In the aftermath of Prince’s death back in 2016, the control inside Prince’s estate has been shuffled in the last few years.
Duties were first assigned to family members in Prince’s life, which included his six siblings. Three of the youngest siblings later saw that their responsibilities with Prince’s work shouldn’t be all on their shoulders. That’s where New York music company Primary Wave steps in. Primary Wave is an independent music publisher that has acquired the catalogs of James Brown, Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston. The three youngest siblings had their interests bought out by Primary Wave. The three eldest siblings thought the idea of fully partnering with Primary Wave isn’t what they had in mind.
In February 2022 the family proceeded to court to settle differences, come to an agreement and assess the actual value of all of Prince’s holdings. Judge Kevin Eide ruled that he could not make a final decision for either side on who grants final approvals. He believes both sides need to find a workable management structure. Judge Eide did decide that he will not order the siblings to “contribute their share to a business entity against their wishes.” The siblings have waited for six years to have some control over how the Prince estate moves forward. Judge Eide’s decision will not, by choice, order that their share of the estate be turned over to a single holding company, which is Primary Wave.
The control is split within Prince’s $156.4 million estate and the debacle just got messier.
Morris Day is the 2nd face of the Prince led, funk band The Time. Morris Day has been the singer of the band for 40 years, and he claims The Prince Estate is taking away his rights to operate under the name “The Time” for anything ever again. The news first broke through a post on his personal page on Instagram.
According to Variety, A representative of The Prince Estate spoke to them regarding the allegations.
The statement below may not shock you.
Given Prince’s longstanding history with Morris Day and what the Estate thought were amicable discussions, The Prince Estate was surprised and disappointed to see his recent post.
The Estate is open to working proactively with Morris to resolve this matter.
However, the information that he shared is not entirely accurate.
What will shock you is the information that an attorney for The Prince Estate provided to Variety.
The estate handed a letter stating that on December 23 of last year, Morris Day “has no right to use or register [the name] THE TIME in any form”. It references a 1982 contract where Morris Day “acknowledged that PRN Music Corporation, an entity which, at the time, was wholly owned by Prince, is the ‘sole and exclusive owner of all rights in and to’ THE TIME.”
As for mentioned, The Prince Estate is willing to speak with Morris Day to come to an agreement. An agreement, according to the letter, “that recognizes the Estates rights in the trademark THE TIME and licenses Mr. Day to use the trademark MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME with the services identified in the existing trademark registration and goods related to such services, such as musical sound recordings and musical video recordings.”
The Prince Estate has already had problems trying to create a “workable management structure” and this news of musical rights is not going to help the initial matter at hand. Prince has worked with a gambit of artists throughout his entire career. The studios down in Paisley Park have spawned acts like Sheila E., Vanity 6 and 3rdeyegirl.
Considering what is happening to Morris Day, could the same situation be in the cards for other Prince associated acts?
Only “TIME” can tell.
For more news, head to down to classixphilly.com.
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