Entertainment & Arts

Prince estate wins £3m ruling over engineer's unauthorised EP

Prince Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The songs were originally recorded in 2006 and 2007

A Grammy-winning engineer has been ordered to pay Prince's estate almost $4m (£3m) for releasing an unauthorised EP of songs by the late musician.

Ian Boxill must also return all recordings he made with the star

The ruling came after the engineer uploaded a song, Deliverance, to streaming services ahead of the first anniversary of Prince's death in 2017.

He planned to follow it up with a six-song EP but Prince's estate sued, saying he had violated his contract.

A judge granted a temporary restraining order against the EP's release and an arbitrator ruled in the estate's favour last August, awarding them $3m for the breach of contract, with a further $960,000 to cover costs.

The judgement has only just come to light, after US website The Blast obtained the court documents.

The engineer has challenged the award, while the estate has asked the court to confirm the judgement. Neither motion has yet been approved.

Image copyright Reuters

Boxill and Prince worked together on the albums 3121 and Planet Earth in 2006 and 2007.

According to the engineer, the songs on the EP dated from that period, and he spent a year completing them following Prince's death of an accidental opioid overdose in 2016.

Meanwhile, Prince's estate has been slowly cataloguing and releasing rarities from the star's "vault", including an expanded edition of the Purple Rain album, and the original demo of Nothing Compares 2U.

Last year, archivist Michael Howe told the BBC there was so much unreleased material to sort through that he had only been able to review "a small percentage" in the last two years.

"I can tell you this," he added. "Everything that I was hoping was in there is certainly in there and many multiples more.

"Things that were only even rumoured to exist or that were completely unknown to anybody but Prince and whatever engineer was involved in the session."

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