Prince es­tate tries to block new mu­sic re­lease

Business World - - ARTS & LEISURE -

NEW YORK — Prince’s es­tate moved Wed­nes­day to block the re­lease of sev­eral decade-old tracks, cast­ing a cloud over com­mem­o­ra­tions of the pop le­gend’s pass­ing.

An in­de­pen­dent la­bel had an­nounced plans to re­lease a six-track EP of Prince songs, en­ti­tled De­liv­er­ance, on Fri­day which marks one year since The Pur­ple One’s sud­den death.

But Prince’s es­tate, which is led by his sib­lings, quickly in­ter­vened and ac­cused Ian Box­ill, a sound en­gi­neer who recorded the tracks with the pop le­gend be­tween 2006 and 2008, of vi­o­lat­ing an agree­ment.

“Mr. Box­ill is now try­ing to ex­ploit the Prince record­ings un­law­fully in his pos­ses­sion,” said a law­suit filed in a Min­nesota court.

The es­tate said Box­ill had signed a con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ment that the mu­sic would “re­main Prince’s sole and exclusive prop­erty.”

Box­ill, who has worked with an ar­ray of artists in­clud­ing slain rap great Tu­pac Shakur, sent a re­ply that was sealed by the court.

In a state­ment an­nounc­ing the mu­sic, Box­ill said most pro­ceeds would go to Prince’s es­tate and that the pop le­gend would have ap­pre­ci­ated the in­de­pen­dent re­lease.

“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,” he said in the state­ment.

The first track, a rock bal­lad also called “De­liv­er­ance,” came out late Tues­day with the five other songs sched­uled to be re­leased dig­i­tally on Fri­day. Box­ill said a CD re­lease was planned in June. Prince died on April 21 last year at his Pais­ley Park es­tate in Min­nesota from an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose of pow­er­ful painkillers.

The 57-year- old — long con­sid­ered a model of health who re­frained from drugs, al­co­hol and junk food — died with­out leav­ing a will, set­ting off messy court dis­putes over the fate of his for­tune. —

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