NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Legendary hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan have reportedly auctioned off their one-of-a-kind secret album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin for millions.
Online auction house Paddle8 completed the sale to a "private American collector," according to Forbes after a sale was agreed upon in May. Contracts and legal protections for the record took months to complete as the new owner is contractually bound from releasing the music commercially for 88 years.
"The Wu-Tang Clan have always been driven by innovation, and this marks another moment in musical history," said Wu-Tang co-founder RZA in the statement to Forbes. "From the beginning, we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity. Both of those goals have been achieved, and the ideas continue to evolve."
Paddle8 has declared the sale the most expensive single album ever sold. "We pioneered a new type of intellectual property regarding the sale of a work that is simultaneously physical and digital, creating previously unexplored legal protections for a unique work that cannot be reproduced," added Paddle8 cofounder Alexander Gilkes. "This marks an exciting new model of distribution for the music world and we look forward to playing an ongoing role in this innovative model."
The 31-track album according to RZA features all of Wu-Tang's surviving members and a guest appearance from Cher. Once Upon A Time In Shaolin comes inside a silver plated box, a 174-page manuscript containing lyrics, credits and production notes on each song along with a pair of $55,000 speakers.
RZA confirmed that the group would donate a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.