Prince’s thousands of hours of secret music may be released after all

Formerly known as “not happening.”
Formerly known as “not happening.”
Image: Reuters/Dylan Martinez
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Police investigations into Prince’s death may have come to a conclusion, but the battle for his music has not.

After his death on April 21, it was revealed that the legendary artist had squirreled away dozens of albums of unpublished music in a vault in his Paisley Park home. Prince did not leave a will designating ownership of his assets, causing many to believe the secret songs would never see the light of day.

According to a new report from Billboard, however, Prince’s estate advisers are shopping around the vault’s contents to the world’s three biggest record labels (Warner, Sony, and Universal) for as much as $35 million. All three, according to an unnamed source close to the situation, are reportedly interested in the buy. Billboard also claims that a deluxe edition of Purple Rain will be released in the coming months.

Due to ongoing legal squabbles over ownership of the estate, the unpublished music hasn’t actually been cataloged. But Prince told the New York Post last year that there’s enough material to fill 26 albums. Recording engineer Susan Rodgers said the vault houses some intensely personal songs, and, according to his former protégé Cat Glover:

We would just write, write, write and then put things to the side and fix them later. Some of his best stuff is in the vault.

If the estate ownership is cleared up and a deal for the music goes through, Prince fans will be in for a treat.

The late singer guarded his vault so well—it was accessible by elevator, hidden behind a steel door, and locked with a combination that only Prince knew—that it had to be drilled open after his death.