Prince's estate blocks release of Deliverance EP

Prince's estate moved on Wednesday to block the release of several decade-old tracks, casting a cloud over commemorations of the US musician's passing.

An independent label had announced plans to release a six-track EP of Prince songs, entitled Deliverance, today, which marks one year since his sudden death at age 57 from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers.

But Prince's estate, which is led by his siblings, quickly intervened and accused Mr Ian Boxill, a sound engineer who recorded the tracks with Prince between 2006 and 2008, of violating an agreement.

"Mr Boxill is now trying to exploit the Prince recordings unlawfully in his possession," said a lawsuit filed in a Minnesota court.

The estate said Mr Boxill had signed a confidentiality agreement that the music would "remain Prince's sole and exclusive property".

Mr Boxill, who has worked with an array of artists including slain rap great Tupac Shakur, sent a reply that was sealed by the court.

In a statement announcing the music, he said most proceeds would go to Prince's estate and that the pop legend would have appreciated the independent release.

"I believe Deliverance is a timely release with everything going on in the world today, and in light of the one-year anniversary of his passing," he said in the statement. - AFP