Dearly beloved, Prince has some exciting news.
No, he's not changing his name again. But the 56-year-old seven-time Grammy-winning funk and R&B star will release TWO new albums this year—Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum, the latter of which features the female band 3RDEYEGIRL. The trio, made up of guitarist Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford Welton and bassist Ida Nielsen, toured with Prince last year.
The albums will both be released on Sept. 30, Warner Bros. Records said in a statement posted online. Prince had recently returned to the label, about 18 years after leaving over a contract dispute.
The albums will be the first major Prince records to be released since 2010, the year his 22nd studio album 20Ten was dropped, and can be ordered in advance on his website.
Warner Bros. Records describes Art Official Age as a "contemporary concoction of soul, R&B and funk," adding, "The melodies are immediate and prominent as ever and Prince's vocals are rich and solid, taking full advantage of his vocal range with decidedly, seductive lyrics."
Tracks include "Breakdown," which was released a single in April, and "Clouds."
Plectrumelectrum, the company said, is a "classic band record" and an "electrifying funk-rock statement."
Prince had famously parted ways with the record company in the 1990s, years after he swept the charts around the world with hits such as "Cream" and "Diamonds and Pearls," amid disagreements over his contract, namely with regard to ownership rights over his music.
Just before leaving the label, he identified himself by a "love symbol" and was known as The Artist Formally Known as Prince. He also performed concerts sporting the word "Slave" written on his face to signal his protest. He changed his name back to Prince in 2000 and reunited with Warner Bros. Records earlier this year.
In its statement, the company called the singer's return "historic," adding that it has "returned to Prince the master recordings of his pioneering '80s albums, including Dirty Mind, 1999, Purple Rain and Sign 'O' the Times.