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Prince album ‘Welcome 2 America’ to be released in July

The cover of Prince's album 'Welcome 2 America,' which is set to be released on July 30, 2021. (Legacy Recordings)

The Prince estate has announced that Welcome 2 America, an album Prince recorded in 2010 but never shared with the public, will be released on July 30. Welcome 2 America is the first stand-alone Prince album to be released posthumously, as opposed to re-releases (1999, Sign O’ The Times) or compilations (Originals). It will be available in digital, vinyl, CD, and deluxe editions (pre-order here).

In 2010, Prince released the album 20Ten, but as The Current’s Jim McGuinn learned while visiting Paisley Park, he was also preoccupied with another project, which would become Welcome 2 America. “He played me ‘Hot Summer,’ the second song that The Current world-debuted in June 2010,” McGuinn wrote. “‘I think this one has a B-52’s feel to it,’ said Prince, as his ode to our precious short MN summers played loudly on the huge studio monitors.”

The single “Welcome 2 America” is out now, sporting an ominous Tal Wilkenfeld bass line; distrustful references to Apple products and Google; and vocal harmonies by NPG members Shelby J, Elisa Fiorillo, and Liv Warfield.

Fans may recognize Welcome 2 America as the name of a tour Prince headlined from 2010-2011. The deluxe version of this year’s release will include a Blu-Ray disc of Prince’s live show on April 28, 2011 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. That night, Prince and the New Power Generation performed 11 originals and 12 covers, including songs by Bob Dylan, Janet Jackson and India.Arie.

Welcome 2 America will be released via Sony Music Entertainment’s Legacy Recordings, which also puts out the Essential series of greatest-hits compilation albums.

Update 6/3: A second single from Welcome 2 America has been released. Listen below to “Born 2 Die.” In a statement, keyboardist Morris Hayes said that while recording, “We got to Born 2 Die,’ and Prince said, ‘I’ll tell you how that came about.’ He had been watching videos of his friend Dr. Cornel West on YouTube, and during one speech Dr. West said, ‘I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.’ So Prince said, ‘Oh really? We will see.’”

Welcome 2 America track list

1. Welcome 2 America
2. Running Game (Son of a Slave Master)
3. Born 2 Die
4. 1000 Light Years From Here
5. Hot Summer
6. Stand Up and B Strong (Soul Asylum cover)
7. Check The Record
8. Same Page, Different Book
9. When She Comes
10. 1010 (Rin Tin Tin)
11. Yes
12. One Day We Will All B Free

Welcome 2 America Tour – April 28. 2011 setlist

1. Joy In Repetition
2. Brown Skin (India.Arie cover)
3. 17 Days
4. Shhh
5. Controversy
6. Theme From “Which Way Is Up” (Stargard cover)
7. What Have You Done For Me Lately (Janet Jackson cover)
8. Partyman
9. Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan cover)
10. Misty Blue (Eddy Arnold cover)
11. Let’s Go Crazy
12. Delirious
13. 1999
14. Little Red Corvette
15. Purple Rain
16. The Bird (The Time cover)
17. Jungle Love (The Time cover)
18. A Love Bizarre (Sheila E. cover)
19. Kiss
20. Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
21. Inglewood Swinging (cover of Kool & the Gang’s “Hollywood Swinging”)
22. Fantastic Voyage (Lakeside cover)
23. More Than This (Roxy Music cover)