LATEST: Reclusive superstar Prince is confident his new record deal with Universal will not condemn him to "a slave ship" - despite his well-publicised aversion to major labels.

The 47-year-old singer notoriously penned "slave" on his face during a conflict with his record company in the mid-1990s, but now insists he's struck the perfect partnership with an industry giant to distribute his 24th album 3121 early next year (06).

At a press conference promoting new SALMA HAYEK-directed music video TE AMO CORAZON, he said, "I got a chance to structure an agreement the way I saw fit instead of the other way around.

"I don't consider Universal a slave ship. I did my own agreement. I got exactly what I wanted."

Prince released his past six discs - EMANCIPATION, NEW POWER SOUL, RAVE Un2 THE JOY FANTASTIC, THE RAINBOW CHILDREN, N.E.W.S and MUSICOLOGY under his own NPG Records company.