Rolling Stones Return 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' Credits to The Verve Frontman

In his statement about the handing back of the song's rights, Richard Ashcroft calls the remarkable turn of events 'a kind and magnanimous gesture' from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

AceShowbiz - Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have handed back the rights to The Verve's Britpop anthem "Bitter Sweet Symphony" to Richard Ashcroft.

The Verve frontman lost the rights to the song after sampling The Rolling Stones' "The Last Time", using a composition by their longtime manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham, but now, more than 20 years after the song was released, Jagger and Richards have signed off on the song, removing their names from the credits.

"This remarkable and life-affirming turn of events was made possible by a kind and magnanimous gesture from Mick and Keith, who have also agreed that they are happy for the writing credit to exclude their names and all their royalties derived from the song they will now pass to me," the singer/songwriter says in a statement.

Ashcroft also thanked the Rolling Stones stars at the Ivor Novello Awards in London, where he was honoured with the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to British Music on Thursday, May 23.

"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... Thank you so much Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, for acknowledging me as the writer of a f**king masterpiece. It'll live forever."

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