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'Happy birthday' and the other top ten most lucrative songs in history

'Happy birthday' and the other top ten most lucrative songs in history
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By Euronews with REUTERS
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'Happy Birthday to You' tops the list of highest-grossing songs in history. From March it could be freely available to everyone.

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The world’s most lucrative song may be free to use from as early as next month.

‘Happy Birthday to You’ has been embroiled in a decades-long legal dispute. In 1988, music publisher Warner/Chappell bought the rights for $22 million and has been making an estimated $2 million per year in licencing ever since.

However, in September 2015, a court ruling found the company didn’t own the song’s lyrics, just some of its musical arrangements.

In a settlement filed on February 8, Warner/Chappell agreed to pay $14 million to end the case challenging the rights to the birthday song.

US district judge George H King will be able to approve the settlement in March, making ‘Happy Birthday to You’ available to everyone.

Top ten grossing songs of all time

At number 10…

Mel Torme – ‘The Christmas Song’ (1944)

Estimated earnings: $19 million

At number 9…

Roy Orbison – ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ (1965)

Estimated earnings: $19.75 million

At number 8…

The Police – ‘Every Breath You Take’ (1983)

Estimated earnings: $20.5 million

At number 7…

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Haven Gillespie & Fred J Coots – ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ (1934)

Estimated earnings: $25 million

At number 6…

Ben E King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller – ‘Stand By Me’ (1961)

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Estimated earnings: $27 million

At number 5…

Alex North & Hy Zaret – ‘Unchained Melody’ (1955)

Estimated earnings: $27.5 million

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At number 4…

John Lennon and Paul McCartney – ‘Yesterday’ (1965)

Estimated earnings: $30 million

At number 3…

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Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Specter – ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1964)

Estimated earnings: $32 million

At number 2…

Irving Berlin – ‘White Christmas’ (1940)

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Estimated earnings: $36 million

At number 1…

Hill Sisters – ‘Happy Birthday to You’ (Good morning to all) (1893)

Estimated earnings: $50 million

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