Updated 6/20/18 1:00 p.m. ET: A representative from the Prince Estate has filed a response to the Nelson's request to pull out of its deal with Tidal. In a letter to the judge overseeing the posthumous agreement between the streaming company and Princes estate, the estate is asking for the request from three of Prince's siblings to be denied.
"The Nelsons fail to raise any issue that merits reconsideration," the letter reads. "The Nelsons’ request is based on accusations about Tidal reported in one newspaper article in Norway over six weeks ago. The Nelsons’ letter fails to acknowledge that Tidal has denied the allegations as 'lies and falsehoods,' and has stated that information 'was stolen and manipulated.'"
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When Prince died, the icon’s six siblings were named his heirs. Despite a recent deal between the Prince estate and Tidal to debut the legend’s first posthumous album, TMZ says the musician’s heirs are wanting out of Prince’s agreement with the streaming service.
A lawyer for three of Prince’s siblings, Sharon, Norrine, and John Nelson, told the probate judge in Prince's case that Tidal has been accused of "inflating the streaming numbers,” according to a letter obtained by TMZ. As a result, they are asking the judge to reconsider Tidal’s exclusive streaming rights for his posthumous project, arguing they’d rather not be involved in the company’s legal troubles.
The accusation that Tidal had been "deliberately faking" streaming numbers for artists like Beyoncé and Kanye West originated from the Norwegian outlet Dagens Næringsliv. The company denied these allegations, telling Complex they were party of a larger anti-TIDAL smear campaign.
"This is a smear campaign from a publication that once referred to our employee as an 'Israeli Intelligence officer' and our owner as a 'crack dealer.' We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies, and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously,” the company said.
Back in May, it was announced that the Prince estate and Tidal formally agreed to compile and stream an album of new and unreleased Prince songs in 2019, with JAY-Z overseeing the compilation process. The project is an apparent continuation of a deal Prince began with Tidal years ago.
“Our only goal is to share Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted,” JAY-Z said at the time. “After thoughtful and honest conversation with him, he chose Tidal as his partner for HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two, and we will continue to respect and honor Prince’s enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection.”
Complex has reached out to Prince's estate reps for comment.