KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Sony Music is set to acquire British rock band Queen’s music catalogue for £1 billion (RM5.97 billion).

The only revenue not covered in the deal is for live performances, which founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor, who still actively tour with singer Adam Lambert, will retain, reported Variety.

The band’s catalogue is said to be the most valuable of the rock era with Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust, Radio Ga Ga, 39, Somebody to Love,You’re My Best Friend as well as We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions, which are popular and lucrative.

The success of the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody demonstrated the group’s name potential and likeness rights, and the likelihood of a jukebox musical that could open in London or on Broadway and an indefinite tour.

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Sale of the catalogue had been in the pipeline for years but was made complicated by the group’s recorded-music rights for the US and Canada, which were acquired by Disney in the 2000s after an initial US$10 million (RM47.12 million) licensing deal in 1991.

Those rights will still remain with Disney in perpetuity, although certain of the band members’ remaining royalties from them will go to Sony once the deal is sealed.

The group’s distribution deal, currently with Universal, will also go to Sony in all territories outside of the US and Canada when it expires in 2026 or 2027.

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The band was formed in 1970 by May and Taylor at London with Freddie Mercury on vocals and piano. John Deacon, who joined the following year, was on bass.