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2016 saw the unfortunate deaths of a lot of beloved celebrities. Musicians such as Natalie Cole, Motorhead singer Lemmy Kilmister, Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, country music icon Merle Haggard, and legendary singer, songwriter, and actor David Bowie all passed in 2016. One of the more unexpected deaths of 2016, however, was of the Purple One himself, Prince.
Prince, known for his multi-instrumental talents, wide vocal range, creativity, and flamboyant stage presence, unexpectedly passed away in his home last April at the age of 57. As an innovator in the genres of rock, funk, R&B, soul, new wave, and pop, Prince was named by Rolling Stone as one of “the most influential artists of the rock & roll era”. The prolific musician had an incredible catalog of music – he put out over 40 albums and a plethora of hit singles, including “1999”, “I Would Die 4 U”, “Little Red Corvette”, “Purple Rain”, “When Doves Cry”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, and “Raspberry Beret”. Unfortunately for the millions of music lovers who prefer to stream their music, however, Prince’s catalog has been missing from most streaming platforms for almost two years.
In July of 2015, Prince had his music removed from every major streaming service – Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, and more – Jay Z’s Tidal service was the only streaming platform featuring Prince’s music, likely due to the fact that the platform pays almost six times as much per stream as competing platforms.
Spotify users, for example, who tried to access Prince’s artist page were greeted with a message stating that “Prince’s publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog… We have cooperated with the request and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible.”
Well, it appears as if that hope may soon become a reality. Several sources are reporting that Prince’s catalog may be appearing on several streaming platforms, including Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify, just in time for the Grammys on February 12. Although L. Londell McMillan, a special adviser to Prince’s estate, told Billboard that the deal “was not confirmed and still might not happen in time for the Grammys”, Spotify seems pretty confident that the deal with go through – a series of purple advertisements with the Spotify logo appeared in New York’s Union Square subway station Monday morning.
Both Billboard and Pitchfork cite anonymous sources that the deal will indeed go through. Fans of the prolific artist’s music will reportedly be able to celebrate the newfound availability of his catalog on streaming platforms with a tribute performance at the Grammys featuring Rihanna, The Weeknd, and Bruno Mars possibly performing alongside The Time.