Prince Declares the Internet "Completely Over"

Singer refuses to sell new album '20Ten' via digital outlets

July 6, 2010 11:53 AM ET

Last week, Prince announced that he was going to release his latest album 20Ten as an add-on to European newspapers and an upcoming issue of German Rolling Stone. In an interview promoting the release with England's Daily Mirror , the iconic songwriter reveals his improbable motive for the choice: he hates the Internet. "The Internet's completely over," says Prince, who will not sell his new album via iTunes or Amazon. "I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it." Prince goes on to compare digital outlets to once-influential juggernauts like MTV. "At one time, MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated," he says. "Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."

Prince is putting his money where his mouth is. He recently took down his relatively new Lotusflow3r site, which launched in January 2009 to accompany the release of his Lotusflow3r triple-disc album. The site, which he created to combat pirated material on the web, allowed fans to pay a membership fee in order to access Prince videos, music and photos. However, 18 months after its launch, the site simply prompts an error page. Ironically, a decade ago Prince was one of the artists openly endorsing the Internet in an age of Napster, releasing his remix album Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic exclusively to subscribers of his NPG Music Club, which also came to an abrupt end in 2006.

The Daily Mirror interview offers up a fascinating look at Prince's famed Paisley Park in Minnesota, an industrial complex filled with private nightclubs, concert halls and recording studios. Fans get new insights into Prince's private life as a strict vegan and a Jehovah's Witness, and when asked about his friend and former chart rival Michael Jackson, Prince simply responds, "Next question."

As Rolling Stone previously reported, 20Ten will arrive via England's Daily Mirror, Scotland's Daily Record and Belgium's Het Nieuwsblad on July 10th, while the German edition of Rolling Stone will feature copies of 20Ten in each of its July 22nd issues. Along with copies of 20Ten, each newspaper or magazine will come with a rare interview with the artist. Prince will also reportedly tour Europe later this year. So far, there are no plans for a U.S. release, though Prince has reportedly had meetings with Warner Music to distribute the album.

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