Settlement of the inheritance took six years and two heirs died along the way.
When Prince Roger Nelson died in 2016, he left behind a music catalog worth a fortune.
But he left neither a son nor a will.
Since then, his sister and five half-brothers have been negotiating through a Minnesota court over who will get what.
Two of the heirs died during court proceedings, which kept the group of lawyers busy.
After six years, the two parties agree on how to distribute the inheritance, according to legal papers From court in Minnesota.
Many Prince fans around the world hope that the agreement will mean new versions of Prince’s vast archive of demos and other recorded music.
valued at $156.4 million
One of the central questions that had to be answered for the distribution of the inheritance was: What is the value of Prince’s music?
It’s hard to answer – this is one of the reasons why it took so long to distribute the inheritance.
Bank has been appointed by the court to provide an independent assessment. But the US tax authorities also stepped in and came up with a much higher assessment.
A higher assessment may mean a larger share of the inheritance tax.
In January of this year, both parties finally agreed that Prince’s property was worth $156.4 million, as well as NOK 1.5 billion at today’s exchange rate.
The amount is primarily related to the value of Prince’s music catalog, but the heirs also share $5.6 million in cash, 54.4 million kronor at today’s exchange rate.
Manage music together
From now on, Prince Music will be managed as a collaboration between two limited companies.
During court proceedings, three of the heirs sold their share of the inheritance to Primary Wave, a company that specializes in buying music catalogs. One of these heirs passed away in 2019.
The remaining sister, half-brother and founder of the half-brother who died in 2021 created a separate company, Prince Legacy.
The lengthy inheritance settlement cost an unknown number of millions, which went to legal fees and other officials.
The amounts in the court documents were revised, but the commercial bank that ran the operation was allowed to keep about NOK 30 million in reserve simply to pay the remaining expenses in connection with the closing of the estate.
The heirs express relief that the case is now over, while one of their attorneys criticizes the lengthy process for CBS TV.
– Finally we are free, thank God Almighty, we are free. Sharon Nelson, Prince’s half-sister, tells the TV channel it’s been six long and exhausting years. CBS.
Now the plan, she continued, is to return Prince’s original recordings, the so-called master tapes, to Paisley Park, which served as the Prince’s residence, music studio and sort of museum.
– We will release his original music, Nelson tells CBS.
Record producer and publisher Christer Falck (52) has written a book about Prince with Peter Aagaard. He says the inheritance settlement has “finally been settled” and is now hoping for new music for the late artist.
– As long as you have money, he will not leave it alone. 100 years after Mozart, everyone wanted to read his letters. Falk says it’s the same.
Prince is not the only artist with a long and complex legacy settlement. When “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown, died in 2006, it took 15 years for the inheritance issue to be settled, according to The New York Times.
That also ended with Primary Wave managing his music.
An inheritance settlement for the “Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin, who died in 2018, is still ongoing.
Music catalogs for elderly or deceased artists have become a sought-after investment target in recent years.
Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Whitney Houston, and the Beach Boys are among the bands and artists who have sold copyright or ownership rights to their music in recent years.
do you remember? The many deaths of artists did not prompt a Norwegian prime minister to hold a press conference. But when Prince died, then-Prime Minister Erna Solberg gathered the press to say he was her favorite artist.
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