Prince to make Spotify return

The late superstar infamously said the internet was "completely over" in 2010...

He was one of the most vocal opponents of online streaming services when he was alive, but Prince's iconic back catalogue is soon set to return to the likes of Spotify.

Apple Music, Amazon and Deezer are among the other sites which will be offering subscribers the chance to blare out 'Purple Rain' with FT reporting that the comeback is planned to coincide with this Sunday's Grammy Awards.

The major music industry event will feature a tribute to The Purple One, who passed away in April 2016, as well as George Michael, who died on Christmas day. John Legend is already confirmed to perform the In Memoriam segment. 

One of the few Prince performances you'll find on YouTube

The 'Little Red Corvette' hitmaker first pulled his music in July 2015, with a message appearing on Spotify announcing that Prince's publisher had "asked all streaming services to remove his catalogue".

While he had been an early adopter of using the online realm to sell his music directly to fans, by 2010 he was declaring the internet to be "completely over" and he had a long history of grappling with record companies and publishers to protect his copyright.

Turning to Tidal

When it came to streaming, he made an exception for Jay Z's Tidal, allowing them to keep his discography and granting them his two final HITNRUN albums as exclusives.

He explained that decision to Billboard thusly:

"HITNRUN sounds like today. Tidal is sinking money into it and they need it. And my heart is always on because I want them to do well. [Beyoncé and Jay Z] have taken a lot of abuse, their family has. A historic amount of abuse between the two of ‘em. And when we win on this, none of us’ll gloat. He’s not the gloating type anyway. He’s slick with his. He says to brush the dirt off your shoulder. 'Y’all just need to stop. Just calm down! Everybody calm down! There ya go.'"

Since his passing, Prince's estate has sued Jay Z's Roc Nation over those Tidal streaming rights.

The majority of his most celebrated tunes are currently controlled by Warner Music, who have the licensing rights to material released before 1996.

Everything recorded thereafter is being auctioned off by Prince's estate. It is expected to sell for a price in the range of $40m to $50m, with Warner, Universal Music and Sony Music in the running.

Spotify has declined to comment on a Prince return to the service, though it has put up blank purple billboards on streets and posters on the walls of subway stations in New York...