Not long after Prince’s death this past April, his infamous music vault was drilled open and its contents — the holy grail of his unreleased music — pored over. It now appears that whatever was found during the search at Paisley Park is up for grabs and going for millions. Billboard reports that all three major record labels are currently in a bidding war with Prince’s estate to buy the rights to the vault, possibly valued at $35 million. The deluxe edition of Purple Rain that was meant to come under Prince’s new deal with Warner Bros. will also be released as early as next year. Because Prince left no will, the holdout on who can and will get access to the vault is reportedly a matter of multiple factors: who actually owns the music (Prince’s notoriously contentious relationship with record labels complicates things), who controls the estate, and how the vault (which is still being sorted) can ever be cataloged. For now, Tidal remains the only one with the keys to at least some of the vault Prince wanted us to hear.
This could get complicated.