How Prince Tribute Could Kickstart Artist's Posthumous Future - Rolling Stone
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How Prince Tribute Concert Could Kickstart Artist’s Posthumous Future

As the legal fight over Prince’s estate intensifies, organizers expect concert to help relieve financial burdens

Prince, Tribute, PlansPrince, Tribute, Plans

As the legal fight over Prince's estate intensifies, organizers expect an all-star tribute to the musician to help relieve financial burdens.

Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty

After months of rumor and speculation, an all-star Prince tribute concert has finally been scheduled for the U.S. Bank Stadium in his hometown Minneapolis on October 13th. Performers have not yet been announced, but a source close to the family says a wish list includes Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars and many others.

Plans originally called for the tribute to be held at that venue on August 13th — the same day Prince had been tentatively scheduled to inaugurate the new, 52,000-seat stadium with a concert of his own. According to one promoter who had been contacted to help produce the show, that date, alongside another considered for late September, were scuttled due to the logistics of putting on such a production.

Projects like a tribute concert and posthumous releases are part of a plan to bolster tax bills and other financial necessities left behind after Prince’s death. While a tribute concert is coming closer to fruition, excavated tracks from Prince’s legendary music vault are still in the planning stages; a producer or archivist has not yet been appointed to wade through all the unreleased recordings. So far, no Prince-related releases are on this year’s schedule for Warner Brothers, the label with whom Prince worked — and feuded — before resigning with them several years ago.

Former AEG executive (and one-time Prince manager) Randy Phillips and Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich have been contacted about possibly producing the show, which would also be filmed for a network TV special. “Kenny and I are willing to do something for him,” Philips tells Rolling Stone. A final decision on who will produce the show has not yet been reached, however.

In June, Bremer Trust, the Minnesota-based bank functioning as the “special administrator” of Prince’s estate, named two industry veterans to help sort out the musician’s assets: former EMI head Charles Koppelman (who signed Prince to that label for Emancipation in 1997) and one-time Prince lawyer L. Londell McMillan, who currently owns hip-hop magazine The Source.

Adding to the complications — who will or won’t help oversee or benefit from the estate — are numerous affidavits of heirship submitted to the court this month. Last week, Minnesota Judge Kevin Eide threw out 30 claims to Prince’s estate, ruling that several people who had claimed to be heirs of the artist were not related to the musician. He ordered DNA testing on six people previously assumed to be related to Prince. Four of the artist’s siblings or half-siblings – Tyka Nelson, Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson and John Nelson – and a possible niece and grand-niece, Brianna Nelson and Victoria Nelson, will be vetted in the process. “This case is perhaps unique in the state of Minnesota,” Eide said during one recent hearing. “In many ways, we are in unchartered water here.”

“As Prince’s older brother, I have often marveled at my younger brother’s musical genius,” Alfred Jackson tells Rolling Stone. “Now that he is gone, I am prayerful that the world can learn to love him as I did through the continued legacy and genius of his music.”

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