Prince Parts Ways With Universal Music Publishing

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Pop icon terminates longstanding contract with publisher UMPG.

Prince has severed ties with longtime publisher Universal, according to Music Week. The reclusive pop icon has been signed with UMPG for years, re-upping his contract as recently as 2005.

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"We are pleased to announce that Prince and Universal have reached a mutual agreement in terminating their long standing publishing deal," said Prince's manager Kiran Sharma in a statement to Music Week. "It is an exciting opportunity for Prince to consider fresh and new ideas for all his music."

Prince's fresh ideas appear to still be concentrated on touring, as dates in Los Angeles, New York City, Canada and Australia have leaked out over the past year, while he was quoted last June as saying he would be " hold[ing] off on recording" until piracy is kept in check.

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Prince's UMPG deal had been a worldwide agreement, covering his extensive back catalog and all future recordings. In 2006, he had agreed to a deal with Revelations Perfume and Cosmetics to help market a line of perfume, splitting profits with UMPG, a contract which he allegedly did not fulfill. A judge ordered Prince to pay nearly $4 million to the company in April of this year.

In 1993, Prince notoriously changed his name to a symbol -- prompting the media to rechristen him "the artist formerly known as Prince -- in an effort to free himself from his recording contract with Warner Music Group. His split with UMPG was reportedly amicable.

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