Prince's Estate Likely Worth 'At Least $250 Million' and Could Stand to Make 'Minimum' of $100 Million Over Next Five Years, Expert Says
Prince's profits after his death all come down to how his estate is managed, entertainment attorney Donald David tells PEOPLE
The enigmatic rock star beloved by millions boasts TV/film appearances, more than 100 million records sold and a trove of unreleased recordings, all of which could stand to benefit the star’s estate in years – and decades – to come.
“I think that the minimum income flow over the next five years – minimum – is $100 million,” entertainment attorney Donald David, who has represented the estates of Tupac Shakur and TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez after their deaths and currently represents the estate of deceased Wu Tang Clan member Russell “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Jones tells PEOPLE.
David says that Prince’s estate, including his assets, likely has a present value of “at least $250 million.”
The musician is said to have several unreleased recordings locked away in an archive called the Vault, The New York Times reports. And the closely guarded tracks could land Prince a place on the music charts for a long while, David says.
“I know from my past experience that very often some of that material needs significant editing,” David says. “Some of it can be used, some of it can’t be used. But you’re going to see unreleased Prince albums – if it is properly managed – for the next two decades.”
However, Prince’s own music isn’t all the estate stands to profit from. The songwriter penned hits for other artists like “Manic Monday” by The Bangles, Sinead O’Connor‘s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Love Song” by Madonna, Celine Dion‘s “With This Tear,” Alicia Keys’ “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” and more.
“There’s a stream of income that he gets because he wrote a lot of material not only for himself, but for others so he has the writer’s share of any royalty income from that,” David notes. “In addition to that, there are performances he gave. He undoubtedly has residuals from things such as the Purple Rain soundtrack as well as other movies and other things that he has appeared in.”
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David says that although the money is slated to come rolling in over the next few years, it all comes down to how well the music legend’s estate is managed.
“I would be shocked if someone who was as much of a controlled person as [Prince] is rumored to have been doesn’t have a will,” David says, noting that he is not personally involved with Prince’s estate. “The first step is going to be to get that will probated and get a representative of the estate appointed.
“As long as the estate is well-managed – and they don’t go for a quick hit by doing something like selling his publishing rights – it will produce income into [what would have been] his great-grandchildren’s years without any problems.”