LOS ANGELES -- CBS Records has entered into a long-term $28 million contract with the Rolling Stones for the worldwide distribution of the rock group's recordings -- the richest deal in music history, it was reported.
The Los Angeles Times reported in Friday's editions that the contract was signed Thursday in Paris because of France's congenial tax laws.
The pact calls for the British singing group, fronted by 40-year-old Mick Jagger, to be paid $6 million per album for a total of four albums over the next few years, according to unidentified Times sources.
The contract also calls for additional promotional expenditures by CBS which could amount to another $1 million per album, bringing the total value of the package to about $28 million, the Times said.
Previously, the richest recording contract on record was that of Kenny Rogers, who signed a five-album deal with RCA Records for a reported $20 million.
The Rolling Stones-CBS contract, which commences upon this fall's completion of the group's current contract with Atlantic Records, calls for the distribution of the group's recordings on CBS' Columbia label, but under the Rolling Stones' own logo.
Since 1971, the Rolling Stones have released 12 albums on Atlantic. The group's last two studio recordings, 'Emotional Rescue' and 'Tattoo You,' sold 4.6 million copies and 5.5 million copies, respectively.
'We certainly hate losing the Stones, but the numbers they were asking just didn't make sense to us,' said Atlantic spokesman Sheldon Vogel. 'We made the richest offer (reportedly $16 million) we could afford and still be realistic.'