Prince’s private memorial, family’s message to fans: ‘He loved all of you’

Scores of tributes for Prince continue to flood in since his unexpected death last Thursday. As much of the world tries to come to terms with saying “Prince was” rather than “Prince is”, those who were dearest to him said goodbye in a private memorial on Saturday at his home and studio Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

As fans continue to flock to the legendary musician’s Paisley Park estate, in Chanhassen, Minnesota, his family and close friends gathered there to pay their final respects on Saturday.

A source tells ET this will be the only memorial held by his family, making the goodbye that much more final and difficult. Inside was “very emotional” with many people crying.

The guest list was limited to about 20 members of his closest family and friends. Those in Prince’s small inner circle began to arrive at 2 p.m. local time, including his purple-haired sister, Tyka Nelson, Maurice Phillips, Van Jones, Shelia E., Judith Hill, Larry Graham and Damaris Lewis.

Shortly following the service, his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, released a statement.

“A few hours ago, Prince was celebrated by a small group of his most beloved: family, friends and his musicians, in a private, beautiful ceremony to say a loving goodbye,” the statement to ET read. “Prince’s remains have been cremated and their final storage will remain private. We ask for your blessings and prayers of comfort for his family and close friends at this time.”

“The cause of death remains unknown and it will be at least four weeks before we receive the results of the autopsy,” she added. “An announcement will be made at a future date for a musical celebration.”

[From ET]

Prince’s family has been incredibly generous with fans while asking for their privacy to be respected. The day he passed, Prince’s sister Tyka walked among the fans gathered at the gates of Paisley Park passing out roses, thanking them for loving her brother and assuring them that, “he loved all of you.” On Friday, family and staff delivered pizza to the crowds. At 3pm on Saturday, friends and staff distributed purple hatboxes containing vintage Prince memorabilia like t-shirts and tour booklets. The boxes were the same ones given to those who purchased the VIP packages to his Piano & a Microphone tour and each was unique.

As mentioned in the excerpt, the autopsy is complete but results will take some time. The only official announcement is that there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body.

Fans have created a star for Prince on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as he does not have an official one. In addressing the flood of questions why not, the HWoF explained the choice was his as he was approached twice but each time, Prince said the time wasn’t right. I wonder if he’ll get one posthumously.

Newspaper covers from around the world, reporting on the death of iconic musician Prince (full name Prince Rogers Nelson), who passed away on 21st April, 2016, aged 57.


Photo Credit: WENN, Fame/Flynet Photos and Getty Images

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40 Responses to “Prince’s private memorial, family’s message to fans: ‘He loved all of you’”

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  1. Lisa says:

    Sooo sad. RIP, Purple One.
    There’ll never be another like him.

  2. Esmom says:

    His family sounds genuinely appreciative of his fans, that’s so sweet.

    The thing I don’t get is why they and law enforcement feel they owe us his cause of death. I get the people are curious but it isn’t info that the public is entitled to, is it?

    • Nebi says:

      You are right. Probably -if Prince was not into drugs – this is the only way to stop speculations.

    • Lindsay says:

      The autopsy was performed by the state so the cause and manner of death is public record. By saying they will release the information when they have it they are cutting down the number of calls to the medical examiner’s office.

    • Sarah(too) says:

      They don’t owe us, but Prince was a public figure and medical examiner’s reports are public information. TMZ or someone would just sue for it, so better to release it.

    • Colette says:

      TMZ will tell us his cause of death if they don’t.

  3. lucy2 says:

    Wow, his family is being really lovely towards the fans.

    Musical celebration – tribute show? That would be nice, especially if proceeds could go to a cause he cared about.

  4. roxane says:

    I love the Libération cover.

  5. Jegede says:

    This reminds me so much of David Bowie burial.

    2 musical virtuosos who exited quietly.

  6. Calcifer says:

    In the wake of Prince’s death I have been listening to a lot of his work again and I realized how often he referred to death and also to the temporality of life. He did this even when he was very young, and it’s amazing to see in retrospect.

    ‘Some people want to die so they can be free
    I said life is just a game, we’re all just the same, do you want to play?’

