After a seven-year courtship with an unpronounceable symbol, Prince is Prince once again.
The artist announced his name change, as well as a few other surprises, at a New York City news conference on Tuesday. "On December 31, 1999, my publishing contract with Warner/Chappell expired, thus emancipating the name I was given before birth, Prince, from all long-term restrictive documents," Prince explained to the press. "I will now go back to using my name instead of the symbol I adopted as a means to free myself from all undesirable relationships." [RealVideo]
As for the suddenly available symbol that used to be his name, Prince joked, "Well, it's an internationally known logo now, so... I haven't really given it much thought."
Prince did attend to more weighty issues at his press conference, including his announcement that he has broken off relations with Arista Records, which inked the artist last August and released his "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic" shortly thereafter. Prince also noted that he won't deal with Arista's new president, L.A. Reid, under the old Arista agreement. (Prince had signed a one-album deal with former Arista head Clive Davis.)
As for the gold-certified "Rave," which has slid off the charts, Prince has recorded an updated version of the disc, slightly renamed "Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic," which he'll sell online at 1800newfunk.com.
At this time, Prince has no plans to tour, but he will be opening his Minneapolis studio Paisley Park to the public from June 7-13 and closing the week with a blowout concert at Northrup Auditorium (see "Prince Opens Up Paisley Park For Fan 'Celebration'").