Legendary music star, Prince Rogers Nelson, aka the artist formerly known as prince, who died on Thursday April 21, 2016 has been cremated in a small, private service for family, friends and musicians, as confirmed by his publicist.
“A few hours ago, Prince was celebrated by a small group of his most beloved: family, friends and musicians, in a private, beautiful ceremony to say a loving goodbye,” she said. Among the people who attended the ceremony were percussionist Sheila E, bassist Larry Graham, and Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson.
Prince had no surviving offspring, and in the event that he died intestate (without a will), his entire eight hundred million dollar estate comprising his 300 million dollar fortune, and half a billion dollar music catalogue could go to his sister, Tyka Nelson; a self confessed former prostitute, and rehabilitated junkie. As she put it, “I was a single mother and my boys were babies, I sold my body for food, money and pampers. I pawned the car Prince had given me and sold the kids’ TV for drugs.”
His passing signals the end of an era. A contemporary, if not competitor, of the late King of pop; Michael Jackson, he was among the first black Americans to have songs played heavily on MTV; Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean, and his Little Red Corvette. The duo was known to play tennis and basketball together.
Although the cause of his death is still unknown, the results of Friday’s autopsy could take at least four weeks before being released.
Prince, 57, was found dead in a lift on his Paisley Park estate, near Minneapolis on Thursday, and fans are still paying tribute. Officials said there were no signs of injuries to his body, and no indication that he had killed himself. Publicist Anna Meacham said the singer’s “final storage” would be kept private.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958 to African American musician; John Nelson and Italian American singer; Mattie who divorced when he was eight years old. The child prodigy would go on to be raised by his father in Minneapolis.
Rumour has it that he could play as many as twenty seven instruments, and played all the instruments in his first album For You, released in 1978. Prince’s innovative music spanned rock, funk and jazz. He was at his peak in the 1980s with albums like Purple Rain, Dirty Mind, 1999 and Sign O’ the Times. He sold more than 100m records. He was also an arranger and multi-instrumentalist, and recorded more than 30 albums. Hits included Let’s Go Crazy and When Doves Cry. In 1984, he won an Oscar for the score to Purple Rain, a film in which he also starred.
His ex-wife, Mayte Garcia in a statement following the singer’s death through her manager; Gladys Gonzalez said: “I can’t even think of the words of what I’m feeling. This man was my everything, we had a family. I am beyond deeply saddened and devastated.”