Music News: Streaming release of pre-1995 Prince music nears


Purple Spotify ads in the New York subway
Purple Spotify ads in the New York subway (SERPAN99 via Twitter)

"Ten months after Prince's death," reports the New York Times, "the last piece of the business puzzle for his music has finally been reached." Prince's estate has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group to release music not covered through Prince's contract with Warner Bros. — that means all of his albums released after 1995, and any previously unreleased material.

The Times notes, though, that Sunday's widely expected release of Prince's music across major streaming services will only include the Warner Bros. material: Musicology fans will have to wait. Most major services have all but officially confirmed the Sunday release, with Spotify taking out purple ads; Napster sent a press release on Thursday confirming that it would be carrying Prince's music as of Sunday.

Charles Koppelman and L. Londell McMillan, two industry pros who have been working with Prince's estate, talked with Billboard about their work to share and protect Prince's musical legacy.

"He really laid the groundwork for a lot of other artists who redefined the kind of deals they would make," says Koppelman. "So many more artists own most or all of their publishing and just do administrative deals; so many more artists have shorter terms on their recording deals and understand that they need to get ownership at some point."

The pair also confirm that there is not currently an active effort to determine what music from the Vault will be released; other deals need to be put in place first.

Jack White accepts Grammy Honors award

On Wednesday night, Jack White accepted a Grammy Honors award from the Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing, recognizing his behind-the-scenes contributions to the music industry. In his acceptance speech White recognized Bing Crosby for making personal investments in music technology. "That's about building bridges and carrying on for the next generation," White said, "and I think we should build bridges, instead of walls, especially right now!" (Pitchfork)

Ryan Adams remembers infamous heckler

In a New York Times essay, Ryan Adams remembers one of the most infamous heckling incidents in rock history: the time a concert attendee at Ryman Auditorium interrupted Adams's set with a shouted request for Bryan Adams’s hit "Summer of '69." Adams says that the incident was especially frustrating because he respects the other Adams as a songwriter, and sends him an e-mail every year on their shared birthday, Nov. 5. (Bryan is exactly 15 years older than Ryan.)

M.I.A. says "POWA" is "not a dis"

In her new song "POWA," M.I.A. name-drops a few pop stars: "I'm not Rihanna, I'm not Madonna, I'm not Mariah or Ariana," she sings. "I'm been around in this world causing drama, the real spice girl, hot girl power." Some heard that as a slight to her peers, but via Twitter, M.I.A. says she wasn't trying to dis any of those four. "This is not a dis," she wrote, "it's just not an 'alternative fact.' Difference is good." (NME)

Green Day give guitar to fan

On Wednesday in London, Green Day invited a fan named Rachel to join them onstage for a cover of Operation Ivy’s "Knowledge." After the fan, Billie Joe Armstrong gave his guitar to Rachel, whose movement is impaired by a disability. (Rolling Stone)

Katherine Jackson accuses nephew of abuse

Katherine Jackson — the 86-year-old mother of the legendary Jackson family, including siblings Michael and Janet — has been granted a restraining order against her nephew Trent Lamar Jackson. In court documents, Katherine Jackson and other members of the family accuse Trent of "years of mental/emotional abuse that have left Mrs. Jackson in a constant state of fear and confusion." (Rolling Stone)

Thin Lizzy break through silence

In a Sonos commercial set to air during Sunday's Grammys, the speaker company suggests that its products can help families break through their unhealthy silences — specifically, with Thin Lizzy. (Billboard)

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