A purple-haired former crack-addict prostitute sister is set to inherit Prince’s estate, along with a huge catalogue of unreleased music.
Tyka Nelson, 55, who has been staying at her brother’s estate outside Minneapolis, will be awarded Prince’s estate under Minnesota state law as his closest living relative. Their parents are dead.
Prince has an approximate net worth of US
$300 million ($438m), which does not include the millions his estate could make in the coming weeks.
His music catalogue is worth more than US$500 million, according to Prince’s first manager Owen Husney.
Unlike other artists, he owned his master recordings and his own music publishing.
Nelson and her brother were close in recent years after a difficult stretch in their relationship when Nelson was struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine and prostituting herself to support her young sons, Sir Montece Laeil Nelson and President LenNard Laeil Nelson.
“I was a single mother and my boys were babies,” said Nelson. “I sold my body for food, money and Pampers [nappies].”In 2003 she spoke with the National Enquirer about how bad her situation was before entering rehab.
She also spoke about one particularly low moment : “I pawned the car Prince had given me and sold the kids’ TV for drugs,” she said.
Nelson is also a musician and the siblings collaborated on songs in the early days of their careers.
Prince also has a large collection of unreleased music, which Husney believes may include an album he made with jazz great Miles Davis.
He is said to have enough unreleased songs to make a new album every year for the next century. As well as dozens of world-famous albums, he leaves behind a treasure trove of as many as 2000 songs and music videos in a vault in the basement of his estate.
“It’s a bank vault, with a thick door,” said Susan Rogers, Prince’s former sound engineer, who said the locked-away songs include some of his finest works.
Prince was known in life as fiercely determined to protect his intellectual property, but how well others might profit from his legacy hinges on how astute he was about setting laws for the use of his music in the future.
Some have suggested the twice-divorced singer may leave part of his estate to the Jehovah’s Witnesses church he attended for nearly 15 years close to his home.
After Tyka, Prince’s closest relatives are his three half-sisters and four half-brothers.