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Prince videos appear on old foe YouTube

© AFP/File | Music legend Prince's videos became available Friday on an official YouTube account run by his estate

NEW YORK (AFP) - 

Official videos from Prince started appearing Friday on YouTube, a year after the death of the pop star who was a sworn foe of the omnipresent site.

Videos for some of his classic songs -- including tracks from his 1984 movie "Purple Rain" such as "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" -- became available on an official account for Prince.

The account was linked to Prince's imprint under Warner Brothers Records, which last month reissued "Purple Rain" in an expanded edition that reached number four on the latest Billboard album chart.

Prince was early to embrace the internet but later became an avid critic, charging that the ubiquity of free online music was short-changing artists.

The artist hired a team of online monitors who used legal means to take down videos of him, even short clips by fans of the sort that have become fixtures on social media.

Asked about his stance shortly before his death, Prince wrote on Twitter in a message he soon deleted: "Since YouTube doesn't pay equitable licensing fees, isn't this a nonsensical question?"

Prince died in April 2016 at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers.

His family has since stepped up efforts to monetize his music, explaining that it needed to take action to keep the estate afloat.

His catalog returned earlier this year on all major streaming sites including Spotify.

The estate's commercial drive was recently criticized by hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, who had reached an exclusive arrangement with Prince on his Tidal streaming service.

"I'm surprised you ain't auctioned off his casket," he raps on his latest album.

© 2017 AFP