The New 27 Club: Label, Legacy, and the Law

in Employment/Government/Public Policy/Trade/Volume V

By Dawson J. Sanders

I.              Introduction

Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain – For many, these names together are invariably associated with what Rolling Stone Magazine calls “one of the most elusive and remarkably tragic coincidences in rock & roll history.”[1] The coincidence is now known as “the 27 Club,” referring to the significant number of musicians who profoundly impacted the art world despite unexpectedly passing away at the early age of 27.[2]

The 27 Club has not grown by much since Cobain’s death in 1994. Unfortunately, the reason is not because artists are no longer dying young; it is because they are dying younger than 27. Modern music icons such as Mac Miller, Juice WRLD, XXXTentacion, Lil Peep, and Pop Smoke all passed away in the last six years and none lived to see their 27th birthday.[3]

While musicians are dying younger, they are still leaving behind large bodies of incomplete or unreleased work. Grade A Productions, for example, claims to possess more than 3,000 unreleased songs recorded by Juice WRLD prior to the vocalist’s death in 2019. [4]  Other artist’s, such as Lil Peep and Pop Smoke, left behind discographies composed primarily of unfinished tracks. Still, many of these fragmented recordings were eventually adapted by the artists’ record labels for public consumption.[5]

Posthumous releases are unsurprisingly controversial, and the controversy is amplified when, as is often the case, a record label is alleged to have contributed to an artist’s death or released music contrary to a deceased artist’s interests.[6] With both a musical legacy and millions of dollars at stake, the rights and obligations of an artist’s estate and label frequently lead to litigation or public outcry.[7]

This article examines the laws, policies, and contractual practices of the music business with respect to deaths of signed artists. Part I explores the incentives underlying the label-artist relationship generally, then focuses on those implicated when contemplating a label’s perceived indifference to an artist’s death. Part II discusses the posthumous release, emphasizing music that is incomplete at the time of an artist’s passing, and proposes legal solutions for protecting artistic legacies.

II.            Label Incentives

Under the stage name “Lil Peep,” Gustav Ahr was called “his generation’s Kurt Cobain.”[8] His ability to connect intimately with his fanbase through musical expressions of angst and emotional turmoil caused many to liken the young artist to the iconic Nirvana front man.[9] Unfortunately, the comparable impacts that each musician had on the music industry come largely from their similar fates. Just two years after skyrocketing to fame, Ahr died of a fentanyl overdose in 2017.[10]

Following Ahr’s death, his mother, Liza Womack, filed a lawsuit against Ahr’s record label, First Access Entertainment (FAE), for negligence and wrongful death.[11] Womack alleged that FAE played a role in her son’s overdose by forcing him “onto stage after stage in city after city, plying and propping him up” with illegal drugs.[12] While FAE’s official court filings stated that its relationship with the rapper was “purely of a business nature and not the type of special relationship giving rise to an independent duty of care for one’s safety and/or well-being,” Womack’s court filings claimed that FAE “undertook the task of controlling and managing Ahr’s personal life,” including his eating, drinking, sleeping, drug use, personal safety, and access to healthcare and therapists.[13] The Los Angeles County Superior Court determined that the case was fit to proceed to trial, but Womack and FAE agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount in February of 2023, ending the litigation.[14]

A similar lawsuit was filed against Michael Jackson’s record company by his estate in 2013.[15] In the aftermath, the music industry buzzed with talk of introducing guidelines into recording agreements that would allow labels or trustees to temporarily suspend self-harming artists, until they received proper treatment for their afflictions.[16] Artist-suspension or related clauses could very well have prevented, or at least delayed, some of the drug-related deaths that occurred in the music industry in the last decade. Since 2013, however, the “artist-suspension clause” seems to have been forgotten. In fact, while death continuously punctuates modern music history, potential solutions have seemingly never been part of the industry conversation in a manner that is more than superficial.

Record companies’ perceived indifference to the death of artists and ostensible reluctance to push for measures that could reduce its risk has raised questions about the incentives that drive the companies’ decision making.[17] Part I of this article addresses these incentives, beginning with those necessary to establish the artist-label relationship as a commercial vehicle for creativity.

