Prince heirs go into $31 million legal battle with Universal over vault of unreleased music

The heirs of Prince's musical legacy are looking to void their deal with Universal.

The heirs to Prince’s estate are attempting to void a $31 million deal with Universal Music Group due to potential rights conflicts.

A hearing will be motioned next week to determine whether the recession proposed by Prince’s eldest half sister Sharon Nelson and the singer’s other heirs will be carried. Prince’s heirs are looking to void the deal that gives Universal the rights to the late pop star’s “vault” of unreleased music and other recordings.

Prince’s family and the shareholders in his estate fear that potential rights conflicts with Warner Music Group, a company that may hold rights to some of that music, might damage the estate’s business reputation.


A memo filed back in September from the lawyers of Prince’s heirs said: “The UMG Vault Agreement is not only objectionable, it is unenforceable, and, if entered, may expose the estate to a lawsuit”. This statement was made prior to the heirs approving the deal, reports Billboard.

Prince unreleased song

However, the court hearing next week will focus specifically on an alleged conflict between the licensing rights that the estate sold to Universal and some of the music that Prince recorded while he was signed to Warner Bros. Records.

The $31 million is what Universal agreed to pay for a music package that included rights to some albums that were recorded under Warner’s license. This complication has caused Prince’s estate to move to void their business with Universal while Universal are seeking its money back from that original music package. Court proceedings are due to be carried next week.

Read more: Prince’s family are reportedly developing a reality TV show.

Meanwhile, police documents recently revealed that numerous pills were found in Prince‘s residence at the time of his death.