though they have acquired the publishing rights and master recording income stream to such massive hits as “Rooster,” “Man In The Box,” and “Would,” so one assumes they paid a pretty penny.

The musicians’ estates join a current crop of artists who are divesting themselves of stakes in their catalogs for significant payouts. The basic idea, as far as we can tell, is that post-cOVID, having seen what the world could be without tours and traditional promo cycles, these artists have decided to take the money and run rather than risk playing the game and losing in this brave new world.

One notable act who got rid of their catalog for a massive payout was Mötley Crüe, who sold their catalog to BMG for a whopping $150 million. But in classic Mötley fashion, they made it out to be a partnership, not a sale:

“It feels amazing to be collaborating with our new partners at BMG. Their extensive track record of success in rock made them the perfect home to continue preserving and growing our musical legacy, ensuring we always stay at the top.

There you go. We hope Layne and Mike’s estates made out big on this one.

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