Prince Releases Judith Hill’s Debut Album for Free
The continually changing music industry landscape has led artists to employ a number of unconventional methods to get their music in front of listeners over the past few years, including surprise album drops from the likes of Bjork, D’Angelo and Beyonce -- just to name a few. Today (March 24), R&B singer-songwriter Judith Hill joins those ranks with an added twist and some key help from her producer and mentor Prince.
Just a couple days ago, Hill -- who notably served as the back-up singer to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and more and appeared as a contestant on season four of The Voice -- tweeted that she had completed her debut album, Back in Time, later inviting press to a first listen at Prince’s Paisley Park studios in Minneapolis.
Then, Prince did something truly unexpected: He released the record as a free download. The iconic singer took to Live Nation’s database to share the album -- which will be available for free until tomorrow (March 25) -- along with this message and photo:
Sorry 2 bother U.
Just wanted 2 send U this
baby picture of Judith Hill with Her 1st piano.
Loox like her parents, who r also musicians- had a plan.
Well, that plan succeeded.
This is Judith Hill's debut album BACK IN TIME.
Please spend some time with this music and then share it with someone U love.
We’ll just have to overlook the notion that Prince could inconvenience us with free music to instead focus on what this might mean for an industry of musicians who are increasingly underpaid for their art. If Hill sees a boost in sales after the free download is closed, this could play out as a significant moment in an ever-evolving industry.