MIDGE Ure, who in his Ultravox days had one of the UK’s most famous number-two chart singles with Vienna, has sold his rights to income on more than 300 songs to MusicBird.

The songs span the solo career of the Scottish songwriter, recording artist and producer and his time with Ultravox and Visage, and also include other work.

Midge Ure said he was “excited” to be working with MusicBird, a privately held Swiss company, on taking the songs to new audiences.

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MusicBird, noting it was acquiring the writer’s share, master recording and neighbouring rights income on the songs, said: “Midge enjoyed huge success in the 1970s and 1980s in bands including Slik, Thin Lizzy, Rich Kids, Visage and as the lead singer of Ultravox. He produced, co-wrote and performed on several synth-pop and new wave classics such as Fade to Grey by Visage, the Ultravox hits Vienna and Dancing with Tears in My Eyes and his UK number-one hit If I Was, taken from his top-10 album The Gift.”HeraldScotland:

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The price paid by MusicBird was not disclosed.

Asked if there had been a bidding process for Midge Ure’s catalogue, a spokesman for MusicBird replied: “We’re not commenting on the purchase process at the moment.”

He added: “Rights are being acquired from Midge.”

The spokesman noted MusicBird now owns Midge Ure’s “master’s rights income, not the master recordings…themselves which still are owned by the label”.

Midge Ure said: “It is a significant moment for me as an artist and songwriter to see my songs find a new home at MusicBird with people who are genuinely passionate about music. I think this team will take the songs to new audiences and I am excited to be working with them on that.”

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Paul Brown, chief executive of MusicBird said: “This is an important deal for MusicBird. Midge has written some genuinely timeless hits that were groundbreaking, helping to define the 1980s new wave sound and literally paving the way for those that came after. We are hugely excited to become the custodian of these incredible songs and we are humbled that Midge has entrusted these precious pieces of art to the MusicBird team.” MusicBird’s current catalogue portfolio includes the publishing rights of songwriter J.R. Rotem, including hits by Rihanna, Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, Iyaz and Sean Kingston, and the master income and publishing rights of multiple Grammy Award winning artist Shaggy, including It Wasn’t Me, Angel and Boombastic.

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It noted it had “entered the music acquisition space in 2021 with a focus on hits from a diverse range of genres and geographies, working across the music and tech ecosystem” to manage its rights and increase music revenues.

Last month, MusicBird announced what it describes as “a major milestone $100 million loan facility deal” with international bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group to “power growth and fund further music rights deals”.

It noted that Midge Ure, together with Bob Geldof, co-wrote and produced the Band Aid charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and ranks as the second-highest-selling single in UK chart history.

MusicBird noted that, as a charity single, this was not part of the acquisition deal.