Unreleased Prince music to be streamed in 2019
MINNEAPOLIS — A new album of previously unreleased music from Prince’s storied Vault will debut on Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service, likely sometime in 2019.
The Prince estate and Tidal announced details of the agreement Friday, two days after a Minnesota judge said it was in the best interest of the estate to end litigation and allow the deal to go forward.
According to Friday’s announcement, the album will stream exclusively on Tidal for 14 days and will be available for download seven days after its debut. That will be followed by a global physical release by the Prince estate. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Jay-Z is working with the Prince estate to select songs for the new album.
“Our only goal is to share Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted,” Jay-Z said in a statement. Jay-Z noted that Prince chose Tidal as his partner to debut his “Hit n Run” albums in 2015, and “we will continue to respect and honor Prince’s enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection.”
Troy Carter, the main music adviser for Prince’s estate, said: “I’m very pleased this is resolved, and we get to honor the relationship between Prince and Tidal with this album. We look forward to fans hearing the new music and experiencing the genius of Prince.”
Prince died of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl on April 21, 2016.
Months later, Prince’s record company sued Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, over alleged copyright violations. In the lawsuit, NPG Records said Tidal streamed Prince’s songs without permission after his death. The lawsuit alleged Tidal had limited rights to stream songs only from “Hit n Run” — not songs from Prince’s Warner Bros. catalog, including “Purple Rain.” Tidal disputed that.
Friday’s announcement says the new deal “concludes previously unresolved legal matters” and that the new album partnership doesn’t involve music that’s subject to prior agreements with Warner Bros.
Some of Prince’s siblings had objected to the deal, saying they could get more money through litigation. The judge overseeing Prince’s probate case said Wednesday that it was in the best interest of the estate to settle with Tidal to avoid increasing attorneys’ fees that are already in the millions.
The value of Prince’s estate is still largely unknown. Court filings several months after Prince’s death suggested it was worth around $200 million before taxes, but the actual valuation could have gone up or down since then.