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Prince only put one song on Spotify

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
Fighting the good fight.
By Amy X. Wang
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The legendary artist Prince, who died today in his Minnesota estate at the age of 57, leaves behind a rich musical legacy. But you won’t find it on Spotify or most other streaming services.

Prince pulled all of his music from the major streaming services last summer, shortly after Taylor Swift and several other artists took down their own catalogs. (You can still find Prince’s music through smaller streaming avenues today, including The Current and Jay Z’s Tidal.) While the pop icon didn’t give an official explanation, it’s likely his decision was influenced by his decades-long fight with Warner Bros over the financial and artistic ownership of his music—a battle that made him wary of ceding control to any big, corporate players in the music industry. “If you don’t own your masters, then your masters own you,” Prince famously said in an interview in 1997.

There is, however, a single song from Prince available on Spotify: “Stare,” which the artist released exclusively to the service in July 2015.

Given how limited this offering is, Prince fans likely won’t be flocking to streaming services the way David Bowie enthusiasts did in the days following the latter musician’s death, earlier this year, and Spotify told us the company will not be releasing streaming data on “Stare.”

Listeners will largely have to turn to more old-fashioned platforms—like digital downloads, CDs, and vinyl records—to pay tribute. Update: As of 3:15 p.m., “Purple Rain” is the top-selling song on Apple’s iTunes, and the greatest hits compilation The Very Best of Prince is the number one album.

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