A judge has given his approval to the late singer Bo Diddley’s managers to sell off his music catalog to pay for the rock and roll pioneer’s outstanding $1.1 million debt to the IRS.
The assets are estimated to be worth $4.3 million, according to the Gainesville Sun. The guitarist died in 2008 and his 22 heirs are reportedly opposed to selling off the publishing rights to the approximately 70 songs in his music catalog. They also objected to the fees and commissions charged by Diddley’s managers, agents and estate attorney.
However, the rights to the catalog are currently held by Fuji Music, and the heirs have needed to negotiate a deal to pay off the tax debt.
Circuit Judge Robert Roundtree ruled last Friday that the managers could take a 15 percent commission on the sale and the estate attorney’s firm could collect a 5 percent commission. The heirs are hoping to earn a 15 percent revenue stream from the rights.
Diddley, who was born Ellas Bates McDaniel, died in 2008 at the age of 79, a year after he suffered a stroke. Diddley had sold some of the music rights to pay for his medical care after his stroke, and the IRS is claiming taxes on the sale of those rights.
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