The debate surrounding the handling of Prince’s estate has returned to the headlines, after advisors that were given legal rights in 2022 have sued some of the musician’s family members.
Back in 2022, Prince’s family reached an agreement over the division of his $156million (£122million) estate. The music icon died aged 57 in April 2016, following a fentanyl overdose. He did not have a will at the time of his death and with no spouse or children, all of Prince’s estate passed to his six half-siblings.
In a 50/50 split, it was agreed in court that half of those inheriting the estate would sell their shares to the company, Primary Wave, that bought the rights to Prince’s back catalogue in 2021. The other three kept their shares and hired longtime Prince advisors L Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer to manage them, forming the holding company Prince Legacy LLC.
However, as reported by Billboard this week (January 8), McMillan and Spicer have filed a new lawsuit in a Delaware court, outlining an alleged new rift between themselves and the three members of Prince’s family that they were working with.
The suit alleges that the Prince heirs – his half-sisters Sharon and Norrine Nelson, and his niece and nephew Breanna and Allen Nelson – are trying to oust McMillan and Spicer from Prince Legacy LLC, saying that this violates the agreed legal arrangement.
They also claim that Sharon and Breanna Nelson have attempted to sell their shares to Primary Wave, which would overturn the 50/50 balance that was agreed in 2022.
The suit states: “The individual defendants lack any business and management experience, have no experience in the music and entertainment industries, and have no experience negotiating and managing high-level deals in the entertainment industry.”
“They have a documented history of infighting. Based on the amount and complexity of the work that Prince Legacy is involved with, they are simply not capable of stepping in and managing its business.”
An attorney for Norrine, Breanna and Allen Nelson has declined to comment, after being contacted by Billboard.
In other Prince news, it was reported this week (January 8) that ‘Purple Rain’ is set to become a stage musical, featuring some of the icon’s famous tracks.
The stage adaptation of the 1984 film will be produced by Orin Wolf – who previously led the Tony-winning adaptation of The Band’s Visit to the stage and is currently backing the theatrical adaptation of another music industry movie, Buena Vista Social Club – and will be based on the original screenplay which was written by Albert Magnoli and William Blinn.
André 3000 also recently revealed that Prince once called him to explain what went wrong with OutKast’s 2014 reunion performance.