Prince Estate Wins Lawsuit Over Allegedly Unauthorized Release Of Never-Before-Heard Music

Prince was nothing if not prolific, and when the rock icon passed away last year he left behind a vast treasure trove of never-before-heard unreleased recordings to add to to his already-rich musical legacy.

We’ll soon be hearing the first of this music, with a new EP set to be released on Friday, Apr. 21 to mark the one-year anniversary of Prince’s passing.

Titled “Deliverance”, the title track of the forthcoming EP is available to hear right now, in advance of the Friday release.

In addition to the title track (which you can hear below), “Deliverance” features five more previously unreleased tracks: “Man Opera” — which is comprised of a four-movement medley, including “I Am,” “Touch Me,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “No One Else” — and an extended version of “I Am”.

“The songs were written and recorded when Prince was an independent artist, protesting what he saw as an unjust music industry,” notes the announcement, which also notes that the EP is being released independently, with the majority of sales benefiting Prince’s estate.

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Prince co-wrote and co-produced the tracks with producer Ian Boxill (producer for such artists as Janet Jackson, Gladys Knight and 2Pac), who spent the past year completing the compositions and arrangements, finishing the production and mixing the songs.

“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,” says Boxill in the announcement. “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.” Listen:

However, the late singer’s estate is not pleased with what’s transpired. Following the release of the “Deliverance” single, the New York Times reported that the estate had launched a lawsuit attempting to block the release of the forthcoming EP.

Now, a judge has ruled in favour of Prince’s estate, ordering Boxill to not publish any unreleased songs belonging to Prince. Boxill must also return all recordings belonging to Prince. “George Ian Boxill shall deliver all of the recordings acquired through his work with Paisley Park Enterprise, including original recordings, analog and digital copies, and any derivative works, to Plaintiffs in consultation with Plaintiffs’ counsel of record,” said the judge.

According to the Times, a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday alleged that Boxill “has no legal right to release the music and is violating the terms of his agreement” with the late artist, “for his personal gain at expense of the Prince Estate.”

The estate’s lawsuit claimed that Boxill signed a confidentiality agreement in which he agreed any recordings he worked on with Prince “would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property,” that he “would not use any recordings or property in any way whatsoever” and that Boxill “would return any such recordings or property to Prince immediately upon request.”

The agreement also stated that Boxill has “no right to give interviews or write books, articles, etc.” about Prince.

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