Feb. 12 [7:55 EST] -- David Bowie, the man who once sold the world, has now sold himself... to the Prudential Insurance company. The deal occurred in a Wall Street bond issue that has brought the veteran singer a fat, $55 million payday.
This innovative financial stratagem is made possible by the fact that Bowie's classic old albums, such as "Ziggy Stardust" and "Aladdin Sane," still sell about a million copies a year worldwide.
That income, while reliable, dribbles in rather slowly. So Bowie's business managers turned the future profits from his 25 pre-1993 albums and songs (record royalties as well as licensing fees for such things as sheet music, commercials, and elevator music) into an issue of 10-year bonds that will repay investors at an attractive interest rate of 7.9 percent which is currently 1.5 percent higher than U.S. Treasury bonds.
Bowie himself now moves on to promoting his new album, "Earthling" (which is out this week), and savoring a new recording
deal with EMI Records that's reportedly worth another $30 million.