1.     Record Deal Basic

Signing a record deal can be a significant step in a musician’s career and is often the first time the artist reaps notable financial returns for their creative efforts. At its core, the artist-label relationship is a business relationship; the label provides support to the artist in exchange for a percentage of the revenue generated by the artist’s career.

In a typical agreement, commonly referred to as a “360 deal,” the artist agrees to produce a set number of songs or albums for release under the label.[18] The label then issues a monetary advance to the artist along with a designated amount to cover costs associated with recording the music.[19] Often long before it is complete, the label pays to market the album, forms distribution agreements, and covers the cost of manufacturing any physical products, such as CDs and vinyl.[20] Because the label controls how and how much a particular project is advertised, it can not only create a public image that maximizes the artist’s chance of commercial success, but can redistribute funding to focus on those projects it believes have the best chance of selling well.[21]

In return, the label takes a substantial portion of whatever money is earned – often as much as 80 percent.[22] As revenue is generated from music sales, streaming royalties, merchandise sales, and concert tickets, the artist’s cut is earmarked to the label until the artist’s advance is paid off.[23] This allows the label to maximize its chances of recouping its investment and, in cases where the investment is recouped, hasten its payback period.

Intellectual property ownership is a key aspect of any record deal because it is the relationship’s most valuable output. Although the output is simple – a song or album – the intellectual property rights can be far more complex. A song’s underlying composition, master recording, and cover art are distinct properties with separate copyright protections.[24] The right to publicity prevents unauthorized commercial use of a person’s image and likeness (including a performer’s identifiable voice).[25] An artist’s stage name is also entitled to protection under trademark law.[26]

In most cases, the record label owns the master recordings and cover art while the artist retains ownership of the musical composition.[27] This way, the label can do essentially whatever it pleases with the finished product: sell it, shelf it, license it, etc.[28] While living, the artist’s right to publicity is not transferable.[29] That is, likeness may be licensed for use in agreed upon contexts such as album promotions or advertising campaigns, but the right to determine which contexts it may be used for cannot be granted to another party. Still, the image of popular artists is ripe for commercial exploitation, and record labels can exert substantial pressure on artists to agree to third-party deals that could boost song recognition and album sales.[30] Trademarking a stage name precludes others from releasing music under an identical or similar name, which prevents market confusion and helps establish the artist’s brand.[31] Ownership of the stage name trademark can vary depending on the specific terms of the contract. Record labels sometimes require an artist to assign trademark ownership to the label, which gives the label more control and prevents the artist from releasing music independently under that name.[32] Other times, the artist retains ownership of the trademark and grants the record company a license to use the name for the purposes of promoting and selling the artist’s music.

After the artist meets the agreement’s output requirements, the label often retains option rights on any later music the artist creates, allowing the record company to continue the relationship if it desires.[33]

A 360 deal’s contractual provisions reflect the reality that, because the label faces considerable financial losses if an artist is not commercially successful, and because most artists are not commercially successful, the label must take every opportunity to hedge against loss and maximize returns. In addition to the possibility of an album’s commercial failure, however, labels must protect their investments from an assortment of other issues.

General purpose contingency arrangements, included in all major record deals, anticipate and address potential problems that may arise during the ordinary course of recording, promoting, or distributing an artist’s music.[34] The “problems” referred to in these provisions are typically unforeseen or unexpected events such as technical or logistical issues during the recording process, force majeure or “act of god” events, and illness or injury afflicting the artist.[35] In the face of such events, contingency provisions provide a degree of flexibility and protection for both the artist and the label by allowing for recording schedule alterations, release date changes, promotional and marketing plan adjustments, or other prescribed measures.[36] Contingency arrangements can be made that address what is to be done in the case of an artist’s untimely demise. Although pre-agreed courses of action can serve to mitigate financial losses resulting from an artist’s death, it is unlikely that they serve to prevent such losses on their own.

