FIRST OFF . . .
A Minneapolis judge has dismissed a suit filed against Prince by his half-sister, Lorna Nelson, who alleged he took the lyrics from her song, “What’s Cooking in This Book” for his song “U Got the Look"--sung as a duet with Sheena Easton on his “Sign ‘O’ the Times” album. U.S. District Court Judge David Doty tossed out the copyright infringement suit, ruling that the two songs weren’t “substantially similar.” The suit, filed last August, also sought an accounting from their father for money the rock star gave to him as payment for using lyrics Prince allegedly co-wrote with Nelson. However, the judge said that claim fell under state, not federal, law. Nelson acknowledged that the two songs weren’t identical but said the recurring expressions in her song “take another look” and “cooking in this book” were used in Prince’s song. “I don’t believe it,” Nelson said this week about the decision. “We (Nelson and her lawyer) never did think the judge understood it. We’re going to appeal.” Family squabbles aside, Prince’s latest album, “Lovesexy,” is sure to get attention when it hits the stores Monday, since the singer appears in a coy nude pose on the cover. Prince starts touring this summer, with the European leg scheduled to begin in Paris in mid-July. The U.S. tour will begin in September.