By EMMA CHANG
It seems like this year will mark the long-awaited end to the Controversy over Prince’s vault of unreleased music.
Throughout his career, Prince’s flamboyant persona, electric performances and legendary music dominated the late 80’s to 90’s. Selling over 100 million records and winning him many awards, Prince became an icon for original music and individuality.
But, like all good things, nothing lasts forever.
Almost two years ago, the music industry abruptly lost one of its most revolutionary artists. Though his legacy lives on through his music, there is still an unknown number of songs in vaults that have yet to be released to the public.
Shortly after his death, controversy sparked due to conflicts of interest as to who all of his music rightfully belonged to, but what most of the industry failed to realize is Prince’s music truly belongs to his fans.
Prior to this, Prince faced several copyright disputes with Warner Bros. over the use of his music by independent publishers, rather than his own website and Youtube channel. Even after Prince’s death, the war over his music and its individual publication continues.
Moreover, Universal Music Group (UMG) took many steps in order to gain the rights to Prince’s music vaults from the estate owners. The group’s offer to Prince’s label (Warner Bros. Records INC.) for $31 million in exchange for the vault was nullified on multiple occasions until recently, when his estate successfully won the lawsuit to prohibit producer George Boxill from distributing music he claimed to have produced with the late musician. This left Prince’s estate still in control of the music remaining in Prince’s vaults.
As of today, several compilation albums have been released including 4ever, Deliverance and Purple Rain (Deluxe). Conflicting interests and court rulings led to UMG being unable to successfully procure most of the music from Prince’s vaults. As a result, they were only able to use the songs Prince had recorded in the studio beforehand, in spite of the former star’s hate for the distortion and replication of his music.
Nevertheless, Prince’s music truly belongs to his fans. Seeing as Prince will never be able to release the songs himself, the rightful owners of the Prince estate should utilize their opportunities to give back the little of what is left of Prince’s music.
Early into his career, Prince shocked the industry and many of his fans after revealing his abhorrence for the internet, Youtube and especially the sharing of his content without consent. Doing so through several lawsuits against Youtube, Facebook and other sites, Prince made himself known for his strong opinions against using social media domains to advertise for money.
Though when Prince was alive, he preferred to share his music through his own methods, the time has come for his songs to strike the music industry once again and continue his legacy.
Several sources have confirmed that this year will mark the year in which the estate will finally start to release some of Prince’s vault music.
Needless to say, since the announcement of the vaults, Prince’s fans have been anxiously waiting for more of their favorite exuberant 90’s musician. Their mourning will finally come to an end as they can finally experience Prince’s legendary music again.
Ultimately, the clouds of Purple Rain have cleared and a brilliant artist’s, who bursted with creativity and talent, unreleased music will finally see the light of day.