Record labels thus do what most businesses and individuals do when faced with the possibility of an event that could result in financial hardship: they buy insurance. More specifically, when the event in question is the death of an artist, record labels buy life insurance.[37]

2.     Death Clauses

Recording contracts may, and often do, include provisions to the following effect:

  1. Label shall have the right to secure insurance equivalent to ten times the estimated value of the Artists annual earnings (from any source of revenue) for Label’s sole benefit.
  2. Label shall be allowed to employ any insurance carrier or combination of same to assure this benefit and need not consult or require signature compliance from Artist.
  3. Label shall keep such information confidential, except that Label may disclose such information to the applicable insurance carrier(s) or as required by law.
  4. Artist or Artist’s estate shall have no right to review or claim the benefit of any such policy obtained by Label.[38]

In short, a label may purchase a policy that, if the artist dies for any reason, pays the label an amount potentially greater than that which it would have made had the artist not died. Many consider these policies unethical, and others go as far as to call them sinister. In the music industry, they are scornfully called “death clauses” by creatives and have formed the basis of many conspiracy theories regarding the circumstances of artists’ passings.[39]

However, similar “key person” insurance policies are not uncommon in other business ventures.[40] In both startups and established companies, one individual may be imperative to the company’s success because the individual possesses a unique and highly specialized skillset or is responsible for a large portion of sales.[41]

Suppose a technology startup has a founder-employee whose inimitable engineering insights have propelled the company into profitability and attracted substantial investments in future projects. If this engineer were to die and the company lacked key-person insurance, the company could continue to capitalize on the work the engineer completed before their death, such as by licensing patents the engineer was responsible for obtaining. These revenue streams alone, however, may pale in comparison to the flood of income the engineer could have delivered if their work had continued. A company’s equity value is directly affected by its prospective revenues; Because prospective revenues could plummet if the engineer is incapacitated, investors risk considerable losses and the company risks bankruptcy unless the company is insured against the loss of the engineer.

It is essentially the same for record labels. The artist both possesses a one-of-a-kind skillset and is necessary for the health of critical revenue streams, such as new music creation, touring, and endorsement deals. Insurance is not necessary for a record label to market, distribute, sell, and license preexisting content after the death of an artist, but the loss of an artist closes the door on the creation of new music. If the artist is already established and has done well in the past, expected earnings from new-music releases could be in the hundreds of millions. It is therefore no surprise that record labels often insist on contractual provisions related to key-person insurance, however distasteful the “death clause” may sound.

3.     The Posthumous Premium

There is, however, some uniqueness with respect to the music industry. Unlike the value of an engineer’s pre-death scientific output, the value of a musician’s pre-death creative output can fluctuate drastically based solely on the artist’s death.[42] When an artist dies, there is usually a significant increase in demand for both the artist’s previously released and then-unreleased music. For example, Michael Jackson’s album sales increased 6,000% in the week following his death in 2009.[43] After Pop Smoke was killed in 2020, his label released three projects: two studio albums and a mixtape. Both albums reached number one on the Billboard 200 and the mixtape peaked at number seven.[44] Pop Smoke’s only non-posthumous release to reach the charts was a mixtape that peaked at 105 on Billboard, and it did so only after the artist had died (seven months after the mixtape was released).[45] These examples are no outliers; an artist’s sales and streaming are generally expected to increase significantly in their wake.

This “posthumous premium” results from several factors. First, celebrity deaths are widely publicized. Persistent news references to and social media posts about the late artist increase awareness and interest, even in those who have never heard of the artist or listened to their music. So, death has the effect of enlarging the artist’s fan base.

Second, death signals the cessation of novel output, communicating to fans that no new music by the artist will be released except that which has already been recorded. Although economically differentiable from a typical demand-scarcity-price relationship (e.g., the reason limited-edition sneakers resell for far above their retail value), the limitations that death imposes on an artist’s discography effectively increase the scarcity of music by that artist. With this scarcity comes increased demand. Fans gain increased appreciation for old music and, in the case of posthumous releases, wait eagerly to listen to the musician’s final artistic expression. Although consumer streaming prices do not respond to demand increases for specific artists and labels can adjust their CD and vinyl production to keep retail prices low, the effect on the label is the same: it makes more money from increased streaming royalties and record sales.

