Belfast Telegraph

No £500m Led Zeppelin deal: Branson

Sir Richard Branson says he has been left "dazed and confused" by claims he offered legendary rockers Led Zeppelin £500 million to reform.

The businessman, whose career took off when he set up Virgin Records, said the claims were "yet another fabricated story".

Writing on his website, he said: "I've been left dazed and confused by a story doing the rounds this week about us apparently offering Led Zeppelin £500 million to reform and carry out a tour. As much as I love the band, there is absolutely no truth to the story."

He also revealed he had spoken to the heavy rockers' former frontman Robert Plant, who he said "confirmed" the story as "complete rubbish".

Sir Richard said: "Robert told me he is very proud of his history and the band's past, and has always had great respect and love for his work throughout his career. However, he really believes he must move on with his life and career today."

His Virgin Records label had a huge hit with the release of Mike Oldfield's instrumental album Tubular Bells and had acts including Genesis, The Human League and the Spice Girls on its books.

Robert Plant has also denied the story.

A statement from Plant spokesman Ken Weinstein said the singer "has not been in receipt of any offers in recent months" about Led Zeppelin gigs, and hasn't met or communicated with Branson in 50 years.

The statement added Plant was "disappointed with any confusion this current fabricated story may bring."

Led Zeppelin disbanded after drummer John Bonham died in 1980.

New editions of some of the band's albums came out this year.

Founder members Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bass player John Paul Jones reunited on stage in 2007 with Jason Bonham, son of their late drummer John, at a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun who founded their label, Atlantic Records.

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