Prince’s Posthumous Year In Business Was Full Of Weirdos And Chaos

No Comments 24 April 2017

Prince’s Posthumous Year In Business Was Full Of Weirdos And Chaos

The problem was that Prince, a control freak, didn’t leave a will. He didn’t even have a cause of death — initial reports suggested an overdose of fentanyl, and recently unsealed affidavits and search warrants revealed painkillers were scattered throughout his Paisley Park home and studio. Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, who was treating Prince for hip pain, reportedly prescribed oxycodone intended for the artist to a close friend in the weeks prior to his death. After Prince died a year ago today, found in a Paisley Park elevator, his estate — including songs, videos, $25 million in real estate and 67 gold bars, among many other things — was said to be worth between $200 and $300 million.

Because Prince had no children, was divorced and his closest relatives were his sister, Tyka Nelson, and five half-siblings, the estate was in shambles from the outset.

Author: Steve Knopper

“The minute I looked at it, there was nothing appropriately in place,” Charles Koppelman, a longtime record executive who spent much of 2016 as a music-business advisor to the estate, tells NPR. “Michael Jackson had no personal life, but his business life was in perfect order — he had the right record-company relationship, the right publishing relationship, and he had a will. Prince, on the other hand, had a great personal life, but none of those other things.”

Dozens of claimants to Prince’s fortune came forward immediately following his death, complicating matters for Kevin Eide, the Minnesota judge overseeing the shambolic estate. In what the New York Daily News called a “wacky lawsuit,” Rodney Dixon called himself the owner of all Prince’s songs and albums after the two supposedly had a discussion in Maryland in 1982. Marsha Henson claimed she and Prince drank wine at a Kansas City, Mo. hotel in July 1976, then had sex at another hotel — and nine months later, she gave birth to a son, Carlin Q. Williams, who asked for DNA testing to prove Prince was his father.

Even after the judge recognized six heirs — Tyka Nelson, Prince’s only sister, and his half-siblings Alfred Jackson, Omarr Baker and Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson — people around the world continue to try and prove a relation, however tenuous.

“Are there people crawling out of the woodwork constantly? Yeah,” says Jeffrey Scott, a St. Paul estate attorney with no relationship to the estate. “There was a deadline to step forward and submit a claim — and that didn’t seem to have affected people at all. I still have people offering to do DNA tests.”

Let’s take a look at how Prince’s estate evolved from chaos to (relative) order in the year since his death.

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