At the age of 18, Prince Rogers Nelson secured a recording contract with Warner Bros. In the early 1990s, Prince became embroiled in a contractual battle with Warner Bros. For that reason, in 1993, he changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol also known as the “Love Symbol”.
Soon he came to be referred to as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” He was always avid about independent publishing and owning your work and encouraged those around him to do the same.
Shaun Robins, TV Host, recalls, “I once asked Prince to be a part of this project I was working on. He said, ‘Do you own it?” to which I replied, “No, it’s for my job” he then said, “Then No I Won’t Do It! Come back to me when you own something and then we can talk.” He always wanted you to be in control of your destiny.
Prior to Prince’s death, Rolling Out reported:
Popular music icon Prince announced that his massive catalog of classic material was under the control of his own NPG Publishing. This was the first time Prince’s publishing had been controlled independently; for the better part of two decades it had been controlled and administered by Universal Music Group. Prince established NPG Publishing a little over two months ago as an LLC.
The announcement was made via press release confirming that “the terms of the deal are not public” and that “it includes a schedule of songs that Prince considers ‘fit 4 eternal publication.’ ” It also, somewhat quizzically, states that NPG Music Publishing was founded “by Artists for Artists.”
Prince was signed to Epic Records, with NPG Music Publishing assisting on the release of “FALLINLOVE2NITE,” the Prince single that was featured during his much-hyped guest appearance on FOX’s New Girl in February. With his publishing now firmly in his control, NPG Music Publishing will now “actively [seek] placement for some of Prince’s best-loved songs in film, television, video games and the commercial realm.”