November 14, 2016


Report: Prince Estate Rejects Jay Z's $40 Million Offer for Unreleased Music Catalog

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Getty Images

Update II (11/14): TMZ is reporting that the (itself alleged) $40 million offer Jay Z made Prince's siblings for the icon's unreleased music has been squashed. The site's sources say Prince's estate sent a letter to Hov in October "saying it had no interest in signing a deal for 'Roc Nation to exploit any of the intellectual property assets of the Estate.'"

TMZ also says the estate is unhappy about 15 Prince albums up for streaming on Tidal, writing that "those releases were unauthorized according to the estate."

Update I (10/26): Prince estate adviser L. Londell McMillan tells Billboard he has “no knowledge of any discussions in that report," adding that there's no current sale on the table for the legend's music. Last week Billboard heard from McMillan that "the estate is considering offers, including bids from all three major labels, to license—not purchase—Prince’s catalog and unreleased material."

Original story (10/26): TMZ is reporting that Jay Z wants Prince's ocean-sized trove of unreleased music. Hov's own company Tidal already has the exclusive streaming rights to Prince's existing catalog, as he bragged on the "All the Way Up" bars "Prince left his masters where they safe and sound / We never gonna let the elevator take him down."

The site says Jay Z flew Prince's sister Tyka Nelson and her husband, Maurice Phillips, to New York City to make a $40 million offer. There's a pic of Jigga and Phillips to bolster the claim. The next step would be for Nelson to get approval from the rest of Prince's siblings.

Right after Prince's April death at age 57, filmmaker and reporter Mobeen Azhar told the New York Daily News there's "enough unreleased studio material for him to put out an album a year for the next 100 years," plus two feature films and a variety of music videos. Susan Rogers, Prince’s onetime engineer, said there were 2,000 unreleased songs when she ended her six-year run with him in 1989. 

In 2014, Prince himself told Rolling Stone, “I’ve never said this before, but I didn’t always give the record companies the best song." A month after the star's death, RS got to dive into the vault—which is literally "a climate-controlled room hidden behind a steel door straight out a bank, complete with a time lock and large spinning handle."

Watch Lizzo tell Fuse why working with Prince was like "a fairytale":