Prince Estate Sells Nearly Half of the Late Artist’s Rights

Prince (Photo: Afshin Shahidi)

The three youngest of Prince’s six siblings have agreed to sell a large portion of their inheritance in the estate to the independent music publisher and talent management company Primary Wave.

At the time of his death in 2017, Prince had no will in place, and the next in line as his heirs were his sister Tyka Nelson and five half-siblings. Primary Wave, along with other interested parties, made previous offers to Sharon, Norrine, and John Nelson, who all declined. “We’ll never sell out,” said Sharon Nelson. “We know the prize.”

Under the agreement with Tyka, and two of his five half-siblings Omarr Baker, who sold 100 percent of his share, and the late Alfred Jackson—who passed away hours after signing over 90 percent of his interest in the estate—Primary Wave, which also controls the music catalogs of Nirvana, Ray Charles, Stevie Nicks, and other artists, is set to own nearly 42 percent of the entire estate covering Prince’s name, likeness, and royalties from his master and publishing rights, and partial ownership of his Paisley Park studios, with an estimated value of $100 million and $300 million.

Prince’s remaining siblings, Sharon, Norrine, and John Nelson still retain a larger percentage of the remaining half of the estate, with a small portion given to adviser Charles Spicer and L. Londell McMillan, a New York-based entertainment lawyer, who represents the three remaining siblings who held their stakes in the estate.

“There’s not much anyone can do about family members who sell out for the dollar,” said McMillan in a recent interview. “That’s their right.”

On July 30, the Prince estate officially released the late singer’s album of unreleased material Welcome 2 America. Originally recorded in 2010, the 11-track album explores socio-political issues affecting the world and is the first of many releases planned by the estate. 

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