krcb header-tagline

support krcb button 2

Text Size

Deal Over Prince's Legendary Vault Now Being Investigated

The estate of Prince Rogers Nelson remains a bed of thorns, in some ways. A $30 million deal between Universal Music Group and Prince's NPG Records, being overseen by his estate, is now the subject of a special investigation into whether it should be cancelled outright, according to documents filed today in Minnesota.

The deal, to license and distribute some of Prince's famed vault of unreleased recordings, was first announced in February after being brokered by Charles Koppelman and L. Londell McMillan, who were named as entertainment advisors to the estate in June 2016 (they were later replaced by Troy Carter, the former manager of Lady Gaga and a current executive at Spotify). Not long after its announcement, however, problems began to appear, dribbling out due to a contract that Prince signed with Warner Bros. Records in 2014 in which many specifics were left hazy.

Universal claimed it had been misled as to what it was purchasing, and not long after requested its deal be canceled, writing in a letter to the court that "the material misrepresentations and nondisclosures made by the Estate's prior representatives [McMillan and Koppelman] to induce UMG to enter a deal that was immediately contested by WBR" meant the arrangement should be nullified.

McMillan responded that canceling the deal would cost Prince's estate a large chunk of money, since re-signing a similar licensing deal would result in a much lower price tag following all the confusion, and that it could empower Warner Bros. Records to wield that 2014 agreement like a guillotine over future deals. In a filing, lawyers for McMillan also point out that the type of uncertainty at issue was "built into the contract."

And so enters St. Paul-based attorney Peter J. Gleekel, who will be given broad authority — "the power to compel and take evidence from parties and non-parties" — in investigating the dispute between the estate, Universal, Warner Bros., Koppelman and McMillan. Gleekel — who stands to make $430 per hour, according to court filings — has until Dec. 15 to complete his review.

After that, it remains a certainty that a lawsuit from Universal would come quickly after if the deal isn't rescinded. If it isn't, Warner Bros. or the estate could instead. We'll find out shortly before the new year.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

Original Source

Music News

Default Image
Feb 23

Craig David Seizes The Moment With 'The Time Is Now'

Craig David was just 19 years old when he became one of Britain's most popular R&B stars. The singer's debut album, Born to Do It, earned him stateside fame in the early 2000s and raised his profile…
Default Image
Feb 23

Daring To Dream: A Carpenter Tries To Build A Piano In Rwanda

It's Monday afternoon and Désiré Mulumeoderwa is alone in his workshop, an oasis of quiet and creativity from the parade of motorbikes and perpetual hustle outside on Kigali's streets. The mud floor…
Default Image
Feb 22

Frank Kimbrough On Piano Jazz

When pianist Frank Kimbrough was Marian McPartland's guest in 1997, he was performing regularly with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra at Visiones Jazz Club in New York, where he has been active on…
Feb 22

Pokey LaFarge, Ruthie Foster and guest-host Todd Burge - Mountain Stage - Saturday 2/24 @ Noon

This week’s episode of Mountain Stage is hosted by songwriter Todd Burge. You’ll hear new music with an old feel from Pokey LaFarge, blues and soul singer Ruthie Foster, Canadian singer-songwriters…
Feb 22

Stories from the Road with Brandi Carlile & Meschiya Lake - American Routes Friday 2/23 @ Noon

We hit the open road to hear tales of adventure and woe from honky-tonkers and hobos, train-hoppers and busking bohemians.