Universal Records acquire rights to the Prince Catalog

By , on February 10, 2017

(Photo: versionsubtitulada/Flickr.com)
(Photo: versionsubtitulada/Flickr.com)

Known for having a long-standing battle against the music industry and the internet, the estate of Prince announced on Thursday that it entered a deal with Universal Records to release the late pop icon’s catalog full of unreleased tracks.

The deal gives rights to Universal Records to the vault of unreleased music that Prince kept up until his sudden death in April. This also includes acquiring rights and control over the 25 albums that Prince released under his own label during his dispute with Warner Brothers as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”.

According to Universal, it will also obtain rights to “certain renowned Prince albums from 1979 to 1995” which marked the late artist’s prolific era with hits like “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry” topping the various charts.

This deal hits a major blow with Warner as they had reconciled with Prince back in 2014 and announced that it will reissue “Purple Rain” along with another album full of previously unreleased material.  

Prince’s longtime lawyer L. Londell McMillan represented the estate and said that Universal was “Passionate about presenting Prince’s music with a holistic vision that celebrates his iconic status.”

Despite being vocal about his views against major music labels and the deregularization of the industry through the internet, the estate also had entered deals with various companies in order for Prince’s work to be made available to major music sites such as Spotify who already made promotional efforts particularly ahead of the Grammy’s on Sunday.
It was only in late 2015 when Prince allowed his music to be streamed through Jay-Z’s streaming site, Tidal .