The handwritten lyrics for Prince's 'Nothing Compares 2 U' sold for $150,986, according to Boston-based RR Auction
The lyrics are from the collection of Prince's former assistant Therese Stoulil, which were given to her by Prince after leaving the position in 1996. In a detailed letter of provenance accompanying the sale, Stoulil describes how she came into possession of the lyric sheet.
"There was a knock on my door, and I looked out the bedroom window and saw a black BMW in my driveway and immediately recognized it as Duane's, Prince's half-brother.
"I went downstairs opened the door, and he only said 'this is from Prince' then he got in his car and left. Once I realized what Duane delivered, I was both stunned and humbled," said Stoulil in the letter.
"Prince would use white console marking tape to adhere the lyrics to his vocal microphone; that tape is still on both pages," added Stoulil.
'Nothing Compares 2 U' was featured as the sixth track on The Family's 1985 self-titled debut album. Five years later, the song became a best-selling hit when Irish singer Sinead O'Connor covered the song for her second studio album. With heavy rotation on MTV, the song's music video helped the single reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for four straight weeks.
The song was named as the '#1 World Single' of 1990 at the inaugural Billboard Music Awards, and, 30 years later, it continues to make lists as one of the greatest songs of all time. Following the O'Connor single, Prince played the song live consistently from 1990 onwards, and in 1993 released his own rendition of 'Nothing Compares 2 U' with Rosie Gaines on guest vocals. Prince released the original 1984 studio recording as a single in 2018, and a year later, Prince's version was included as the fifteenth and final track on the posthumous album Originals.
Nothing Compares 2 U is such a quintessential song and Prince certainly understood its emotive power when he gave his assistant this original manuscript, said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Prince Memorabilia continues to perform exceedingly well at auction and we expect this trend to continue, added Livingston.
Among other Prince-related lots was a beaded jacket worn from 'Under the Cherry Moon' that sold for $50,483.
Additional highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:
Allman Brothers signed publicity photograph sold for $81,515.
Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics for 'Like a Rolling Stone' sold for $73,943.
Eddie Van Halen stage-used Charvel EVH Art Series Electric Guitar sold for $50,631.
Jimi Hendrix handwritten lyrics for the unpublished song 'To the Wind' sold for $37,816.
Johnny Cash revealing archive of 10 signed letters sold for $24,370.
Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens 45 RPM Record signed on the eve of their final concert sold for $20,140.