Protected against loss and faced with the possibility of increased profits, it is clear why record labels are often perceived as having no incentive, or even as a having a disincentive, to be concerned with the health and wellbeing of their artists. Yet, death clauses serve a rational, important purpose, and despite benefiting record labels, cause no harm to artists. Moreover, posthumous premiums do not solely benefit labels; artists’ estates reap the financial rewards associated with the artist’s share of revenue. Interests must be balanced, however, when a record label seeks to profit from an artist’s work at the expense of the artist.

III.          The Legacy Control Problem

In 2017, Gustav Ahr, aka Lil Peep, and fellow rapper iLoveMakonnen were in the midst of recording an album together.[46] Although the album was never completed due to Ahr’s passing, the process yielded a nearly finished song by the two artists entitled “Sunlight on Your Skin.”[47] Snippets of the song were posted to YouTube, where they garnered positive attention from fans and other musicians.[48] Following Ahr’s death, one artist, XXXTentacion (X), expressed his passion for the song and his interest in being a part of its final version.[49] X began recording his contribution to the track, but he too passed away before production was completed.[50] The song, including both deceased artists, was retitled “Falling Down” and was released posthumously.[51] The track contains clips from interviews and recording sessions with X that occurred after Ahr’s death, which provide context to listeners and amplify the emotional impact of the lyrics.[52] “Let’s do that song for Peep,” says X to introduce the track. “His name will live,” X declares before lamenting, “it’s unfortunate because it’s like, when people die, that’s when you’re there, you know? ‘Cause your remorse kinda makes you check ’em out.”

For many, “Falling Down” is a tragic, yet cathartic tribute to the two artists, who never collaborated during life.[53] To those close to Ahr, however, the song is an insult to the artist’s legacy.[54] While living, Ahr “explicitly rejected X for his abuse of women.[55] He spent time and money getting X’s songs removed from his Spotify playlist and wouldn’t have co-signed that song,” explained one of Ahr’s collaborators.[56] “They was never even friends didn’t even like each other,” tweeted another.[57] Ahr’s mother even attempted to prevent the release of “Falling Down,” arguing that Ahr had “sworn off any association with XXXTentacion” and had expressed how proud he was of the original version of the song.[58]

Supplementing unfinished songs or albums with features from living artists or stitching together various unfinished recordings to create a seemingly cohesive track, is not uncommon.[59] As with Lil Peep’s “Falling Down,” controversy often arises regarding the extent to which record labels exercise control over artist’s legacies when disregarding the deceased artist’s vision for their music.[60]

1.     The Economic Property Rights Regime

As discussed in Part I, independent copyrights exist for a song’s underlying musical composition and master recording. In their simplest terms, the composition includes the lyrics and melody of the song whereas the master is a sound recording of a performance of the composition. Notably, masters need not be finalized versions of a song; they can include any recording of sound. Generally, the artist owns the composition, and the record label owns the masters. “Ownership” of an intellectual property such as a composition or master recording simply means that the owner is granted certain rights with respect to that property.

For audio-related intellectual properties, the United States recognizes only economic rights–those that allow a copyright owner to derive financial reward from the use of their works by others.[61] This class of rights covers things like unauthorized reproduction or unauthorized performance of a song and is what enables artists and record companies to make a profit.[62]

Control over economic rights, especially with respect to master recordings, is of the utmost importance for the long-term success of a record label. It is therefore rarely the case that a label will agree to a recording contract that does not permit it complete control over master-recording copyrights. Thus, under the current economic rights regime, the label is almost always free to do whatever it deems fit with anything the artist recorded while signed to the label, regardless of the impact it may have on the artist’s legacy.[63]

2.     Structural and Contractual Measures

Healthy competition in any industry is largely based on the availability of many buyers and sellers of a given product. Unlike artists, who are strictly sellers, and consumers, who are strictly buyers, record labels serve as both buyers and sellers in the music industry–they “buy” legal rights from the musicians they sign and sell the musician’s content to consumers. A “major” record label is colloquially defined as one that holds greater than a 5% global market share.[64] Today, there are only three major labels. Warner, Universal, and Sony together account for roughly two thirds of all music revenues in the world, although their collection of subsidiary companies provides the appearance of a more diverse market (Interscope, Def Jam, and Capitol Records, for example, are all owned by Universal).[65] With market control concentrated in the hands of so few, artists looking to sign a record deal generally face a vast disparity in bargaining power when it comes to negotiating the terms of their contract.

