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Heirs unhappy that Prince vault has been moved to LA

By | Published on Thursday 12 October 2017


There’s a new bone of contention between Prince’s siblings, who have had various disagreements about the running of the late musician’s affairs since his death last year. This time two of Prince’s half sisters have criticised a decision to move their brother’s massive vault of unreleased music from his home in Minneapolis to LA.

The bank now overseeing the Prince estate – Comerica – has confirmed that master recordings have been moved from the pop star’s famous Paisley Park home and studio complex to a storage facility run by Iron Mountain Entertainment Services.

The bank told the Associated Press that: “After reviewing the storage conditions at Paisley Park and out of concern regarding the consequences of a fire or other loss at the facility, Comerica determined that it was necessary to transfer the audio and visual content to a secure location where all of the original content could be securely stored and digitised as a safeguard against the destruction or loss of any original content”.

However, Prince’s half sisters Sharon and Norrine Nelson say that they weren’t consulted about the decision to move the masters, and that they only found out about the shift when a contact at Paisley Park told them four removal trucks had arrived. Sharon told the AP that hearing that Prince’s vault was being emptied of its archive was “just as though Prince passed away again. That’s how I felt. I was really devastated by that”.

The two sisters say that Comercia hasn’t told them exactly where the unreleased recordings have been taken to, nor why the move was necessary. They add that they believe the bank was obliged to consult them about the move, and that they are now willing to take legal action in a bid to get the master tapes returned to Paisley Park.

Comercia denies that Prince’s heirs weren’t consulted. It said: “In an effort to ensure the preservation of Prince’s audio and visual content, Comerica selected the premiere entertainment storage and archive company, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services. On four separate occasions, Comerica discussed the process with the heirs and any suggestion otherwise is not accurate”.

As previously reported, there have been various disagreements between Prince’s heirs over who should be managing and advising his estate. And also over some of the deals done by the estate, in particular the big deal with Universal Music which included the rights to exploit recordings in the vault, which collapsed when it emerged Warner Music had more rights over Prince’s recordings from its most recent deal with the musician than Universal realised.