Prince Rogers Nelson just passed away and already people are wondering who will get all his millions. He had an estate worth around $300 million, along with a large number of unreleased songs, which has an estimated value of around $500 million. Included in his collection is at least one documentary, and he had just started penning his memoir before his death.
Prince worried about who had control of his music and other projects while he was alive, and he always strived to retain full ownership. So did he make plans on how his music and other works of art should be handled after his death? No one seems to know the answer, but because Prince was considered a “meticulous planner” and very knowledgeable in the legal dealings, especially when it concerned the music industry, it stands to reason that he would have those documents in place.
It has not been confirmed whether Prince had a will set up, but many of the websites report that he did not. If they are right and there is no will, everything will be determined by a probate court. Minnesota law states that the deceased’s belongings will first be offered to the grandchildren, then the parents, and finally the remaining siblings. Even though Prince was married and divorced two times, he didn’t have any children with either wife or anyone else. Nevertheless, after a person with money passes away, it isn’t unusual for relatives or illegitimate children to come out of the woodwork in an effort to claim some, if not all, of the deceased’s property and assets.
In Prince’s family, it is rumored that the next person who stands to gain his fortune is his younger sister, Tyka Nelson. However, she may have to share the wealth with their half-brothers and sisters. Prince had eight half-siblings, but two of the siblings have passed away. TMZ reports that even though those family members are dead, their portion would go to their children, if they had any. TMZ explained that according to Minnesota law “half-siblings and full siblings are treated exactly the same when it comes to inheritance without a will… they all share equally.”
Dan Streisand, celebrity attorney, told Reuters, “Hopefully, Prince executed a trust and indicated his intentions, both with respect to who his trustee would be and how he would want the estate to be disposed of. Prince was an incredibly smart person, he had great legal representation… so I would suspect that somebody along the way said, ‘Look, we’ve got to get you to execute some documents.'”
In another article by TMZ, Prince allegedly had “chronic money problems.” Sources who were allegedly connected with Prince and very familiar with his finances told the news site that he “refused to leverage or sell his main asset — his vast music catalog.”
Musicians make money by selling or licensing their music, but Prince allegedly rejected the idea. It is also reported that Prince often did impromptu concerts, leaving the promotional teams with little time to plan or even get the word out so people could attend. Even with the lack of public exposure, Prince still managed to perform at sold-out concerts, but they claim that he still didn’t make any money.
TMZ reports that Prince’s estate with an estimated net worth of around $300 million is “grossly inflated.” It is believed that the value is under $150 million. Apparently, if he had sold his catalog of unreleased music, he would have had a lot of money. Prince allegedly turned down almost all the offers that came in from companies who wanted to use his music for commercials, movies, TV shows, and perhaps even video games. “
“Prince is one of relatively few recording artists, even of his stature, believed to have possessed ownership of his master recordings and his own music publishing.”
Now that Prince Rogers Nelson has passed away, his estate value’s worth is jumping. CNN reported that within three days of Prince’s death, his album sales rose dramatically to approximately 600,000, and another 2.3 million songs were also purchased during that time. This does not include the paid online streaming that fans used to listen to his songs. Reuters reported that the “sales of his music, with 15 of the top 20-selling albums, and 19 of the top 20-selling singles on iTunes belonging to Prince. Prince also accounted for 19 of Friday’s top 20-selling records on Amazon.com”
It is reported that Prince liked to spend more money than he made, and his recent purchase was a specially designed, custom-made, purple Yamaha piano. He planned to take this piano on his upcoming tour, and it is one of a kind, from the color to the sound. It was made to meet Prince’s specifications. It was delivered to Paisley Park Studios a few weeks before Prince passed away.
Chris Gero, vice president of Yamaha Entertainment Group, based in Franklin, Tennessee, said, “We were on the top end of the idea, but it accelerated so fast. So the piano is an acoustical piano, but it also has a tone generation system internally that can go out to a secondary audio source that all the sounds internally are highly modified just for him. They are EQed (equalized) a certain way. There were certain sounds that were made just specifically for him.”
Prince requested that they paint the piano his signature color, purple, to match his couch, and it was not an easy one to duplicate. They had extreme difficulty in finding the exact purple shade that he wanted, and after they had exhausted almost every source, they just happened to find the right color from a selection of car paints, and that is what they used.
“The color purple was specifically chosen by him to match an item in his house, which was actually made of several different colors of purple that made one specific color of purple.”
Prince apparently loved his new piano and shortly after it was delivered, he posted picture of it on Twitter. That same weekend, when he had a show at the studios, he unveiled the piano so everyone could see it. This makes the piano’s value almost priceless because it was specifically constructed for Prince, and it is the last thing he had custom-made for him.
Chris said, “It was really the last big performance he had done publicly in which he unveiled it and he was very proud of it. It’s very oddly attached and sadly attached, to his final days. It changes obviously the visual component of its value. We don’t want to think in those terms. Obviously, people will think in those terms. We would like it to find a safe home in a very prominent place that honors him.”
Do you think Prince Rogers Nelson had a will in place or will it go to his remaining family members? He may have even left it to the Kingdom Hall, the Jehovah’s Witnesses house of worship.
[Photo by Andres Kudacki/AP Images]