You can call him Prince ... and this time, he means it

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The Independent Culture

Forget the symbol, erase the acronym. The artist formerly known as Prince announced Tuesday that he will be, now and forever, known again as Prince.

Forget the symbol, erase the acronym. The artist formerly known as Prince announced Tuesday that he will be, now and forever, known again as Prince.

"On Dec. 31, 1999, my publishing contract with Warner-Chappell expired, thus emancipating the name I was given before birth - Prince - from all long-term restrictive documents," the freshly-minted Prince told a crowded news conference.

"I will now go back to using my name instead of the symbol I adopted to free myself from all undesirable relationships."

That was easy, huh?

Prince's re-renaming kicked off a quirky, hourlong news conference where the Minneapolis rocker made an assortment of announcements - including a weeklong party in his hometown dubbed "Prince: A Celebration."

As part of the event, his Paisley Park recording studio will be opened for tours June 7-13, with a special Prince concert set for June 13 at Northrup Auditorium. A new Prince song, "Cybersingle," will also be available on his Web site, as will be a modified version of his last album, titled "Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic."

The return to the Prince name ends a seven-year battle between the performer and Warner Bros. Records, which had Prince under contract through the end of last year.

Prince, charging that Warner Bros. exercised too much control over his music, switched his name to a symbol in 1993. With the contract now over, Prince said he's confident there are no new names in his future.

"Will I be changing my name ever again?" the 41-year-old diminutive rocker mused. "No, I won't have to, because I won't be under any restrictive long-term contract again."

When a reporter addressed him as Prince, he interrupted: "Hi, Prince. That sounds great. I haven't heard that in a while."

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