×

Prince Engineer Ordered to Pay Estate $4 Million Over Unauthorized Release

A Minnesota judge on Monday ordered a recording engineer to pay Prince’s estate almost $4 million for releasing an unauthorized EP of songs by the late musician in 2017.

George Ian Boxill, who worked with Prince from 2004 through 2008, released the “Deliverance” EP to streaming services in April 2017 in breach of his contract with Paisley Park Enterprises and the artist, the judge ruled; on the release, Boxill claimed co-writing and co-producing credits with Prince. The release of the EP was almost immediately followed by a lawsuit from the artist’s estate and was quickly removed from streaming services and retailers after a hearing held in Minnesota. During its brief window of availability, the release reached No. 1 on iTunes’ pre-order chart and No. 2 on Amazon’s album chart. Boxill’s business partners, Rogue Music Alliance, LLC, David Staley and Gabriel Solomon Wilson, were also named in the action.

An arbitrator later held that Boxill breached his contract with Prince and awarded the estate $3,960,000. The estate is also pursuing claims for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and improper use of the late superstar’s image and likeness. At the 2017 hearing, Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright of the United States District court issued a temporary restraining blocking Boxill’s efforts to release any of Prince’s music and ordered him to “deliver all of the recordings acquired through his work with Paisley Park Enterprises” and return them to the estate.

Troy Carter, entertainment advisor to the estate, said, “Prince was an exceptionally talented musician. The estate protects the music Prince created aggressively and is pleased with the award against Mr. Boxill.”

Despite the shady provenance of the EP, which was released near the first anniversary of the musician’s death, the songs on it are surprisingly strong — particularly the title track, a bluesy slow-burner with some blazing guitar work, gospelesque backing singers and a soaring falsetto vocal from Prince. An “opera” included on it is less successful but still intriguing — the four linked segments are dramatically different stylistically, ranging from a simple rocker to a gentle ballad, a complex, almost classical segment and a closing slow groove — as is the longer version of the song “I Am.” The material is strongly reminiscent of Prince’s 2006 album “3121,” which dates from the same era and many fans feel is among the best of his later albums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    CBS Credit Union Manager Sentenced to 14 Years for $40 Million Fraud

    Edwin Rostohar, the longtime manager of the CBS Employees Federal Credit Union, was sentenced on Monday to 14 years in prison for embezzling $40 million. The massive fraud left the credit union insolvent. It was shuttered and taken over by the University Credit Union, which assumed the accounts of 2,800 members. Related Prince’s Estate to [...]

  • United Talent Agency Reveals New Logo

    UTA Unveils New Logo, Corporate Image

    UTA raised the curtain Monday on a new corporate logo. The three-dimensional image is meant to emphasize the talent agency’s focus on uniting ideas, opportunities and talent. Building signage with the new logo will go up next month at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. Related Prince’s Estate to Take Over Management of Paisley Park Prince's [...]

  • Tribune Tower

    FCC Approves Nexstar Acquisition of Tribune Media

    The FCC has voted to approve Nexstar’s $4.1 billion takeover of Tribune Media, paving the way for Nexstar to become the nation’s largest owner of television stations with more than 200 outlets serving a wide swath of the country. FCC commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the merger agreement that was reached in December. Nexstar’s pact [...]

  • Endeavor co-founder Ari Emanuel

    Endeavor Aims to Raise $620 Million With IPO

    Endeavor disclosed Monday that it expects a price between $30 and $32 per share for its initial public offering in the fall. Endeavor — the parent company of WME, UFC, IMG, Endeavor Content, Professional Bull Riders and other assets — aims to raise as much as $620 million with the sale of 19.4 million shares. [...]

  • Overall View of the Rose Bowl

    One Dead, One Injured in Rose Bowl Parking Lot Shooting

    One person was killed and another was injured Saturday night following a shooting in a Rose Bowl parking lot, the Pasadena police confirmed. According to a statement from the police department, police responded to reports of a physical altercation and shots fired at 11:22 p.m. near the area of Arroyo Boulevard and Seco Street, where [...]

  • Felicity Huffman

    Felicity Huffman Issues Apology After Receiving Prison Sentence: 'There Are No Excuses'

    Felicity Huffman issued a long statement of apology on Friday after receiving a two-week prison sentence for paying to illegally boost her daughter’s SAT score. In the statement, Huffman, in addition to saying  she accepts the court’s decision, acknowledges and apologizes to other parents fighting to get their children into college. Along with the prison [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content