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Prince’s Estate Accused of Fraud by Universal Music Group After Deal Turns Sour

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Chelsea Lauren, Getty Images

There is yet another legal battle brewing over Prince‘s music.

According to Billboard, Universal Music Group wants to cancel the deal it made with the singer’s estate for $31 million, which would’ve allowed them to have exclusive licensing rights to the songs the singer made after 1996, when he released music under NPG Records.

The deal would’ve also allowed UMG to license the music that Prince released between the years of 1979-1996, when he was still on Warner Bros., and that portion of the deal was supposed to start in 2018.

But based on a letter sent to the acting administrator Comerica Bank, UMG has accused Prince’s estate of fraud, and they want the $31 million back.

According to UMG, they had problems licensing Prince’s music on April 21, on the one-year anniversary of his death, which was the first sign of trouble. Then they learned that the earlier music that could be streamed once 2018 started, is actually under contract with Warner Bros until 2021, making it impossible.

L. Londell McMillan, the former estate’s advisory, denied any wrong doing and his replacement Troy Carter said he’ll be looking into all of UMG’s claims. “[We’ll] be assessing all rights relating to Prince’s recorded music,” he said in a statement.

It’ll be interesting to see where all of this goes from here.

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