Prince Online Museum Launches: See the Singer's Official Websites Spanning 20 Years
An Internet archive of many of Prince’s official websites from the past 20 years launches Monday (July 4). Titled the Prince Online Museum, the website (http://princeonlinemuseum.com) arrives exactly 10 years after Prince closed his award-winning digital NPG Music Club.
“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,” Sam Jennings, director of the Prince Online Museum, tells Billboard. Jennings was also webmaster of Prince’s NPG Music Club website, which offered music, videos and radio shows to fans online via monthly and annual memberships from 2001 to 2006; in 2006, Prince was the winner of a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award and the NPG Music Club won a Webby Award for best celebrity/fan site.
“This Museum is an archive of that work and a reminder of everything he accomplished as an independent artist with the support of his vibrant and dedicated online community,” Jennings says of the new initiative.
“The Museum was built by the people who worked directly with Prince on these projects,” he adds. “We are the originators, we are the experts. It is a labor of love, no money has been exchanged. There will be no downloads sold and no membership fees required. But we do have working versions of almost all of Prince's official websites.”
The Prince Online Museum aims to pay tribute to the late singer’s influential use of digital experiences to connect the artist to his fans, as well as inspire other artists to find creative ways to reach their audience. Prince considered new websites to be an essential part of the creative process of many of his album releases.
Like Prince, the Museum also supports the organization #YesWeCode, which has the goal to connect 100,000 low-opportunity young adults with high-paying careers in tech.
The official Prince websites featured on the Prince Online Museum include:
NPG Music Club v1 (2001), screen gallery
TheDawn.com (1996), screen gallery
Prince Interactive (1994), walkthrough