Prince Accused of Cheating Former Bassist Out of Millions With Concert Fines
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Sharing the ups and downs of working with the 'Purple Rain' hitmaker, Brownmark recalls in new memoir 'My Life in the Purple Kingdom' how the late music icon turned his life around.

AceShowbiz - Prince's former bassist Brownmark has accused the late music icon of cheating him out of millions during his career heyday through broken promises and crushing concert fines.

The musician, real name Mark Brown, shares the ups and downs of playing with the "Purple Rain" hitmaker in his new memoir, "My Life in the Purple Kingdom", in which he recalls how Prince turned his life around by plucking him out of nowhere to join his backing band, the Revolution, back in 1981, when the singer was just starting to blow up in the U.S.

Brown was just 19 at the time, but he quickly learned that Prince was a tough boss, fining his bandmembers if they made a mistake onstage.

He describes being kicked from behind during his first show with the Revolution, as Prince whispered in his ear, "F**king play! Or I'll find somebody who will play."

"I once got fined $1,200 in one gig; that hurts when you make $2,000 per week," he wrote. "I didn't think Prince would hold me to it but he did."

Brown, who was expected to make himself available at all hours of the day for his boss, soon developed a workaround to avoid the financial penalties, "I used a rumbling bass technique where he could never catch me in a mistake."

By 1985, Brown was receiving job offers to play with the likes of George Michael and Miles Davis, but Prince convinced him to stay with the promise of a big payday from his lucrative "Purple Rain Tour" - only to be given a relatively small bonus of $15,000 (£11,800).

"We spent six months on the road and grossed over $100 million; then he gave me an insulting bonus," Brown remembered. "Prince told me to talk to the accountant about it. It was a game and it never got resolved."

However, the biggest snub in Brown's opinion came with the creation of 1986 smash "Kiss" - a song he claims to have helped turn into the classic it is today, without receiving the co-writing credit or royalties Prince had allegedly promised.

"I put some Brown style on it and created that song - minus the guitar parts and Prince's falsetto," the bassist explained.

"That was one of his biggest hits. As a one-third writing partner, I would have made millions. You can't recover from that. My bank account did not reflect the 22 gold albums I played on."

He ended up leaving the group in 1987, and although Brown and Prince later settled their differences, the experience was enough to drive the bassist out of the music business altogether, reinventing himself as a computer technician, reports the New York Post.

"The music industry is not a business for nice guys," he shared. "I realized I just want to be normal."

Prince died from an accidental drug overdose in 2016.

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