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Prince partners with Target, sets release date for 3-disc set

March 2, 2009 |  4:28 pm

Prince_3 Forget purple -- Prince’s favorite colors are likely to be red and white this spring.

The musician has selected Target as the sole retail outlet for his three-disc album, which is set to be released March 29 at the big box retailer's nearly 1,700 outlets nationwide, and online at target.com.

The offering will come as a three-disc bundle: two original studio albums -- "LOtUSFLOW3R" and "MPLSoUND" -- and a third disc by Prince’s latest protégé, Bria Valente (Prince also contributed music to Valente's debut).

The entire collection will retail for just $11.98.

Prince first revealed he was in talks with a “major retailer” earlier this year during a chat with The Times’ Ann Powers. Some had speculated that he might go with Best Buy for the exclusive, but the “Purple Rain” purveyor must have seen something he liked in Target’s proposal. Both Target and Best Buy share something in common with the multi-instrumentalist: roots in Minnesota. 

Retail exclusives were major news in 2008. Best Buy gained headlines for its exclusive for Guns & Roses’ anticipated “Chinese Democracy” release, and AC/DC had one of the year's top-selling rock albums in "Black Ice," a Wal-Mart exclusive. Not to be left out, Target handled Christina Aguilera’s greatest hits package in 2008.

It’s not yet known if Target will get behind Prince’s triple threat the same way it did with Aguilera last year, when it ran an aggressive television campaign for “Keeps Gettin’ Better: A Decade of Hits."

Regardless, Prince may not need commercials to sell his new material: He appears to be in the mood to gig lately (the artist has played two shows in the last week or so in the Los Angeles area).  Could a tour be in the works?

Expect hints of music from all three discs to possibly leak in the coming weeks at Prince's developing website, Lotusflow3r.com.

-- Charlie Amter

Photo of Prince at Coachella last year by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times