Ariana Grande made a lot of people mad when “7 Rings” came out (she’s apologized!) but she apparently made a few people very happy. Those people are the ones attached to the estates of musical legends Rodgers & Hammerstein, since they’re taking home 90 percent of the single’s royalties.
The New York Times says that Grande’s reps made the deal with Concord, the music company that owns Richard Rodgers’s and Oscar Hammerstein II’s song catalogs, shortly before the “7 Rings” was released in January. “7 Rings” famously samples “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, and since Grande’s team wanted that sample, they didn’t attempt to negotiate when Concord requested 90 percent of that track.
The “My Favorite Things” sample is certainly one of the reasons “7 Rings” is a banger, though what sucks about the deal with Concord is that Grande’s track was written by 10 songwriters, Grande included, and they have to divvy up the remaining 10 percent of the single’s earnings among them.
Rodgers and Hammerstein have each been dead for about five or six decades, meanwhile, not that there’s any law that says you can’t enjoy a hard bargain in the afterlife.