While Prince’s relatives have yet to set a date for a memorial service for the Purple One, his two former wives, Manuela Testolini and Mayte Garcia, have held an exclusive service of their own.
Last week, Prince’s family said they were planning an official memorial service and public event for their recently departed relative, but so far, nothing has been officially announced.
As reported by Billboard, on Wednesday night, his two former wives, Manuela Testolini and Mayte Garcia, held their own memorial event for the legendary singer. A source revealed that the exclusive service was put together by Prince’s former wives as they both “wanted to have a somber memorial since they weren’t allowed at the other one.”
Nile Rodgers and Spike Lee were among Prince’s friends and family who said goodbye at a special memorial service: https://t.co/yP0I2O3a3e
— billboard (@billboard) May 12, 2016
Prince married Garcia, his 22-year-old backup singer and dancer, on Valentine’s Day in 1996, and they divorced in 1999. In 2001, Prince married Testolini in a private ceremony; she later filed for divorce in May 2006. Both ladies still care for and respect their former husband.
Reportedly, there was a separate, small, and private memorial service for the Purple One with only around 20 guests invited. However, Wednesday’s memorial service was reportedly kept top secret with invites sent out only to Prince’s closest friends and colleagues to what was dubbed a “Celebration of Life.”
Prince — Top Secret Memorial… If You Make the Cut https://t.co/QMnVHO5Ugt
— TMZ (@TMZ) May 11, 2016
Reportedly, attendees kept quiet about the memorial on the social media, with only director Spike Lee giving the event a nod, teasing the purple-themed look he would be wearing later that night.
Lee captioned the image on Instagram, “Purple beret and purple Kobe’s for Prince memorial tonight in El Lay.”
While the event was eventually held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, according to a report by TMZ, they were told the exact location of the memorial was only being revealed to invitees prior to the event, consisting of people in the business and close friends of Prince who were given the information after sending an RSVP via email.
Among those who reflected on their time with Prince, who died on April 21, were Testolini and Garcia themselves, along with Omarr Baker, the son of Prince’s mother Mattie with her second husband, Hayward Baker.
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As reported by Billboard, the memorial featured messages from Nile Rodgers, Mavis Staples, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and Lee with performances by Esperanza Spalding and Janelle Monae.
Perez Hilton reports that singer Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese, and Larry King were also in attendance at the exclusive memorial. Stefani posted her own tribute to the Purple One on Instagram with no caption.
Reportedly, the somber event was opened by a performance of “Sometimes It Snows in April” by keyboardist Greg Phillinganes.
Lee arrived at the event dressed from head to toe in purple and told other guests that another Brooklyn event is planned in Prince’s honor on June 7, the day Prince would have turned 58.
— Gastro Party (@GastroParty) May 12, 2016
Meanwhile, investigations are still ongoing as to the cause of Prince’s death, with DEA investigators continuing to look into the singer’s history with prescription painkillers.
[Photo Prince & Manuela Testolini by Frank Micelotta – Mayte Garcia by Rich Polk/Getty Images Entertainment]