    Prince – Controversy Lyrics 1981 (Prince was 23 at the time)

  7. GiGi says:

    There’s a lot in the rumor mill about there not being a will. But I think there must have been – his service was very much in line with a Jehovah’s Witness funeral – brief, with no eulogies. It’s being said that Tyka is kind of in charge and she is not a JW, so I’m thinking they’re working off some kind of written or expressed wishes.

    • Melissa says:

      With as shrewd as he became with controlling his music library, I doubt he didn’t have a will. I think that came (originally) from a DM article speculating what would happen IF he didn’t have a will. A pretty wild speculation that turned into a mini story/rumour of its own.

  8. MinnFinn says:

    Minneapolis news outlets have some interesting bits that afaik aren’t making it to bigger media companies. FX, regulars of his small dance parties at Paisley Park said that at his party there last week they noticed he struggled to go up the few steps for the stage, that the stage wood floor had been covered in carpet and that he had recently begun wearing custom made platform sneakers. All of these indicate more significant hip/knee problems than perhaps many people were aware of. Prince’s legal counsel has been topsy turvy of late and there is concern that if his sister inherits his entire estate and recording archive, she is not prepared to handle things. Prince’s brother in law said he had been up 6 days straight with no sleep before he died. Also the best story of all. A sweet commenter in Mpls paper said she met Prince at a Chanhassen grocery store after he came up and started talking to her son who was with her. Prince knew her son because he had been volunteering at his elementary school.

    • Janis says:

      It seems his philanthropy/ involvement in causes was something few people knew about Prince. I think even more highly of him now knowing about his quiet involvement in a variety of charities and, as stated above, volunteering in schools. I hope the little boy mentioned remembers his encounter with lovely Prince. It’s quite a loss.

      There was speculation about him having hip and back pain issues due to his wearing heels for all those years. Maybe there is some merit to these rumours.

    • Colette says:

      The fact he was on the elevator shows he was having some health issues.The former VP of Paisley Records said Prince used the elevator in all the years he worked for him.Prince would jog up and down the stairs.

    • Gatita says:

      That story about the little boy melted my heart. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Miss M says:

    What a lovely way to treat fans when you have just lost a family Member.

  10. Sue says:

    So nice to hear how generous and thoughtful the family was to his fans. Such a lovely tribute to him.

  11. what's inside says:

    I am so impressed with Prince now more than ever. Actions always speak louder than words.

  12. GingerCrunch says:

    I find myself getting sadder and sadder about this. It’s been a long time since I listened to Prince (basically all of the 80’s). And I only saw him live once, which I realize now was a huge mistake! Peace & love to his family. It’s got to be amazingly difficult, but hopefully they’ll draw a lot of strength from all the fan love.

    • WTW says:

      I’m incredibly sad as well. On one hand, I think he was so innovative and exciting and larger than life. On the other, I wonder how the current crop of 20-something singers will replace the greats like him, Bowie, Whitney and MJ. Sometimes, I tell myself I think so highly of these musicians because I was a child when they reached peak fame, and if I were a child today, I’d feel the same about Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber et al., but I just don’t know. I simply don’t think the recording artists of today are as talented. It feels like pop music as we knew it died with Prince’s death. Madonna is still alive, but she was one of the less talented pop stars of her day, and I say this as a fan. Anyway, I’m grieving Prince’s death, the shift in pop music and the nail in the coffin that was my youth–all at the same time.

      • Calcifer says:

        @WTW Beautifully said, thank you so much.

      • GingerCrunch says:

        Well said. As a fan, I’m clinging to the hope that they find a way to release the music in his vault in a way he would have approved of. It would be so amazing and surreal. Wishful thinking on my part, I know.

      • Lisa says:

        I too hope that whoever is making the decisions about his brand are respectful of what Prince would have wanted. I would hate for anyone to abuse his image and music just to make a fast buck, like Elvis’ and Michael Jackson’s families seem to have.
        I’m really crushed about his passing. Even more so than Bowie.

      • holly hobby says:

        I have honestly stopped listening to his music when the 80s ended but I do remember the songs. However, I’m impressed with his guitar playing. I’ve watched a few of the clips on youtube (George Harrison tribute and Cee LO concert) and his guitar playing was just magical. There are very few who can play like that (Slash would be a right after him). So sad he left too soon.

