Prince's estate and Sony Music Entertainment announced on Wednesday (June 27) they have signed an exclusive distribution agreement that covers 35 of the iconic musician's previously released albums.
Under the new arrangement, the Prince catalog included in the deal will be distributed by Legacy Recordings. Worldwide rights begin immediately for Prince's album releases from 1995-2010, with the others following in years to come.
Among the titles included in the first phase are The Gold Experience (1995), Emancipation (1996), Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999), The Rainbow Children (2001) and 3121 (2006), as well as Musicology (2004) and Planet Earth (2007), which were originally release via Sony through Columbia.
Additional album titles from the 2014-2015 era will also be distributed with worldwide rights under the deal in the future.
The deal also includes rights to other previously released singles, B-sides, remixes, non-album tracks, live recordings and music videos recorded before 1995.
Starting in 2021, Sony/Legacy's distribution rights grow to include 12 Prince non-soundtrack catalog albums from the 1978-1996 era for distribution in the United States. Titles under the agreement from this period include Prince (1979), Dirty Mind(1980), Controversy (1981), 1999 (1982), Around the World in a Day (1985), Sign 'O' the Times (1987), Lovesexy (1988), Diamonds and Pearls (1991) and [Love Symbol] (1992).
"A true artist and visionary, Prince changed the world with his music, bringing love, joy and inspiration to millions," said SME Commercial Music Group President Richard Story in a statement. "Sony Music is honored to play a part in keeping Prince's music alive and making it available for generations of lifelong listeners and future fans."
"The Sony team's enthusiasm and deep knowledge of Prince's music make them the ideal partner to release these iconic bodies of work," added Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter. "We're looking forward to working with the heirs and Sony on giving fans what they've been waiting for -- more great music from Prince."