Jay Z's music streaming service dropped a surprise collection of music including The Black Album, a dark follow-up to Sign O' The Times, which Prince scrapped a week before release in 1987. Also Newpower Soul and The Rainbow Children plus rarities, b-sides, unreleased recordings and live albums were released online at midnight. It also features The Gold Experience, which includes his only U.K. number one, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.

Tidal announced the album drop with a tweet that read: "Today we honor @Prince TIDAL.com".

Prince was an early adopter of Jay Z's music subscription service. Soon after its launch in March 2015, the music icon streamed his Rally 4 Peace Baltimore concert live on Tidal, and in July of the same year he removed his music from all other streaming services and his his albums HITNRUN Phase One and HITNRUN Phase Two were offered as exclusives on its platform.

Last August the singer (15) Prince praised the 46-year-old rap mogul, and his efforts to satisfy musicians efforts with his streaming platform. He said in a statement: "After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at TIDAL recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry.

"TIDAL have honored Us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows Us to continue making art in the fashion We've grown accustomed 2 and We're Extremely grateful 4 their generous support."

The new releases mainly comprise material the star recorded after he ended his contract with Warner Bros in 1996.

Highlights include the jazz-influenced The Rainbow Children and Indigo Nights - a musical document of the legendary after show gigs the star gave during his 21-night Earth Tour residency at London's O2 Arena in 2007.

Following his death from an opioid overdose on 21 April (16) Prince’s albums and songs have sold more than 4 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.

Prince’s albums available now on Tidal:

The Black Album (1987)

1-800-NEW-FUNK (1994)

The Gold Experience (1995)

Exodus (1995)

Chaos & Disorder (1996)

Girl 6 (1996)

Crystal Ball (1998)

New Power Soul (1998)

1999: The New Master (1999)

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999)

Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic (2001)

The Rainbow Children (2001)

One Nite Alone… Live! (2002)

One Nite Alone… The Aftershow: It Ain’t Over (2002)

Indigo Nights (2008)