They say you “can’t take it with you” when it comes to money after death, and we now know that that applies to music as well. At least in the case of Prince it does.
Six of The Purple One’s music videos appeared on an official YouTube channel over the last 24 hours, directly countering a stance he took on the digital distribution of his music when he was alive.
Hits including “When Doves Cry,” “Baby I’m A Star,” “I Would Die 4 U,” and “Let’s Go Crazy” now appear in music video form on the site. None of the videos — which include tracks from Purple Rain (the movie) and three live performances of songs from the same album — are available in high-definition formats.
Prince famously sued YouTube a decade ago to remove unauthorized use of his music on the site, which was in keeping with his general view that the internet was not a friend to music artists.
“The internet’s completely over,” the artist said back in 2010. “I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it, and then they get angry when they can’t get it.”
In addition to getting YouTube to remove about 2,000 videos featuring his music back in 2007, Prince policed most major internet and streaming services, which made finding any of his music online nearly impossible.
That policy cracked a bit in over time, with some of his music occasionally showing up on various services. However, in 2015 Prince once again demanded that his music be removed from all streaming services except Tidal.
Well, that’s all over now, as his estate has decided to put his music videos back on YouTube.
The appearance of the videos coincides with the release of the deluxe version of Purple Rain, which came to Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon on June 23.