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Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Prince teams up with Napster
Prince
Prince has embraced digital song distribution
Pop star Prince has teamed up with controversial music file-swapping service Napster to debut a new song.

The Work - Pt 1 is the first track from Prince's upcoming album, The Rainbow Children, due out later this year.


Prince is truly a visionary

Shawn Fanning, Napster founder
Prince has released several cybersingles in the past through his own website, but this marks the first time he has teamed up with a digital music company to promote his music.

Napster is at the centre of a legal battle over copyright with the five largest record companies in the world.

The labels have successfully argued for a federal court injunction that requires Napster to block copyrighted songs.

'Honoured'

"Prince is truly a visionary," said Napster founder Shawn Fanning. "I'm honoured that he is working with Napster to promote his music."

The song will feature on Napster's featured music program from Friday.

"Napster is just one illustration of the growing frustration over how much the record companies control what music people get to hear," said Prince.

In February, the star launched his NPG Music Club - a monthly subscription-based service named after his backing band the New Power Generation.

Members get new Prince songs, videos and an hour-long radio show every month.

Critic

Prince has long been an outspoken critic of the music industry.

During a dispute with his former record label Warner Brothers over music rights he changed his name to a squiggly symbol and took to appearing in public with the word "slave" painted on his face.

"The price of CDs has sky-rocketed, while the quality of music has plummeted," Prince said last year when he announced he was reverting back to his original name.

His hits include When Doves Cry, Purple Rain and 1999.

See also:

17 May 00 | Entertainment
Prince crowned again
12 Jan 00 | Entertainment
The Artist's princely donation
09 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Prince blasts music industry
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