Mick Jagger is contemplating leaving his portion of the Rolling Stones’ music catalog to charity instead of his eight children.
In an interview with WSJ. Magazine published on Tuesday, September 26, Jagger, 80, addressed the potential sale of his band’s post-1971 music catalog. While the rockstar doesn’t have plans to cash in right away, he noted that the money wouldn’t make a huge difference to him and his family.
“The children don’t need $500 million to live well. Come on,” Jagger said to the outlet. When asked about potentially sending the sum to charity, he added that it could “maybe do some good in the world.”
The singer only maintains ownership of the Rolling Stones’ music from after 1971 because their former accountant Allan Klein secured the copyrights to the group’s earlier discography, including some of their biggest hits like “Paint It Black,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and others. When the band cut ties with Klein in 1970, they agreed to give him ownership to the catalog while Jagger and Keith Richards walked away with royalties. (Klein’s company, ABKCO Music & Records, still owns the rights to the music following his death in 2009.)
“I don’t actually really like business, you know what I mean?” Jagger reflected about the financial side of the music industry. “Some people just love it. I just have to do it. Because if you don’t do it, you get f—ked.”
When discussing his body of work and the situation over ownership, Jagger drew parallels between what happened to him years ago — and how it relates to Taylor Swift’s own fight for her masters. (In 2019, Scooter Braun acquired the rights to Swift’s first six albums when purchasing her old label, Big Machine Records — a deal she has repeatedly slammed in the media.)
From his perspective, Jagger said, “The industry was so nascent [back then], it didn’t have the support and the amount of people that are on tap to be able to advise you as they do now,” he explained. “But you know, it still happens. I mean, look what happened to Taylor Swift! I don’t really know the ins and outs of it, but she obviously wasn’t happy.”
Despite his thoughts about not leaving the music rights to his children, the “Sympathy for the Devil” rocker has nothing but love for his family. (Jagger shares daughter Karis, 52, with Marsha Hunt, daughter Jade, 51, with ex-wife Bianca Jagger, daughters Elizabeth, 39, and Georgia May, 31, and sons James, 38, and Gabriel, 25, with ex-wife Jerry Hall and son Lucas, 24, with Luciana Gimenez. In December 2016, the musician welcomed his youngest child, son Deveraux, with current girlfriend Melanie Hamrick.)
“I have this really wonderful family that supports me,” he gushed on Tuesday. “And I have, you know, young children — that makes you feel like you’re relevant.”