The Prince Estate and Tidal announced today that the streaming service will exclusively debut an album of previously unreleased music by the late artist. According to the announcement, the album will contain “previously unreleased music sourced from Prince’s vast archive of Vault recordings.”
The album – expected to be released in 2019 – will stream exclusively on Tidal for fourteen days and will be available for download seven days after its debut, although which label will distribute the album was unclear: The announcement only says “A global physical release is planned via The Prince Estate following the exclusive digital premiere on Tidal.”
The release will be separate from another album containing previously unreleased material coming in September, which estate adviser Troy Carter told Variety will be released on Warner Bros. Records; today’s announcement explicitly says: “The album partnership with Tidal does not involve any of Prince’s music catalogue that is subject to prior agreements with Warner Brothers Records, Inc.” This means the material will be post-1996, when Prince’s initial deal with the label ended.
The announcement also says the new release “marks a continuation of Prince’s 2015 partnership with Tidal,” through which it premiered his “HITnRUN Phase One” and “Phase Two” albums, and states “This concludes the previously unresolved legal matters between The Prince Estate and Tidal,” which had been ongoing in the wake of the confused state of the artist’s business affairs after his death from an accidental overdose in April 2016. Certain Prince releases remain exclusively available for streaming on Tidal.
The Estate and Tidal owner Jay-Z are working together on the song selection for the album. “Our only goal is to share Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted,” Jay-Z said in the statement. “After thoughtful and honest conversation with him, he chose Tidal as his partner for ‘HITnRUN Phase One’ and ‘HITnRUN Phase Two,’ and we will continue to respect and honor Prince’s enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection.”
Carter, speaking on behalf of the Estate, noted: “I’m very pleased this is resolved, and we get to honor the relationship between Prince and Tidal with this album. We look forward to fans hearing the new music and experiencing the genius of Prince.”
The agreement between Tidal and The Prince Estate was approved on May 9, 2018 by the Probate Court overseeing The Prince Estate.