Prince estate sues to block new EP featuring unreleased tunes

Prince was definitely taken from us too damn early, but his music lives on – in the form of some previously unreleased songs that have ignited a legal battle. On Tuesday “Deliverance,” a track recorded by Prince sometime in the mid-2000s, was released on iTunes and Apple Music. As of Wednesday evening, the track has been taken down. The “new” track was one of 6 on an EP of the same name which was scheduled to be released digitally on Friday, the one-year-anniversary of Prince’s untimely passing. A check of iTunes and Amazon show that the EP is no longer available for pre-order.

The EP was to be released on an independent label called Rogue Music Alliance (RMA) and the bulk of the proceeds from the release were slated to go to Prince’s estate. The songs on the EP were co-written and co-produced by Prince and Paisley Park sound engineer George Ian Boxill, who mixed and completed the recordings after Prince’s passing.

In a press release announcing the release of Deliverance, Boxill, who has also collaborated with Tupac, Aaron Neville and Christina Milian said:

I believe ‘Deliverance’ is a timely release with everything going on in the world today, and in light of the one-year anniversary of his passing. I hope when people hear Prince singing these songs it will bring comfort to many. Prince once told me that he would go to bed every night thinking of ways to bypass major labels and get his music directly to the public. When considering how to release this important work, we decided to go independent because that’s what Prince would have wanted.

[From Variety]

The independent release may have been what Prince wanted, but his estate apparently had other ideas. According to St. Paul, Minnesota news outlet KSTP, Prince’s Paisley Park label and his estate have filed a federal lawsuit against Boxill in an attempt to block the release of the EP. The lawsuit values the songs at over $75,000 and claims that with the release of the EP, Boxill “is now trying to exploit one or more songs for his personal gain at expense of the Prince Estate.” The suit adds that the release would hurt the estate’s interests “permanently and irreparably” and “deprives Prince (and now the Estate) from choosing what is released to the public and when.”

TMZ reported that Boxill signed a confidentiality agreement when the tracks were recorded, which stated that “the recordings would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property.” The lawsuit also pointed out that Boxill also agreed to “not use any recordings or property in any way whatsoever.” The estate demanded the return of the recordings back in March, but Boxill obviously did not heed their demands. The lawsuit asks Boxill to refrain from using anything that came out of his sessions with Prince and to return “any and all masters, copies and reproductions.”

Well, it appears that the lawsuit shut Boxill and RMA down, and deprived prince fans (like myself) the chance to hear more of Prince’s amazing music. Hopefully, both sides can work out their differences and we can hear the songs in the near future. Damn. Guess I’ll have to go play Sign O’ the Times again.

Prince Dies At 57 ***FILE PHOTOS***

Musician Prince

Photos: Getty Images,, Fame Flynet

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11 Responses to “Prince estate sues to block new EP featuring unreleased tunes”

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  1. Clare says:

    I hope Prince’s estate aren’t doing this solely for the money. Do they really need more?

    Clearly Boxhill was a long time friend and collaborator – of course he shouldn’t contravene pre-existing legal arrangements, but it doesn’t sound like he was releasing the music to make money for himself(?). as far as creative output is concerned, I feel like Prince is gone, his collaborator is alive, he should be able to celebrate their output.

    • Felicia says:

      Prince had a hatred of other people taking control of his music, which was the base of his issues with the record labels. If this guy signed a legal agreement and thought that he could just ignore it now that Prince is dead, he’s no real friend. And OF COURSE he was planning on making money from it. And anything else he has stashed away.

      • Clare says:

        But it says that the majority of the money was meant to go to the estate? Maybe I am being naive, but this doesn’t sound like Jackson style money grubbing to me. shrug.

  2. Louise177 says:

    I’m not a fan of recordings after the death of a singer. I feel like if the artist thought the recordings were good enough, they would have been released when they were alive.

  3. justcrimmles says:

    Still doesn’t seem like it’s been a year already. Too damn soon either way.

  4. Missy says:

    Anybody remember the time prince preformed creep by radio head and it was put on YouTube, he demanded they take it down but radio head was like that’s our song keep it up. Prince was crazy controlling of his music and performances

  5. GingerCrunch says:

    Wow. I just assumed the family was really quick getting something out in time for the anniversary! I listened to the song yesterday morning and was pretty blown away. The guitar gave me full body chills and I was moved by the message of it. I hope we’ll hear more one day soon. 💜

  6. Turtle says:

    It continues to confound me that someone like Prince, who was utterly obsessed with controlling his image and how his music was used, would have left such a gd mess.

  7. Grandma sutra says:

    Prince was so protective about everything Prince I hope they shit this down. It’s time to be respectful of other people’s wishes so many times it’s about others personal gain after the artist dies. I am also not buying the benefit the fan or expression excuse if he wanted to release it he would.