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Prince heirs want Tidal deal reconsidered because of stat-fiddling allegations

By | Published on Thursday 21 June 2018


The bickering between Prince’s heirs continues, with three of his siblings now seeking to have the deal done between the late musician’s estate and Tidal revoked because of all the recent stat fiddling allegations involving the latter. The estate counters that some rumours in the Norwegian business press are not grounds for reconsidering a court approved deal.

Prince himself, of course, formed a partnership with Jay-Z’s Tidal, granting it exclusive access to his final two albums. After his death there was a big disagreement between Tidal and the Prince estate on quite what the musician had agreed with the streaming firm, resulting in litigation. Last month that legal battle was brought to an end, and the estate announced it had agreed to grant Tidal an exclusive of sorts on a planned posthumous release of previously unheard recordings.

That arrangement was approved by the court overseeing the Prince estate. But earlier this week three of Prince’s heirs – Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson and John R Nelson – asked the court to reconsider that approval, because of the allegations that Tidal artificially increased the stats associated with the Beyonce and Kanye albums to which it had exclusive rights. Fiddling the figures in that way would likely result in other artists and labels getting less money than they were really due from Tidal.

The estate quickly responded to that request, arguing that the court could only reconsider its approval of the Tidal deal if there was an “intervening legal development” or it could be demonstrated that the original court order was “palpably wrong in some respect”. Unproven allegations that Tidal strongly refutes are neither of those things, estate reps added.

There have been an assortment of disagreements between Prince’s siblings and half-siblings over the management of his estate and the deals said estate has entered into since the musician’s death in 2016. Rumour has it a new Sony deal is now in the pipeline, so soon they’ll be able to fall out over that too.