Today marks the official launch date for the Prince Online Museum, an anthology of the digital footprint left by the late singer over the past few decades.
The launch of the ‘Museum’ marks 10 years to the day that Prince closed his award-winning NPG Online LTD, which launched massively ahead of its time in 2000. The Webby Award-winning NPG, a site that focused mainly on Prince and his musings on the music industry as well as offering music and videos for a monthly fee, was upgraded four times throughout the years.
Prince was eyeing the digital realm even before this with the archive dating back to as early as 1994.
16 digital endeavours are showcased including 1998’s Crystal Ball Online Lyric Book, the charity page Love 4 One Another and 1994’s (around the time Australia was only just getting the Internet) Prince Interactive, which wasn’t technically an official website but rather Prince simply testing the waters looking for new ways for fans to access his music.
Sam Jennings, director of the Prince Online Museum, told Billboard:
“We launch with 12 of Prince’s most popular sites, but over 20 years online, Prince launched nearly 20 different websites, maintained a dozen different social media presences, participated in countless online chats and directly connected with fans around the world.”
The last effort featured on the page is 2013’s 3rdEyeGirl.com which demonstrates that by that stage he had well and truly mastered the art. It was off the back of 2006’s 3121.com, however, that he was awarded the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award.
Prince long suspected that the website was a crucial part of the creative process and supported the charity #YesWeCode which aimed to connect 100,000 low-opportunity young adults with high-paying tech jobs. Prince Online Museum will be continuing this support.
Here are some of the sites included in the archive:
NPG Music Club v1 (2001), screen gallery
TheDawn.com (1996), screen gallery
Prince Interactive (1994), walkthrough