When it comes to Ariana Grande's latest single, "7 Rings," there's no denying that it's another smash for the star. The pop song was her second song to hit the number one spot on the Billboard 100. And it has provided the famous singer with yet another radio-friendly tune that continues to propel the celeb into superstardom.
But even though "7 Rings" is meant to celebrate excessive spending and the glamour of great wealth and fame, the great irony is that 90 percent of the song's residuals won't be going to Ariana Grande. Instead, a large majority of the popular song's royalties will be directed to the estate of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. This was decided this month, since "7 Rings" borrows in no small fashion from their cherished song "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.
The money matter was confirmed by Pitchfork. As it turns out, this grand division of the song's earnings was decided upon back in January, before "7 Rings" made its way onto the airwaves. When securing the rights to the back-up track, the parties agreed that the use of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical number would secure the duo with the majority of the royalties. While some might assume that it'd be around 40-60 percent, that wasn't even close to the payout the musical songwriters were subject to receive. According to this report, they will be receiving 9/10ths of "7 Rings" makings, and that's quite a payday indeed for the tune-makers.
Even though they are receiving a hell of a payday from these royalty checks, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are not going to be celebrating their earnings anytime soon. The music-writers passed away in 1979 and 1960, respectively. The royalties were requested less on the behalf of the late songwriters, but instead on the behalf of Conchord, which is the music company that has owned the rights to Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved collection of songs since 2017.
Is it fair, then, that Ariana Grande's music label, Republic, has to cough up so much money? It doesn't really matter, ultimately. In any case, "7 Rings" is making no shortage of cash, and this decision to license "My Favorite Things" was made without further negotiation. It, therefore, does not sound like they're bent out of shape about forking up all this money to use the well-known song. So, even though she won't be seeing the majority of the earnings, Grande isn't hurting for cash. And when it comes to making lots of money, that is certainly everyone's favorite thing.
Additionally, "7 Rings" is not the first time Rodgers and Hammerstein's music was used in a famous pop song. In 2006, Gwen Stefani's "Wind It Up" sampled some yodeling from The Sound of Music track, "Lonely Goatherd." In that instance, Rodgers and Hammerstein only received 50 percent of the royalties to that song, perhaps because it was a smaller portion of the single compared to what Grande used throughout the backing track of "7 Rings." No matter. It's clear that, when push comes to shove, Rodgers and Hammerstein know how to get their royalty checks.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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