    • Calcifer says:

      @ Gingercrunch I agree with you, I also regret nothaving gone to see him in concert more often. I did see him twice though and he was the best.

      • GingerCrunch says:

        Lucky you! I’ve been consoling myself on YouTube. Thank goodness for that, I guess.

      • Dana m says:


        Prince was probably one of the best for sure. Jack white is a close second.

  13. Tourmaline says:

    I feel like his family and friends are handling this with a lot of dignity.

    I live the next suburb over from Chanhassen and while I never had a “Prince sighting” of my own I happen to drive by Paisley Pk often, it is right on a major highway there and couldn’t be less secluded. As the county sheriff said in the press conference on Friday he was more than a celebrity to people in that town he was a neighbor. Although he lived other places like LA and Spain during his life he always maintained his home and studio there in a pretty ordinary suburb that isn’t glamorous or ritzy. He could come and go with little drama, ride his bike, go to the stores and live his life. I’m glad if his life had to end too soon, at least he was at home.

  14. Lucy says:

    His family sounds like a group of lovely and caring people. Good to know he was surrounded by them. May they all find peace in this tragic moment.

  15. kri says:

    Much love to his sister and the lovely idea of those boxes given to fans. I had always planned to see him. I honestly would check once a month to see if he was going to do a tour. He was one of the few I would have paid to see. Such a force. I wll miss him every day, and I can only hope that some day that vault is opened.

    • Dana m says:

      I agree. I hadn’t checked as often as you but I would think of him off and on and wonder if he would stop for a show in my town. My hobby is listening to live music and I live in austin so I’m lucky to have access to good quality music.

      RIP Prince . Thank you for making my childhood much more exciting and filled with lots of happiness. Loved playing my prince vinyls over and over. Music is my therapy.

  16. AnneR says:

    The word “artist” is thrown around too much nowadays. Prince was one of the few artists and icons we have and his death is a tragedy. I feel for his family. His good heart reflects the family he came from and knowing he donated his time and money to causes without publicity and fanfare is RARE. I too admire him even more than I already do.

  17. april says:

    I live in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and our local tv channel reported on the 6:00 pm news today that Prince did not have a will and the estate will go to his siblings. I believe it is his full sister and the rest are half-siblings. There are five or six siblings total. The reporter said it was ironic he did not have a will, since Prince was the executor of his father’s estate.

    I believe it was his conscious decision not to have a will. Especially since he knew he was very ill and chose not to have one. I don’t have one either and it’s my conscious decision not to. However, he could have designated beneficiaries on certain things and that supersedes a will. He had 15 properties he owned in Chanhassen, MN. Paisley Park alone is worth many, many millions. They believe Paisley Park will be turned into a Prince “museum.” They said on the local news that his estate is worth between $300 million and $800 million if you add unpublished music).

    • Christin says:

      Last week, I was reading up on who receives an estate in absence of a will, for my own education. According to what I read, half-blood siblings are considered siblings for estate purposes in all but one or two states. If he had multiple half-siblings (sharing the same bio mother or father), they are entitled to an equal share with the full sibling.

      I would have thought he would have a will, just in case someone comes forward claiming to be a child. When this much money is involved, anything could happen and possibly hold up the process.

      Another possibility is that he set up a trust for his assets, to avoid probate.

      • april says:

        Newest Minneapolis news report from a different channel indicated he most likely had a trust. Probably true. Stay tuned….

  18. Anare says:

    Regarding not having a will, my mother passed away a little over a year ago. She had all of her finances in good order, had a will, kept her kids apprised of her wishes. Even so, we just now settled her estate and it was quite a lot of work even though she left things in good order.
    Just keep in mind if you don’t have a will and never make your wishes clear, you make a lot more work for your survivors. I don’t know your circumstances and maybe you don’t care what happens after you die. Just something to think about if you want to help your survivors out.
    Personally I would find it hard to believe that Prince would not have a will. He was so careful, such a planner. I too live in the Mpls suburbs and am the same age as Prince. I have been a fan from the beginning. He was insanely talented, so cool, so passionate. The world just seems a little dimmer without him. Ugh 2016. The year of the sads. #RIPPrince.