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Richard Ashcroft regains Bitter Sweet Symphony from The Rolling Stones stars

Richard Ashcroft during the annual Ivor Novello songwriting awards at Grosvenor House in London. (Ian West/PA)
Richard Ashcroft during the annual Ivor Novello songwriting awards at Grosvenor House in London. (Ian West/PA)

Richard Ashcroft has regained rights to his song Bitter Sweet Symphony after more than two decades.

The Verve singer lost the rights to his most recognisable song, which ended up in the possession of The Rolling Stones stars Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

All credits and royalty rights have now been returned to Ashcroft for what he has called a “f****** masterpiece”.

Released in 1997 on Urban Hymns, the track sampled The Rolling Stones’s song The Last Time, using a composition by Andrew Oldham, and became the centre of lawsuits which saw Ashcroft stripped of rights and royalties.

More than 20 years since the song was released, Sir Mick and Richards have given these rights back.

All future royalties that would have gone to the pair for Bitter Sweet Symphony will now go to Ashcroft, and they have removed their names from the credits for the track.

The singer has also been honoured at The Ivors 2019 for his outstanding contribution to British music.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in London, he said: “We’ve been working over the last few months, years, 20 years.

“As of last month Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over all their publishing for Bitter Sweet Symphony. which is a truly kind and magnanimous thing to do, they didn’t need to do it.

“As of last month, thank you so much Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, for acknowledging me as the writer of a f****** masterpiece – it’ll live forever.

“Music is power, forever.”

Ashcroft thanked The Ivors for acknowledging his talent, saying his hunger to express himself has driven his career.

He also said his award trophy, his second at The Ivors, made for a good weapon.

Ashcroft said: “These are great weapons. Anyone thinking of doing my house, I’ve got two Ivors now.”

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