Following Prince's sudden withdrawal of his music catalogue from Spotify and Apple Music streaming services, Jay-Z's TIDAL won yet another big music name; now one of only two platforms permitted to offer Prince's discography to its subscribers (the other is Google Music). The arrangement comes in the wake of TIDAL's exclusive deal to stream the Rally 4 Peace show on 10 May and reaction to the low royalties artists are paid by Spotify and Apple (usually 1p per song played). Forbes.com suggest Prince might even be a new or potential co-owner of TIDAL. Prince marked the announcement by sharing his brand new song HARDROCKLOVER on his Soundcloud account: the song is tipped by industry writers worthy as the rock anthem of the summer.
Prince and Stevie Wonder play private White House show
Mr President and Mrs Obama hired Prince and Stevie Wonder for 'a private party for friends and family' in the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday 13 June. The show is understood to be funded personally by the Obamas and played to 500 special guests with 'political and economic clout'. Prince took to the keyboards for his two hour set and was joined by Stevie Wonder for a special duet of Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours. The event was part of African-American Music Appreciation Month and whilst the actual guest list is secret and no press invited, singers Jon Bon Jovi and James Taylor were in attendance. Prince later performed two sell-out shows at DC's 1,800 capacity Warner Theatre on Sunday 14th (8 and 11pm), at around 1am during the second show Wonder came on stage to join Prince and 3rdEyeGirl for the remainder of the show.
Free Urself. New album this summer?
Could Prince be gearing up to release a new album this summer? The day following the release of Baltimore on iTunes, three snippets of a new song called Stare was put up on his Youtube account on 27 May. Captions within the video teased with 'new funk' due for release this summer. The footage also contained concept artwork for what may be the cover of the new album, named Free Urself (an updated image with better and entirely new artwork - a watercolour by Clémentine Campardou - was posted on the official Twitter @Prince3EG account on 3 June).
Prospect of a brand new album following so closely in the wake of 2014's Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum comes as a welcome surprise for fans, considering Prince's four year musical drought between 2010 and 14. Whether Free Urself is actually a new album or a single, or merely a series of summer concerts, remains unconfirmed at present.
Rally 4 Peace concert to be streamed by TIDAL. Prince returns to Twitter
Prince is to headline a special Rally 4 Peace concert (3rdEyeGirl is billed as 'special guests') which will be held on Sunday 10 May at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, starting at 8pm. The concert will be a benefit show for the recent social unrest in the city. Many celebrities are expected to be in attendance at the event and despite tickets being $497 they are sold out - so if you are unable to attend, 60 minutes of the show will be streamed free via TIDAL, its owner Jay-Z remarked he was "honoured to join Prince in his mission to inspire through the uniting power of music". Listeners will be asked to donate and the proceeds to be distributed to local causes.
Prince has been working with Eryn Allen Kane to put the finishing touches to the new single Baltimore, for which he has returned to Twitter with a new account @Prince3EG opened on 9 May to issue its first tweet a Soundcloud stream of the completed track. USA Today have picked Baltimore their Song of the Week.
Prince records single inspired by Baltimore unrest
Prince is preparing the release of his new single Baltimore, which he wrote in response to the riots that have taken place in the city, sparked by the death of Freddie Gray from injuries while in police custody on 19 April. Prince recorded the song live at Paisley Park on 29 April and is holding a Dance Rally 4 Peace at the studios from 9:30pm on 2 May. The song is expected to receive its premier at the event and attendees are invited to wear 'something gray' out of respect for 25-year-old Freddie. Prince is in talks with Jay-Z to release the song via the streaming service TIDAL. Prince and the band are in rehearsals for their on-going Hit 'N' Tour, which was mooted by Fox News to extend not only to more US cities but abroad too.
Prince performed a 35-minute set with 3rdEyeGirl. The set list comprised: Chaos And Disorder, Dreamer, Crimson And Clover, Plectrumelectrum, Guitar and a vamped up cover of The Waterboys 1985 classic The Whole Of The Moon. The new song Baltimore was not played, however the full show has been streamed on Prince3EG's Soundcloud account from13 May.
No anniversary edition for Purple Rain
A source close to Prince has confirmed that "the ship has sailed" on the 30th Anniversary re-release for Purple Rain. The confirmation came a year to the day since the original announcement by Warner Brothers on 18 April last year stating that the album was to be reissued as a deluxe edition with remastered and state-of-the-art sound, Purple Rain Deluxe will definitely not see a release in its anniversary year, for unspecified reasons. The confirmation did not come at any surprise to fans being that 2015 in fact marks the album's 31st anniversary, although the news was met with disappointment. The source did indicate the re-releasing of Prince's key albums under the Warner Brothers label remained a probability, however, at some future point - albeit not the near future.
Prince faces lawsuit for surprise Judith Hill release
A surprise email landed in the inboxes of the fans who bought tickets for Prince and 3rdEyeGirl's four shows The Louisville Palace earlier in the month. The email, sent to Live Nation's address list, contained a note written by Prince which said: "Just wanted 2 send U this baby picture of Judith Hill with her 1st piano. Loox like her parents, who R also musicians- had a plan. Well, that plan succeeded." and concluded with a link to download her entire 11-track debut album Back In Time, of which was produced by Prince and also performs on it.
