Sony Music Entertainment has inked a deal to distribute 35 previously released Prince albums, the label and the late musician’s estate said Wednesday.
Terms of the deal, coming 26 months after Prince’s death, were not disclosed — but sources pegged its value at $20 million to $30 million.
A new posthumous release from Prince, called Piano & A Microphone 1983, will be released on September 21st via Warner Bros. Records. The album is 35 minutes long and will feature nine tracks that Prince recorded to cassette at his home studio.
Newberg said Prince was committed to the book project and working with author Dan Piepenbring. Prince delivered about 50 handwritten manuscript pages before his death. Newberg said the long-awaited book is expected to be published just in time for the holiday season and may include reproductions of Prince’s longhand pages.
In the year after Prince’s death on April 21, 2016, the Purple One’s catalog of albums and songs have sold a combined 7.7 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, through the week ending April 13. Of that sum, 2.3 million were in traditional album sales, and 5.4 million were from digital song downloads.
The bulk of his album and songs sales occurred in the month after his death: 5.65 million were registered between April 21 and May 19, 2016.
Incredibly, for the full year of 2016, Prince sold more albums than any other artist — even Adele — with 2.23 million copies sold. (Adele sold 2.21 million albums last year.)
The Purple One’s Warner Music catalog, including the albums “Purple Rain,” “1999” and “Sign O’ the Times,” will be available Feb. 12 on subscription-streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Napster and iHeartRadio …
As expected, the Universal Music Group has announced a multi-year agreement with Prince’s estate and NPG Records, granting the major label group exclusive licensing rights to much of the late artist’s catalog of released and unreleased works. Much of the material dates from the latter part of Prince’s career, after he parted ways with Warner Bros. Records in 1996.
A likely scenario would see a TV commercial air during the Grammy broadcast following the tribute, which would announce that certain songs are immediately available on Spotify, Apple Music and possibly other services. The source tells Billboard that publishers, performing rights organizations and at least one label have been alerted to an impending deal.
He was a legend, a virtuoso, one of the true gods of music. But he was also (at times, anyway) a person in the world like anyone else. He liked to send goofy Internet memes to his friends. He made really good scrambled eggs. He rode his bike a lot, went to the hardware store, called old friends late at night. Chris Heath spoke with band members, fellow artists, and Paisley Park veterans about the life and times of Prince Rogers Nelson—the real Prince, the man so few people got to know before he was gone.