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Prince will appear on Idol

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Prince may not like American Idol, but that won't stop him from using the show to sell more records. Gossip site reports today that enigmatic pop star Prince will appear on the reality show at the behest of his record company, Universal Music.

Executives are urging Prince to appear on Idol and perform a song from his latest LP, 3121, after Barry Manilow received a huge bump in sales following his appearance on the show. The site quotes a source close to Prince as saying that the move isn't sitting well with his majesty.

"It wasn't easy though because Prince apparently hates the show and has never even watched it," the source said.

Prince earned a career first last week when 3121 debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, selling 183,000 copies. The same week, Manilow's LP, The Greatest Songs of the Fifties, rose 20 spots to number four and saw a 140 percent increase in sales, ostensibly due to his Idol appearance.

In the past, American Idol has incorporated famous musical guests into "theme" nights, as when Manilow appeared and all of the contestants sang Barry Manilow songs, or an all-Stevie Wonder night when Wonder appeared. Idol fans would be in for a treat, seeing their favorite contestants belt out Prince classics like "Raspberry Beret" or "Little Red Corvette."

If the appearance comes to fruition, it would be a minicoup for the reality competition, which is already seeing series-high ratings this season. The publicity-shy Prince limits his personal appearances, and for a time only communicated to the outside world through his Web site.

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