Less than a year after his tragic death, Prince’s Warner Bros. catalog has been released across all streaming platforms.
The record label announced the big news today (Feb. 12), confirming rumors that have been circulating in recent months. Warner Bros. Records’ Chairman and CEO Cameron Strang said the company is thrilled to share the late superstar’s material.
“Prince recorded his most influential and popular music during his time with Warner Bros. and we are deeply aware of our responsibility to safeguard and nurture his incredible legacy,” said Strang in a statement. “Warner Bros. is thrilled to be able to bring Prince’s music to his millions of fans around the world via streaming services, fittingly on music’s biggest night. We’d like to thank Prince’s estate, Universal Music Publishing, the Grammy Awards, and all of the streaming services for their great collaboration in making this landmark event possible.”
On June 9, Warner Bros. is planning to rerelease a remastered version of Prince’s 1984 classic Purple Rain with two concert films and two albums worth of previously-vaulted material. “When we make any of Prince’s music available to fans—from the hits to unreleased gems—we are committed to upholding Prince’s high creative standards and we know fans will be thrilled when they hear these albums and see these films,” he added.
Prince was signed to Warner Bros. from 1978 through 1996 and his music with the label includes some of his most-acclaimed bodies of work, including Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain, and much more. It also includes some of his biggest hits like “1999,” “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “I Would Die 4 U.”
The albums he created after his Warner Bros. era were not included in this wide release. That includes projects such as The Black Album, The Gold Experience, and Chaos and Disorder.
In November, Warner Bros. teamed up with Prince’s NPG Records to release PRINCE 4Ever, a posthumous compilation that also featured a previously-unreleased song titled “Moonbeam Levels.”
This is somewhat of a controversial move because Prince famously refused to have his music on any streaming service other than TIDAL. In 2015, upon releasing HITnRUN Phase One, the Purple One explained why he sided with Jay Z instead of other streaming services.
“HITnRUN sounds like today,” he said. “TIDAL is sinking money into it and they need it. And my heart is always on because I want them to do well. [Beyoncé and Jay Z] have taken a lot of abuse, their family has. A historic amount of abuse between the two of ’em. And when we win on this, none of us’ll gloat. He’s not the gloating type anyway. He’s slick with his. He says to brush the dirt off your shoulder.”
Following Prince’s death, TIDAL made several Prince albums available on its platform. A legal battle soon followed over streaming rights. In November, NPG sued Roc Nation for illegally streaming the Purple One’s discography, claiming that they were only authorized to stream HITnRUN exclusively.
By the time the Grammys air this evening, Prince’s Warner Bros. catalog will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Prime, iHeartRadio, and others. The wide release began hitting those services earlier today. TIDAL still carries the albums, along with other projects, on its service while the legal battle continues.