×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Prince Estate Strikes Deal With Sony Music (EXCLUSIVE)

UPDATED: Sony Music has struck a deal with Prince’s estate to license an unspecified catalog of the artist’s music, three sources close to the situation tell Variety, although it was unclear at press time whether the agreement had been finalized.

A rep for Sony Music had no comment; reps for Prince’s estate did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.

A licensing deal for the material was struck with Universal in February of last year, but the assets were found to have been misrepresented by the estate’s entertainment advisors at the time, resulting in the rescission of that $31 million deal. That deal covered music representing the bulk of Prince’s post-1996 work, when he left Warner Bros. after 19 years with the label, as well as recordings dating from the Warner era under contracts that would expire in the next couple of years, along with material from his “vault” containing thousands of unreleased recordings. Terms of Sony’s deal were unclear at press time.

A court document “approving entertainment transaction” posted Thursday speaks of some objections from certain Prince heirs regarding that deal — which is not specified in the document — but concludes: “While the Court regrets that unanimous approval of the agreement among the Heirs could not be achieved …  the Court believes that entry into the modified agreement is in the best interest of the Estate and that the parties have now been able to negotiate the best possible agreement.”

Sources tell Variety the main points of contention in the Universal deal were the expiration dates of Warner’s rights to certain recordings, which are significant in the case of an artist whose commercial peak was 25 to 35 years ago; albums attached to soundtracks from Warner films — including Prince’s two all-time top-selling albums, “Purple Rain” and “Batman,” as well as “Parade” and “Graffiti Bridge” — also are subject to different terms. Prince was fiercely protective of his intellectual property and his estate owns the majority of his recorded work.

More Music

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

  • Jussie Smollett suspect

    Jussie Smollett Named a Suspect by Chicago Police for Filing False Report

    Chicago police have named “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a suspect in a criminal investigation, three weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime. Detectives are presenting evidence to a grand jury, which is expected to determine whether to indict Smollett on a charge of filing a false police report. “Jussie [...]

  • Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, the 1975

    Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, the 1975 Win Big at Brit Awards

    Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris and the 1975 were big winners at Wednesday night’s Brit Awards, taking home the Best British Single (for Harris and Lipa’s “One Kiss”), Album of the Year (for The 1975’s “Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”) as well as Best British Group (the 1975). While the show, livestreamed from London’s O2 Arena, [...]

  • Jason Owen Kacey Musgraves

    Meet Jason Owen, the Mega-Manager Whose Clients Swept the Grammys' Country Awards

    There was a moment on the night of Feb. 10 when manager Jason Owen allowed his mind to “go there.” Could his client, Kacey Musgraves, who by 4 p.m. had already picked up two Grammy Awards — for “Space Cowboy” and “Butterflies,” for best country song and best country solo performance, respectively — in Owen’s [...]

  • Ariana Grande Surprises Boy Band on

    Ariana Grande Surprises Filipino Boy Band on 'Corden'

    The Filipino boy band TNT Boys gained an extra member Tuesday night when pop-star Ariana Grande made a surprise appearance during the group’s performance on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.” After winning Filipino competition show “Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids,” band members Keifer Sanchez, Mackie Empuerto, and Francis Concepcion have continued to solidify [...]

  • Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior

    Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior VP of Brand Partnerships

    Veteran advertising executive Christine Kauffman has been named senior VP of brand partnerships at Island Records, the company announced today. She will be based in New York and report to Island COO Eric Wong. In making the announcement, Island President Darcus Beese said, “The fast-paced and competitive field of strategic brand marketing has become an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content