In the last decade however, improved technology, cheaper marketing, and the proliferation of streaming services have allowed independent record labels to become more popular and more profitable.[66] In aggregate, independent labels now hold a greater market share than any of the individual major labels.[67] More successful record companies in the market for talented artists means more competition between record labels as buyers of artists’ output, which puts more power in the hands of the artists when negotiating a contract.

Similar factors have also contributed to the growing success of unsigned artists. When Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” reached #1 on the Billboard charts in 2013,[68] it was the first song by unsigned musicians do so in almost ten years, marking a paradigm shift that has continued to affect the balance of power in the music industry.[69] Artists can now self-fund and self-record their own music. They can self-market on YouTube and social media and self-distribute on streaming platforms. Thus, because they can self-develop a substantial discography and fanbase before ever meeting a label executive, artists are in a better position than ever before to bargain for terms aimed at protecting their interests and legacies. Structuring the deal as a legal partnership and/or negotiating for approval rights are two such ways of doing so.

Establishing the artist-label relationship as a legal partnership or joint venture could mitigate some of the problems discussed in this in article. Broadly speaking, a partnership’s fiduciary duties of loyalty and care require partners to avoid self-dealing and to refrain from intentional misconduct.[70] Limitations on self-dealing and the disclosures necessary for the waiver of such duties could eliminate, or at least illuminate, record labels’ ability to act as the sole beneficiary of key-person insurance policies.

Moreover, partnerships and joint ventures are predicated on each partner’s or co-venturer’s ability to participate in the control and management of the business.[71] Thus, regardless of what profit allocation is agreed to, artists could exercise more control over their music and related activities than they can currently.

The partnership and joint venture structure are far from a perfect solution, however. Although there are statutory restrictions in place that would limit a label’s ability to contractually eradicate its fiduciary duties, there is still a large degree of freedom granted to parties in negotiating the terms of the partnership and their respective duties within in.[72] Since disparities in bargaining power doubtlessly still exist, artists may have no choice but to agree to terms that result in artist-label relationships not dissimilar to those that exist currently. Further, unlike a partner’s economic rights, a partner’s rights to management and control of the business are not transferable.[73] So, when an artist dies, any rights they possessed with respect to musical control dies with them.

Regardless of a record deal’s business structure, however, recording contracts may include various forms of approval rights–provisions that increase the artist’s control over the use and exploitation of their music, even after the artist’s death via the appointment of a trustee. Artists’ increasing bargaining power in the music industry may soon make the negotiation and inclusion of approval clauses in record deals more feasible, but today they are still generally reserved for artists with established track records.

Although artists should be aware of and advocate for structural or contractual protections such as those discussed above, the fact remains that labels maintain substantial bargaining power and will continue to push for provisions that maximize their control of creative output to protect against financial losses. In the absence of heightened fiduciary duties for record companies and control rights or approval clauses for artists, what could prevent labels from controlling artists’ legacies through the modification and posthumous release of music contrary to artists’ interests?

3.     The Right of Integrity Solution

In a typical record deal, the economic rights accompanying the ownership of compositions and master recordings do little to prevent substantial control over an artist’s legacy from falling into the hands of the label. There is, however, another conception of intellectual property protection that goes beyond the economic. Moral intellectual property rights, recognized by most countries in some form or another, “allow authors and creators to take certain actions to preserve and protect their link with their work.”[74]

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works details standards for numerous economic rights, but also for moral rights.[75] Namely, the “right of integrity” within Article 6bis(ii) of the Convention grants artists the right “to object to any distortion or modification of a work, or other derogatory action in relation to a work, which would be prejudicial to the author’s honor or reputation.”[76]

The right of integrity could provide an even-handed solution to the legacy control problem discussed in Part II by providing a basis for preventing posthumous modifications or releases of master recordings that are clearly contrary to the artist’s wishes. “Distortion or modification” would include things like altering vocals or stitching together various independent recordings to create a single track while “other derogatory actions” could include releasing songs the artist expressly wished to keep private. Featuring other musicians on a song that the deceased artist would not have agreed to work with, could fall into either category. Importantly, the right of integrity would restrict such actions only when they would be “prejudicial to the [artist’s] honor or reputation.” Record labels would thus retain the ability modify and profit from incomplete recordings in the event of an artist’s death, so long there is no finding of prejudice.

