EMI buys last of Motown catalog

DETROIT, April 1 (UPI) -- Music mogul Berry Gordy Jr. has sold his final interest in the legendary Motown music empire to EMI Music Publishing in a deal worth about $80 million.

Gordy, 75, began selling pieces of Motown in 1988 after the company left its R&B roots in Detroit and moved to Los Angeles. EMI Music Publishing, the world's largest music publisher, is paying about $80 million for the final 20 percent of Jobete Music, which owns such titles as "My Girl," and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."


Gordy co-wrote many of Motown's biggest hits.

EMI bought 50 percent of Jobete in 1997 for $132 million and acquired another 30 percent last year for $110 million.

Wednesday's deal gives EMI ownership of the complete Motown catalog of more than 15,000 compositions.

"For Berry, letting go of his songs was harder than letting go of his company," Paul Baker, a former Jobete catalog manager told the Detroit Free Press. "Those were his babies."

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