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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two sisters and heirs of the late rock superstar Prince said Wednesday they’re angered that the contents of his vault, including master tapes of unreleased music, have been removed from his Paisley Park studio complex and shipped to California.

Sharon and Norrine Nelson, Prince’s half-sisters, told The Associated Press they are prepared to take legal action to bring the music back to Minnesota. The company running the estate, Comerica Bank & Trust, said the recordings are safe at a reputable storage company in Los Angeles.

“We want the music back home in Paisley Park where it belongs,” Sharon Nelson said.

Norrine Nelson called it “extraordinary and unconscionable.”

The recordings are regarded as among the most valuable pieces of an estate that court papers have suggested is worth around $200 million.

Sharon Nelson said she was told Sept. 29 by a “Paisley Park representative,” whom she wouldn’t identify, that around four trucks pulled up to the studio-turned-museum in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen in early September and removed the contents of the vault.

“It’s just as though Prince passed away again,” she said. “That’s how I felt. I was really devastated by that.”

Norrine Nelson said the music had been safe in Minnesota for more than 40 years and would be again if it’s returned.

The sisters said Comerica, which is serving as the personal representative, or executor, of Prince’s estate, hasn’t told them exactly where the music was taken or why. They said they believe Comerica was obligated to notify them and give them a say under orders earlier this year by Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide, who is overseeing the estate case.

Comerica defended its decision in a statement.

“In an effort to ensure the preservation of Prince’s audio and visual content, Comerica selected the premier entertainment storage and archive company, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services,” the statement said. “On four separate occasions, Comerica discussed the process with the heirs and any suggestion otherwise is not accurate.”

Prince left no will when he died in April 2016 of an accidental overdose of painkillers. The judge this May declared Prince’s six surviving siblings his heirs, but they’ve split into two camps during the legal wrangling. Sharon and Norrine Nelson and their brother, John R. Nelson, are on one side and Prince’s full sister, Tyka Nelson, and his half-brothers Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson on the other. An attorney for Tyka Nelson and Baker did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Eide’s orders putting Comerica in charge give the company considerable authority over how to run the estate and exploit its assets to benefit the heirs, and don’t require it to notify or seek approval from them for routine matters. But one order does require Comerica to give them 14 business days of notice before entering into transactions worth more than $2 million to give them a chance to object. The sisters said they believe that language should apply to such a major step as moving the music out of Prince’s vault.

If the reason for moving the tapes was to put them closer to the recording industry to prepare for more releases of Prince music, the sisters said there was no need. They pointed out that Prince’s studios at Paisley Park remain state-of-the art.

But Comerica said the recordings are safer with Iron Mountain.

“After reviewing the storage conditions at Paisley Park and out of concern regarding the consequences of a fire or other loss at the facility, Comerica determined that it was necessary to transfer the audio and visual content to a secure location where all of the original content could be securely stored and digitized as a safeguard against the destruction or loss of any original content,” the company said.

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16 thoughts on “Prince Heirs Upset Over Music Removal

  1. noletonu on said:

    wh̺a̺t h̺e̺n̺r̺y s̺a̺i̺d̺ i̺ a̺m̺ a̺l̺a̺r̺m̺e̺d̺ th̺a̺t pe̺o̺pl̺e̺ c̺a̺n̺ e̺a̺r̺n̺ $9833 i̺n̺ 1 m̺o̺n̺th̺ o̺n̺ th̺e̺ c̺o̺m̺pute̺r̺ . g̺o̺………….

    • Guest1 on said:

      It’s obvious you didn’t get an education. That’s what you get. Why don’t you learn to speak English and learn the meaning of sentence structure, punctuation, spelling and grammar before you criticize someone else. I don’t know if you’re white or black, but I do know you’re dumb as a bag of rocks.

    • U need to shut up u dumass negro Prince was and always will be our musical hero money dont matter tonight. PRINCE was the greatest musician the world has ever seen

    • ANGIDEE on said:


  2. This Comerica is going to steal everything from under Prince sister nose. They know that she prince sister doesn’t know business.
    It’s like leaving your children with a will and wanting one of your relatives to take charges of the children finances and distributing the money to your children until they become of age. I guarantee who ever you left in charge especially those fire baptize save and sanctify one would steal every last damn dime from them. Peace

    • Jonathan McClain on said:

      That is why you have a Conservator put in place. I am a conservator and we have cases where minors have received funds that are to be held until they are of age. Each year we have to do an annual accounting to the court to verify the funds are in place. Comerica is not going to steal anything because they have to answer to the court, you just can’t take what you want. If there are any irregularities, they could be implicated. Also, Prince’s siblings has attorney’s as well that can check the legal process of the estate.

  3. Bulls##t – they better get that property back. The next story will be that the music has been stolen only to benefit some thieving white person in the future. It was safe in Prince’s own safe – – no need to move it.

    • That’s right in the end we the people
      Who love and respect brother Prince for fighting the good fight for all musician and his family and friends in the music business will make sure the music is taken care of. RIP brother Prince

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