Prince’s music streams back to Spotify, Apple Music, more on Sunday

Let’s go crazy, Prince fans. His songs are coming back to streaming this weekend.

When Prince died last year, many fans had to break out their old records, cassette tapes and CDs to listen to his songs, which couldn’t be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music or most anywhere else.

Prince, who long battled against the exploitation of musicians and famously split with his record label, had pulled his music the year before his death from most streaming services except Tidal, the Jay Z-led streaming service. After his death, his estate sued Tidal, saying the late artist had only agreed to limited streaming rights, and that he never had an exclusive deal with the service.

Come Sunday, the day of the Grammy Awards, “Purple Rain,” “1999” and the music legend’s other hits will be available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, iHeartRadio and elsewhere, multiple reports say.

Spotify, the biggest of the streaming services, told the BBC it will stream Prince’s albums that were released from 1978 to 1996.

Prince’s estate has also struck a deal with Universal Music Group for his music that was released after 1995, according to the New York Times.

The late artist had a complicated relationship with technology. He won a Webby in 2006 for the NPG Music Club, a monthly music-subscription service he started in 2001 and later killed. In a 2010 interview, he declared the internet “over” and asked why he “should give [his] music to iTunes.”

He also said during that interview: “Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”

Yet, after his death, it came out that he supported an Oakland-based nonprofit called YesWeCode, which helps teach low-income and minority kids to code.

Prince died in April of an accidental drug overdose, and did not leave a will. The artist’s estate, estimated at $100 million to $300 million, reportedly could owe half of that in taxes — hence the recent deals to bring his music back to streaming. And, according to the advisers to his estate, there could be more to come.


Photo: Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, California, in 1985. The late artist’s songs are coming back to streaming services this weekend. (Liu Heung Shing/AP)


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