May 12, 2017
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Universal Is Attempting to Cancel Their $31 Million Deal with Prince’s Estate

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The label accuses the late artist’s estate of fraudulent inducement.

In February, Universal Music Group announced a multi-year deal with Prince’s estate and NPG Records, which gave the label exclusive licensing rights to the bulk of the late artist‘s catalog and unreleased music. The deal, which was worth $31 Million, included 25 albums released under Prince’s NPG Records. Today, Billboard reported that UMG is now demanding that their deal with the estate be cancelled and the money be returned.

The details of the case are rather complicated, but the report states that UMG has accused former Prince estate entertainment advisor L. Londell McMillan of fraudulent inducement in connection with the deal. In other words, UMG is claiming the deal was brokered under false pretenses. On top of that, a number of albums included in the deal between the estate and UMG were previously released under Warner Bros and while UMG’s rights were to be assumed in 2018, those albums are still in Warners’ hands until 2021. This further complicates the situation that Prince’s family is facing, especially considering that his six siblings are still waiting for an official ruling on their heirship to his $200 million estate. A hearing is scheduled later this month regarding UMG’s demand that the deal be rescinded.

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