Warner Bros. Records has terminated its joint venture with Prince’s Paisley Park Records, leaving many of the label’s acts and execs in limbo.
A tersely worded joint release called the termination mutual, but sources point to disappointing returns from the imprint as a prime factor behind Warner’s decision.
“Our relationship with Paisley Park Enterprises has been an exciting and creatively rewarding one,” said Mo Ostin, chairman of Warner Bros. Records, in a statement. “We look forward to working with them and the artist formerly known as Prince, who continues to be one of our most important artists and producers.”
The severing of ties will not affect Warner’s mega-deal with the former Prince, who recently changed his name to an unpronouncable symbol, and Warner Bros. still has the option of picking up any of the acts on the artist’s label.
Insiders note that while a formula exists to address talent and exec issues in the event of a termination of the joint venture, the issues have not been resolved.
Currently signed to the imprint are George Clinton, Mavis Staples, Belize, Rosie Gaines and Tyler Collins. The latter three artists have yet to release albums, and it is unclear how the pact termination will affect release dates.
The fate of Paisley’s execs and artists is expected to be decided by the end of this week.
Reps for Paisley and Warner declined comment.