Music & Musicians

Prince's death does not mark the end of his music career

Musician Prince
Kristian Dowling | | Getty Images

Prince's decades-long music career, which already spurred nearly 40 studio albums, is far from over despite his passing.

In addition to Prince's widely popular — and prolific — catalog of music, some reports indicate that Prince had created enough unreleased music during his life that his estate could issue an album a year for a century after his death, according to the BBC.

Representatives for Prince did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on February 19, 1985 in Inglewood, California.
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"I started the vault," Susan Rogers, Prince's former sound engineer, said in an interview with BBC, explaining that the bank vault containing Prince's music — released and unreleased — at Paisley Park was nearly filled when she left Prince's employment in 1987.

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Posthumous musical releases are not uncommon in the industry. The estates for Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. released songs and albums post-mortem. Seven of Tupac's 11 platinum albums were released posthumously, according to Forbes.

Similarly, David Bowie, who passed away in January, recorded demos for five new songs, according to The Rolling Stone. However, Newsweek reports that there is a long list of unscheduled musical releases slated to arrive starting in 2017.

As of about 2 p.m. ET "The Very Best of Prince" topped Apple's iTunes album chart — with "Purple Rain" in the third position.