In a surprise announcement from the Prince estate and Tidal, the streaming service says that it will release an exclusive album of "previously unreleased music sourced from Prince's vast archive of Vault recordings," reports Variety.
With an expectation to be released sometime in 2019, the album will stream exclusively on Tidal for two weeks and then will be available to download one week after its debut. Today's announcement says, "A global physical release is planned via The Prince Estate following the exclusive digital premiere on Tidal," but did not specify which label will be given the honor to distribute the album.
Not to be confused with the Warner Bros. Records release of unreleased material which is coming out in September of this year, the announcement also states that the yet-to-be-titled "album partnership with Tidal does not involve any of Prince's music catalogue that is subject to prior agreements with Warner Brothers Records, Inc." The music featured on the Tidal project will be songs written after 1996.
The announcement also stated that the new release "marks a continuation of Prince's 2015 partnership with Tidal," and "concludes the previously unresolved legal matters between The Prince Estate and Tidal," which came about after the death of Prince from an accidental overdose in April 2016.
Prince Estate and TIDAL to debut first posthumous album in 2019. https://t.co/j9BxszyF93 pic.twitter.com/KE1Sb1UY3iJay Z, the owner of Tidal, and the Prince estate are currently selecting music for the album. "Our only goal is to share Prince's music with his fans as he wanted," Jay Z said in the statement. "After thoughtful and honest conversation with him, he chose Tidal as his partner for HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two, and we will continue to respect and honor Prince's enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection."
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) May 12, 2018
Troy Carter, speaking on behalf of the estate, noted, "I'm very pleased this is resolved, and we get to honor the relationship between Prince and Tidal with this album. We look forward to fans hearing the new music and experiencing the genius of Prince."
"Surely, a large swath of Prince fans would prefer to let the man rest—to leave his legacy alone, and not pimp it out with posthumous projects," said Complex's Marco Margaritoff. "However, if the Estate feels things are being handled respectfully, and Hov himself is involved in quality assurance here—I think we can at least be carefully excited for a new Prince album next year."