This week, a previously unheard-of posthumous Prince EP, Deliverance, was suddenly streaming on Apple Music. Released under a Vancouver-based independent label called Rogue Music Alliance, the six-song set was slated for digital release on April 21, the day of Prince's 2016 death at the age of 57. The Deliverance tracks were billed as "undiscovered studio records" from 2006-08.
Now the EP's originator, sound engineer George Ian Boxill, who's done work with Janet Jackson and Tupac, has been hit with a lawsuit by Paisley Park and Prince's estate. He is reportedly "violating a signed agreement that stated all recordings made during the Prince sessions would remain the artist's sole and exclusive property," Billboard writes. The project no longer appears on streaming services or on iTunes; TMZ notes that it was No. 1 on the pre-order chart.
Prince's estate says Boxill "maintained copies of certain tracks, waited until after Prince’s tragic death, and is now attempting to release tracks without [authorization]." A physical release was announced for June 2. The original label statement said:
"The songs were written and recorded when Prince was an independent artist, protesting what he saw as an unjust music industry. In the spirit of that independence, and in supporting Prince's opinion of major label contracts, Deliverance is being released independently [on RMA]. The majority of all sales of Deliverance will benefit Prince's estate."
Boxill's story in the release:
"Prince once told me that he would go to bed every night thinking of ways to bypass major labels and get his music directly to the public. When considering how to release this important work, we decided to go independent because that's what Prince would have wanted."
We'll keep you posted on what comes next. Don't forget to join Fuse all day April 21 as we remember Prince's iconic legacy one year after his death. Fans pay tribute to the Purple One with #WeMissYouPrince and a marathon of music videos starting Friday morning at 8:30/7:30c on Fuse while our new The Prince Effect premieres at 9pm/8c on FM. Find Fuse and FM in your area with our Channel Finder.
Next, see Lizzo tell Fuse what it was like to work with Prince: