The Verve's Richard Ashcroft has regained the rights to his song Bitter Sweet Symphony, more than two decades after forfeiting the royalties to The Rolling Stones.

The iconic song became embroiled in a legal battle shortly after it was release due to the orchestral sample from The Stones' song The Last Time.

All royalties for the song, released in 1997 on Urban Hymns, have been paid to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, until now.

Speaking at Thursday night's Ivor Novello Awards in London, where he was awarded a lifetime achievement prize, Ashcroft said: "We've been working over the last few months, years, 20 years.

"As of last month, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over all their publishing for Bitter Sweet Symphony, which was a truly kind and magnanimous thing for them to do."

All future royalties that would have gone to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for Bitter Sweet Symphony will now go to Ashcroft, and they have removed their names from the credits for the track.

Ashcroft added: "Thank you so much Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, for acknowledging me as the writer of a f****** masterpiece - it'll live forever.

"Music is power, forever."

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