Prince Estate sells nearly half of late singer’s rights to New York music publisher

Three of the late musician's six siblings have sold the majority of their inheritance in the estate

The Prince Estate has sold a controlling stake in the rights to the late musician’s intellectual property.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the three youngest of Prince’s six siblings have each agreed to sell their inheritance in the estate to New York independent music publisher and talent management company Primary Wave.

The new report has revealed that Primary Wave, which also owns a music catalogue that includes Nirvana and Ray Charles, last month bought 100 per cent of Prince’s youngest sibling Omarr Baker’s interest in the estate. Previously, the company bought 90 per cent of Tyka Nelson’s stake and 100 per cent of the late Alfred Jackson’s interest.


The intellectual property sold includes Prince’s name and likeness, royalties from his masters, and publishing rights, as well as his renowned Paisley Park studios, as per Rolling Stone.

Prince’s oldest three siblings – Sharon, Norrine, and John Nelson – said they have no plans to sell their stakes in the rights to the singer’s estate.

“We’ll never sell out. We know the prize,” Sharon told the Star Tribune, adding that Tyka Nelson and Omarr Baker “didn’t have the patience to wait.” Baker did not return the Star Tribune‘s request for comment after selling his entire inheritance on June 30.
“There’s not much anyone can do about family members who sell out for the dollar. That’s their right,” said New York lawyer L. Londell McMillan, who represents Prince’s three oldest siblings.

Prince performing in 1985. CREDIT: Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Prince Rogers Nelson died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2016. Due to the absence of a will, and being he had no legal partner or children, sorting out his estate has been a complicated affair.

Once some outstanding tax issues with the IRS and state of Minnesota have been resolved, the estate – which now includes Primary Wave – plan on doing “things the way Prince did”.


“No matter what, we are going to fight to preserve the legacy of Prince,” McMillan told The Wall Street Journal. “We would like to bring the purple back and actually do things the way Prince did.”

“All future decisions of the Prince Estate will be determined and need the approval and direction of our group, family, and friends of Prince who actually worked with him,” McMillan added. “We will work with Primary Wave and any other party that holds interest in the estate.”

NME has reached out to the Prince Estate for comment.

Meanwhile, Prince’s ‘lost’ ‘Welcome 2 America’ album was finally released on Friday (July 30).

Recorded in 2010, the album was due to be released the following year alongside the legend’s US tour of the same name, which went ahead even without the album.

After sitting in a vault for a decade, ‘Welcome 2 America’ is now available to listen to via Legacy Recordings.

In a four-star review, NME‘s Andrew Trendell said said ‘Welcome 2 America’ is “an album that speaks to today’s problems and demands to be heard. It’s better to have it now than never. His name was Prince and he was funky, and it seems he has so much more to tell us.”

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