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Def Leppard Sever Relationship With Universal Music Group Over Royalties

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Hard rock hitmakers Def Leppard are cutting ties with label bosses at Universal Music Group. The reason? Money.

Singer Joe Elliott says the band has not been fairly compensated for digital download sales. Def Leppard is one of the most successful rock bands in history, thanks in large part to mega-selling records Pyromania and Hysteria. The band is also one of the last big iTunes holds-outs, only selling a couple tracks on the massive download site.

The members of Def Leppard have a contract with Universal that allows them to control the fate of their music.

“Our contract is such that they can’t do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing,” Elliott recently told Billboard. “So we just sent them a letter saying, ‘No matter what you want, you are going to get no as an answer, so don’t ask.’”

The band is re-recording some of their classic hits, including “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” The new recordings of old songs allows the band to receive equitable pay for their work. The band members studied the songs hard in order to make replicas of the original hits.

“Time-wise it probably took as long to do as the originals, but because of the technology it actually got done quicker as we got going,” says Elliott of the recording process. “But trying to find all those sounds… like, where am I gonna find a 22-year-old voice? I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again.

Watch “Rocket” Video

Def Leppard are currently on tour with Poison and Lita Ford.

Tour dates:

Jul. 03 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
Jul. 06 – Cleveland, OH @ Quickens Loan Arena
Jul. 07 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Jul. 10 – Baltimore, MD @ Merriweather Pavilion
Jul. 11 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
Jul. 13 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Pavilion
Jul. 16 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
Jul. 17 – Hamilton, ON @ Copps Coliseum
Jul. 19 – Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena
Jul. 22 – Cadott, WI @ Rock Fest

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