In two separate pieces this week, FORBES broke the news that the Wu-Tang Clan had sold its secret album to an unknown bidder. Today, new details are beginning to emerge.
According to a release by Paddle8, the upstart auction house that sold the double-album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin has been sold to a “private American collector” for a price “in the millions.” The sale was agreed upon in May, but it took months to finalize contracts and legal protections for the unusual record.
“The Wu-Tang Clan have always been driven by innovation, and this marks another moment in musical history,” said Wu-Tang cofounder RZA in the statement, adding that the group would donate a significant portion of the proceeds to charity. “From the beginning, we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity. Both of those goals have been achieved, and the ideas continue to evolve.”
Though the precise amount of the sale has not been revealed, Paddle8 says it makes Once Upon A Time In Shaolin the most expensive single album ever sold, topping Jack White’s $300,000 purchase of a rare acetate recording of Elvis Presley’s first song.
“We pioneered a new type of intellectual property regarding the sale of a work that is simultaneously physical and digital, creating previously unexplored legal protections for a unique work that cannot be reproduced,” added Paddle8 cofounder Alexander Gilkes. “This marks an exciting new model of distribution for the music world and we look forward to playing an ongoing role in this innovative model.”