What Happened to the Artists of Paisley Park Records?
From the early ‘80s onward, Prince had produced albums for a wide variety of acts. In some cases, he saw these artists as an outlet for his own various musical ideas. In others, he viewed them as proteges whom he could guide through the messy world of the music industry. By 1984, it became clear that Prince needed a home for his growing staple of collaborators. Thus, the prolific musician created Paisley Park Records.
Prince would have autonomy over which artists were signed to Paisley Park, with his own label home, Warner Bros., handling distribution and promotion.
While the imprint’s intentions were good - promising new artists gaining exposure thanks to Prince’s music industry clout - the execution was sloppy. Only a few of the albums released on Paisley Park were able to turn a profit. Making matters worse, the management team put in place by Prince began signing artists without his consent, causing behind-the-scenes rifts within the label.
By 1994, Prince was dealing with his own label strife, anxious to emancipate himself from Warner Bros. rules. The termination of their relationship effectively ended Paisley Park Records, as the financial burden of the label would have been too much for Prince to handle by himself.
Though Paisley Park Records existed for less than a decade, its eclectic roster of artists have continued to have an impact. While some are still making their own music, others have found success with other artists, ventured into different avenues of business or even established new and inventive ways of positively affecting the world.
Here’s a look at the artists of Paisley Park Records, their history with the label and an update on what they’re doing today: