More unheard music from Prince could end up being released by way of a new contract with Sony Music. The late singer’s estate snagged a licensing deal with the record label, Variety reported Friday (June 15).
No official statement has been made regarding the contract, but the deal reportedly includes music from Prince’s infamous “vault” which could amount to thousands of unreleased songs.
News of Sony’s purported contract comes a week after what would've been Prince's 60th birthday, and nearly a full year after a court rescinded Universal Records’ $31 million contract with the estate.
The label accused Prince’s onetime estate advisors, L. Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman, of misrepresenting the estate’s assets, and threatened a lawsuit if the deal wasn’t nullified. Though McMillan denied misrepresentation allegations, a judge subsequently agreed with Universal and an amicable decision was reached. Sony’s deal with the estate is substantially less than Universal’s, according to Variety.
Prince’s disdain for record labels and his longstanding battle to control his music, was well documented throughout career. Most notably, the music icon changed his name to “The Artist Formally Known As Prince,” and donned the word “slave” on his face during his war Warner Music in the '90s.
In 2015, during a meet and greet with reporters at his Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis, he again likened record label contracts to a form of “slavery” in which artists are “indentured servants.”
He also warned against signing record deals, and explained why he joined Jay Z’s Tidal imprint stating, "Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves.”