Prince will go down in history as one of the greatest voices of his generation. With his catchy melodies, passionate lyrics and flamboyant style, the musician captured the hearts of thousands around the nation and the world. But after his mysterious drug death on April 21, 2016, things turned ugly for the star’s million-dollar estate, as estranged relatives and fake love children did everything they could to get their hands on his massive fortune!
Now, two years after his passing, REELZ’s new docuseries, Prince: Cashed Out, is giving viewers a look back at his successful career, final years and legal troubles surrounding his legacy.
“Purple Rain comes out and in its first weekend, it grows to $7.7 million, which is basically the entire production budget. It’s made all of its money back, and it’s a hit from the very first day,” says Michael Pagnotta, Prince’s former publicist, in the show teaser.
Prince’s studio album, Purple Rain was released in 1984, and quickly rose to the top of the American music charts. By 2008, it had sold over 25 million copies worldwide, making it the third-best-selling album of all time. Soon, it was added to the library of Congress’ National Recording Registry and will forever be regarded as a crucial piece of music history.
“It rose to $68 million, which was a fortune in 1984. The album, which is essentially the soundtrack of the movie, sells 13 million copies. And then he becomes this gigantic, larger-than-life, iconic superstar,” recalls radio host Alan Cross.
After earning nearly $70 million at the domestic box office, and over $80 million worldwide, and being given an Academy Award for Best Score, Prince no longer trusted his advisors at Warner Bros.
“When Prince started to really lose his love for Warner Bros. he decided that he wanted to really control his music in a way that he was producing it,” explains celebrity legal news expert Jill Stanley.
“He made some decisions about how he would market himself, how he would present his music,” says Pagnotta.
It was then that Prince realized he could create magic on his own.
“He didn’t want anyone else, a record label or anyone, telling him how they wanted it to sound, what they wanted it to look like, or what his name should be,” adds Stanley.
Prince: Cashed Out airs Wednesday, December 12 at 9 ET/PT on REELZ.