The release of Gustav Ahr’s (Lil Peep’s) “Falling Down” is a prime example of an instance in which a record label’s actions could have been prohibited under Berne Convention guidelines. The substantial modification of a track Ahr had previously expressed pride in and the inclusion of XXXTentacion, whom Ahr had explicitly denounced for moral reasons while alive, are strong indications that the Ahr’s honor (and perhaps his reputation) were prejudiced by the release of the song.

As a practical matter, it noteworthy that the moral rights are independent from economic rights. Independence means that even if all copyrights are owned by an artist’s label, the artist retains their right to integrity and some degree of control over their legacy.[77]

The key question, however, is whether the Berne Convention’s conception of the right of integrity will ever be recognized in the United States.

Today, with over 180 member countries, the Berne Convention has significant international influence.[78] Because the Convention is a non-self-executing treaty, however, each country must enact domestic legislation complying with the Convention in order for the treaty to take effect within its jurisdiction.[79] Moreover, because the Convention sets only minimum standards, each country remains free to determine the level and scope of its own intellectual property laws provided these standards are met.[80]

The United States became a signatory to the Convention in 1989.[81] It subsequently amended the Copyright Act of 1967 to include moral rights but, interpreting the Berne Convention narrowly, extended these rights only to visual artists.[82] The U.S. further limited the scope of the Act by explicitly excluding works such as electronic publications, posters, and motion pictures from the moral protections that would otherwise apply to works of visual art.[83]

The limited recognition of moral intellectual property rights by the United States has sparked controversy.[84] Because the moral rights of the Berne Convention (including the right of integrity) were intended to apply to all types of copyrightable work, there is a question as to whether the U.S. is truly in compliance with the Berne Convention or simply “out of step with global norms by not recognizing more substantial author’s rights.”[85] In either case, global trends in intellectual property protection are pushing the U.S. in the right direction. Continued international pressure and increased domestic advocacy could very well result in a deliberate, limited extension of moral intellectual property rights that provide artists with a definitive means for safeguarding their legacies, at least in the more serious cases of label misconduct.

IV.          Conclusion

Ethical considerations pervade the topics of this article. This article, however, contemplates no ethical failures, but/and only legal ones. Economics and law give rise to the incentives that drive the music industry, and neither economic nor legal principles are controlled by record labels. Incentives respond accordingly as changes in the economic landscape increase the power of independent artists to bargain for available rights. The availability of rights, however, does not change on its own. Statutorily protecting the musical legacy of artists’ by expanding the right of integrity or by implementing other legal solutions remains in the hands of the state and federal legislatures and, by association, those who elect them.

[1] Assorted Authors, The 27 Club: A Brief History, Rolling Stone (2019)

[2] Id.

[3] Zoya Raza-Sheikh, How Posthumous Rap Albums Became Big Business, NME (2020),

[4] Andrea Bossi, The Future of Juice WRLD’s Legacy, Forbes (2022),

[5] See e.g., “Falling Down” (single) by Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, “Faith” (album) by Pop Smoke.

[6] Lauren Good, Record Labels Exploit Deceased Artists for Profit, Chimes (2022)

[7] Jonathan Bernstein and Amy X. Wang, What the Messy Legal Battle over Lil Peep’s Death Reveals, Rolling Stone (2019),

[8] Emily Carter, Billy Corgan: Lil Peep Was “His Generation’s Kurt Cobain”, Kerrang (2021),

[9] Id.

