Rare 'illegal' Prince album breaks record, sells for $15,000


Prince's album sales soared after his death, beating the Beatles' Billboard album record.

Now he's beaten yet another record: most expensive item sold on Discogs – an online music-based marketplace that connects buyers and sellers across the globe.

Discogs describes itself as "the premiere spot from new releases to hard to find gems."

The record-breaking album is a rare one – a 1987 promo copy of the "Black Album." It sold for $15,000.

To put that into perspective, the previous record holder – according to Discogs – was David Bowie's self-titled second album. That went for $6,826 shortly after his death.

So what's the big deal with the "Black Album?"

According to A.V. Club, this specific copy wasn't even supposed to exist.

Just a week before it was to be released, Prince shelved it.

The half a million copies that had been ready for sale were destroyed. And all promo copies sent to clubs and DJs were recalled and also destroyed. But some – like this one – survived.

Seven years later, Prince finally decided to release the "Black Album," according to a 1994 copy of Billboard.

The article even called out to those who possessed an illegal copy, offering them a deal: The first 1,000 people to send back the "naughty copies" would get a "real" new copy in exchange.

Whoever had owned this particular album certainly didn't listen (and surely doesn't regret it).

You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to listen to the album, though. It's on Tidal, for those who subscribe to the service.

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