Prince famously recorded far more music than he released in his lifetime and, since his April death at 57, many have wondered if and when his vast vault would be unlocked. Now details of the high-profile estate case are emerging.
According to a New York Post report, former EMI head Charles Koppelman and Prince’s longtime lawyer and manager L. Londell McMillan have been appointed to manage Prince’s entertainment assets. “We’re going to be having a good time,” Koppelman told Post columnist Richard Johnson. “There is so much to be done with this estate. There are vaults full of music.” Koppelman helped Prince release his 1996 album Emancipation, after the embattled star left Warner Bros. Records.
The former record executive also hinted that Prince’s music could be featured posthumously in a musical or Cirque du Soleil show. “Prince was an icon on the level of The Beatles and Michael Jackson, and his legacy should be honored,” Koppelman said. “Though his name was Prince, I always thought he was the king of music.”
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In May, attorney Donald David — who represents the estates of Tupac Shakur and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — speculated about what fans could expect if Prince’s vault is opened up. “I know from my past experience that very often some of the material needs significant editing,” he told EW. “But you’re going to see unreleased Prince albums — if [the estate] is properly managed — for the next two decades.”
But Prince’s early manager Owen Husney explained the importance of having a music expert manage the vaults. “The heirs are probably all very good people, but they’re not music executives,” he told EW. “My worry is that unless somebody handles it with the exact same mind frame he had, you’ll see some of these songs in a toothpaste commercial.”