The download remained available until 25 March, however on the 28th Hill's producer, Jolene Cherry (better known as the discoverer of Lady Gaga), hit Prince with a lawsuit for allegedly poaching her star. Judith Hill was a contestant on The Voice in 2013 and had signed a contract with Cherry to work on her debut album. Several months ago Cherry had refused Hill's request to work with Prince; he is ever keen to nurture young talent and had worked at the same time also with Rita Ora, recording a new track, Champaign Kisses, for her upcoming album. Hill, in 2009 was chosen to perform with Michael Jackson for his movie 'This Is It' and more recently toured with John Legend, maintains there was no such agreement with Cherry and has filed a countersuit. Cherry claims the album is no longer commercially feasible since it was offered as a free download and is seeking damages to recover her investment in the development of Hill's career. Prince had held a listening party for the album at Paisley Park the night before making it available for download.
US Hit N Run Tour to begin with 2 shows on 14 March
Prince and 3rdEyeGirl are to begin their 2015 tour of the US on Saturday 14 March, starting off at The Louisville Palace, Louisville, Kentucky (3rd Eye's drummer, Hannah Welton's hometown). In what is an extension of the acclaimed Hit And Run Tour which in 2014 focused on the UK, the dates and venues of the 2015 tour of the US will likewise be announced at short notice.
To mark the tour's opening shows WFPK Radio Louisville will on 12 March premiere a new song sung by Prince and Hannah Welton, named What If? - a cover of Nichole Noreman's hit single of 2005 - which, and another new song The X's Face (a production collaboration with Joshua Welton) are available free to who purchased concert tickets.
The concerts will be fully ticketed a few days in advance of each event - tickets for the 8pm 14 March concert went on sale on 9 March at 10am and sold out almost immediately, a second show, also on the 14th was quickly added and sold out also. In consequence two more shows, this time on Sunday the 15th was announced and sold out also. All tickets will be sold through Live Nation. More dates as and when they are announced will be listed on our dedicated tour page.
Prince on stage at Grammys for first time in decade
To the delight of Hollywood's packed Staples Center auditorium attending the 57th ceremony of the Grammy awards, swaggering on stage to Funknroll, Prince, brandishing his trademark cane entered stage left and clad in what was a very outlandish orange suit. Prince was greeted with a standing ovation to present the award of album of the year. Prior to revealing the nominees his opening speech made reference to Black Lives Matter a movement which surfaced in the wake of the high profile deaths of two young black men in Ferguson, Missouri and in Staten Island, New York. "Albums - remember those? Albums, like books and Black Lives, they still matter" said Prince.
Prince then announced Beck the winner for Morning Phase, a result which left many insiders surprised, believing Beyoncé more deserving to claim the prize. Beyoncé’s friend Kanye West followed Beck on to the stage in protest, later arguing that the Grammys were disrespectful towards 'real artists', saying "Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé." But despite the Grammys promise of "something very, very special in the works!" Prince did not perform, however the 'very special' might well have been Prince’s vivid orange, light shimmering jumpsuit, which fashion watchers likened to Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba was the talking point of the evening. The Grammys have been accused of rewarding style over substance in their winners of 2015 and Prince's expression when presenting the award for best album revealed his thoughts on the quaility of the evening's nominees and the depth of contemporary music.
Prince plays surprise charity gig in London's Koko
Last night Prince played a secret gig at Koko, Camden in London for a special show in benefit of the charity Autism Rocks. Prince previously played at the venue during his Hit And Run tour of London in February 2014 and for the charity on 20 May 2014, however last night's show was strictly limited to just 1,000 invitees asked for donations of £75 to attend. Those who attended - including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Noel Gallagher - were originally contacted on 19 January and asked to keep the show secret. Prince was supported by 3rdEyeGirl as well as Joshua Welton and Liv Warfield, and the set list, running for 2 hours 10 minutes was similar to those played during the Hit And Run Tour of 2014, save for the inclusion of new songs The Breakdown, U Know and The Gold Standard.
Prince plays another gig for Autusm Rocks at the Madinat Jumeirah resort in Dubai on the 4th. The surprise appearances come less than a week before Prince's next appearance, this time at the Grammy Awards on 8 February. It would be Prince's first appearance at the Grammy's since his career re-launching performance in 2004 during which he duetted with Beyoncé.
Prince surprises at Golden Globes
Prince made a surprise appearance on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the ceremony of the 72nd Golden Globes, held in Hollywood. Presenting the award for Best Original Song the auditorium erupted with applause and whistles as Prince arrived on stage with a silver diamond-studded walking cane to announced the nominees. Prince, who in 2007 was himself a Golden Globe winner for The Song Of The Heart for the movie Happy Feet, presented the award, "But, of course..." to John Legend and Common for the song Glory from the film Selma. Prince's appearance at the ceremony became the 'top moment' of the of the night on social media, which during the telecast of the event saw 2.6 million Twitter posts and 17 million interactions of Facebook relating to the ceremony.
Leak hints pending release of Purple Rain Deluxe
Today's leak of the full 14 minute version of Computer Blue (a.k.a the long version), one of several extended versions from the Purple Rain era to have popped up on the internet over recent weeks, has added fuel to the speculation that the production of Purple Rain Deluxe is very much in the works. Furthermore, the increasing frequency of the leaks hints that a double disk set (one the re-mastered copy of the original album, with a second disk comprised of extended versions) might be imminent. The deluxe edition of Purple Rain, which was to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1984 album, was announced in a joint statement with Prince and Warner Bros. Records in 18 April 2014. The release would mark the first re-mastering of any of Prince's music from his Warner-era career and is anticipated to be the first of several reissues of albums made during his tenure with the label in the 1980s. The release of Purple Rain Deluxe, if it is to happen, will be more closer to the 31st anniversary than the 30th, but as fans only too well know with every Prince release this is a common trait, seen with the much stalled releases of The Gold Experience, Ultimate and more recently Plectrumelectrum - it is better to have some albums released late than never at all.