The family of Prince have reached an agreement over the division of his $156million (£128million) estate.
Prince died aged 57 in April 2016 following a fentanyl overdose. The musician did not have a will at the time of his death and with no spouse or children, all of Prince’s estate passed to his six half-siblings.
Half of those inheriting the estate sold their shares to a company, Primary Wave, that bought the rights to Prince’s back catalogue last year. The other three kept their shares an hired longtime Prince adviser L Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer to manage them (via The Guardian).
On Monday (August 1), a judge in Minnesota signed off on the agreement, to split Prince’s estate among the three remaining heirs, their families, the advisers, and Primary Wave.
In a statement obtained by Billboard, a Primary Wave spokesman said they were “extremely pleased that the process of closing the Prince estate has now been finalised”.
It went on: “Prince was an iconic superstar and this transfer out of the court’s jurisdiction puts in place professional, skilled management. When we announced our acquisition of the additional expectancy interests in the estate last year bringing our ownership interest to 50%, our goal was to protect and grow Prince’s incomparable legacy. With the distribution of estate assets, we look forward to a strong and productive working relationship.”
McMillan added that he and his partners were “relieved and thrilled to finally be done with the probate court system and bankers who do not know the music business and did not know Prince” and were anticipating “implementing things the way Prince did”.
As Ultimate Classic Rock reported, the musician’s label Third Man Records secured the rights to the late icon’s scrapped 1986 record in March. Although ‘Camille’ was never shared as a complete body of work, all eight tracks that were initially intended to feature on the record have been released in some form (as B-sides or on other reissues etc).
For the project, Prince used a pitch-shifting studio technique in order to make his vocals sound more feminine and planned to share the finished product under a mystery pseudonym, Camille.
White appeared to share his plans for the lost album during an interview with the Daily Star newspaper’s ‘Wired’ column. “We are able to re-edit it as it was originally planned,” he reportedly explained (via Music-News.COM). “So that is great news. It’s very difficult to confirm because Prince himself changed his mind about ‘Camille’ when he was about to release it. [But] I don’t think [releasing] it goes against his will, because he ended up issuing many of the songs on different recordings over the years. It’s not like he didn’t want them to see the light of day.”
Taking to Instagram, the former White Stripes frontman later shared a statement in an attempt to “clear up any misunderstanding” about the project.
“This headline [‘Jack White confirms plans to ‘re edit’ and release lost Prince album ‘Camille”] is misleading and I want to make sure the message is clear, neither I nor third man records, have any intention of ‘editing’ or ‘remixing’ Prince’s music,” White began.
“I was referring to simply putting the songs in the original order that the album ‘Camille’ was in, as those songs have been put out in multiple releases since ‘Camille’ was first taken off the presses.”
He continued: “I would never mess with Prince’s music. Hopefully that clears up any misunderstanding, and this album can see the light of day in its original form.”