[10] Elias Leight, Rising Rapper Lil Peep Dead at 21, Rolling Stone (2017),

[11] Jon Blistein, Lil Peep’s Mom Sues Late Rapper’s Managers Over Death, Rolling Stone (2019),

[12] Berstein and Wang, supra note 7.

[13] Id.

[14] Marc Hogan, Lil Peep’s Mom Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Label, Pitchfork (2023),

[15] Steve Knopper, Why AEG Live Won the Michael Jackson Lawsuit, Rolling Stone (2013),

[16] Katie Allen, Music Industry Calls for More Power to Help Troubled Stars, The Guardian (2009),

[17] See id. See also Armon Sadler, Who Profits From the Posthumous Album Release?, Consequence Sound (2021)

[18] Assorted Authors, 360 Deal, Morris Music Law (2023),

[19] Id.

[20] Id.

[21] Id.

[22] AWAL: The Ins & Outs of Signing a Record Deal (2022)

[23] Josh Kaplan, A New Model for Music Finance, NYU JIPEL (2009)

[24] U.S. Copyright Office: Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code (2017),

[25] Richard Stim, The Right of Publicity, NOLO (2023),

[26] U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Musicians and Artists Profile (2023),

[27] Tilleke & Gibbons: Ownership of Master Recordings in the Music Industry (2019)

[28] Id.

[29] Richard Stim, supra note 25.

[30] Id.

[31] U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, supra note 26.

[32] Ditto Music: How to Trademark an Artist or Band Name (2021),

[33] AWAL, supra note 22.

[34] Chris Castle, Pandemic, Force Majeure, and Insurance In the Music Business, Music Tech Solutions (2020)

[35] Id.

[36] Id.

[37] Tom Corley, The Business Aftermath of An Artist’s Death: Key Man Insurance, Front Row Insurance (2016),

[38] Hank Harrison, Kurt Cobain and the Death Clause, Static Live (2004)

[39] Id.

[40] Nationwide: What Is Key Person Insurance? (2023),

[41] Id.

[42] MMMedia, Dead Musicians: Why Are They Still With Us?, Medium (2021),

[43] Ben Sisario, In Death as in Life, Michael Jackson Sets Music Sales Records, New York Times (2009)

[44] Billboard: Pop Smoke Chart History (2023)

[45] Id.

[46] Charles Holmes, How Lil Peep and XXXTentacion’s Posthumous Collaboration ‘Falling Down’ Came Together, Rolling Stone (2018),

[47] Id.

[48] Id.

[49] Id.

[50] Id.

[51] Id.

[52] Lil Peep, Falling Down (feat. XXXTentacion), Columbia Records (2018)

[53] Charles Holmes, supra note 46.

[54] Id.

[55] Id.

[56] Id.

[57] Id.

[58] Sheldon Pearce, The Perils of the Posthumous Rap Album, The New Yorker (2021),

[59] Joyce Li, Are Posthumous Album Releases Unethical?, Hypebeast (2021),

[60] Id.

[61] World Intellectual Property Organization: Understanding Copyright Related Rights (2016),

[62] Id.

[63] AWAL: Why Owning Your Master Recordings Means Everything (2018)

[64] Assorted Authors, The History of Record Labels, Other Record Labels (2023),

[65] Id.

[66] Yngvar Kjus, Twists and Turns in the 360 Deal, European Journal of Cultural Studies (2021),

[67] Id.

[68] Billboard: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Chart History (2023),

[69] Yngvar Kjus, supra note 66.

[70] Uniform Law Commission: Uniform Partnership Act of 1997

[71] Michael Chasalow, Experiencing Business Organizations, Secon Edition, West Academic (2018).

[72] Id.

[73] Id.

[74] World Intellectual Property Organization, Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Work (1886),

[75] Id.

[76] Id.

[77] World Intellectual Property Organization, supra note 61.

[78] Assorted Authors, Moral Rights in U.S. Copyright Law, (2023)

[79] Id.

[80] World Intellectual Property Organization, supra note 74.

[81] Assorted Authors, Moral Rights in U.S. Copyright Law, (2023).

[82] Id.

[83] Id.

[84] Id.

[85] Id.