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Recording artist Prince speaks during a news conference about his recording agreement between himself
and Universal Records and his new single "Te Amo Corazon," Tuesday, Dec. 13,2005, in Beverly Hills,
The associated press _
In Minneapolis, family and friends of
Prince said a "loving goodbye" to the
music icon on Saturday, April 23 in a small
private ceremony after his remains had
His publicist Yvetfe Noel-Schure said
the celebratkS)_ot his life included his
"most beloved^armly, friends and musi
cians. She said a musical celebration will
be held at a future date.
The list of people who attended was
not announced, but Prince's sister "fyka
Nelson and brother-in-law Maurice
Phillips were seen on the grounds of
Prince's estate Paisley Park, as well as
friends such as percussionist Sheila E. and
bassist Larry Graham.
Some of the hundreds of fans who con
gregated at Paisley Park' Saturday got a
memento of Prince. People emerged from
the estate and handed out round purple
boxes containing a color photo of Prince
and a black T-shirt with "3121" printed on
it in white - the numbers were the title of
a Prince album.
Prince was found unresponsive in an
elevator Thursday at Paisley Park, and an
autopsy was done Friday. But authorities
have not released a cause of death and
have said results could take days or weeks.
The publicist's brief statement repeated
that the cause of Prince's death was
unknown and said autopsy results wouldn't
be received for at least four weeks.
The statement said the "final storage"
of Prince's remains would be private.
Prince accepted a standing ovation as
he strolled out carrying a cane and rocking
an Afro to present the 2015 Grammy for
album of the year. Then he stole the show
with a line that reminded everyone he was
more than just a pop superstar; he was a
"Albums still matter," he said. "Like
books and black lives, albums still matter.
Tonight and always."
In the wake of his death last Thursday
at 57, radio stations played his biggest hits
and fans came together to grieve. But
P r i n c e
and an over
At the Grammys in Los Angeles,
Prince was referring to the Black Lives
Matter Movement that was galvanized by
the 2014 police killing of an unarmed
Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
But Prince didn't stop there. After
protests rocked Baltimore over the death of
a black man who suffered a spinal injury
while riding in a police van, Prince stepped
in and performed a tribute song named for
the city that included the line, "Does any
body hear us pray for Michael Brown or
"This song shined a new light," said
Pastor Charles Ewing, Brown's uncle. "A
lot of his music had messages."
It wasn't the first time Prince connected
his music to the fight for racial justice. He
told The Associated Press in 2004 that he
had chastised music industry bosses over
rap and R&B that promoted sex, drugs and
violence. "What you won't show your kids,
don't show ours," he said at the time.
About a decade earlier, he publicly,
feuded with record label Warner Bros, and
appeared with the word "slave" scrawled
on his cheek.
Music journalist Kelley L. Carter said
she thinks Prince saw racial inequality in
that dispute and others, including his beef
with music streaming services over artist
pay that has left fans scrambling to find
their favorite Prince songs. She said his
defiance wasn't about enriching himself,
but about "trying to pave the way for the
Carter, senior entertainment writer for
ESPN's The Undefeated, a website about
race, sports and culture, wrote recently
about meeting Prince last year at his
Paisley Park compound in suburban
Minneapolis, where he threw a party for
black journalists in town for a convention.
She said the conversation turned to the
reported $400 million deal that brought the
Beatles catalog to iTunes. Prince said he
hadn't been offered nearly as much, and
when someone asked whether he thought
he was being lowballed because he was
black, Carter wrote, "He shot us all a
" what-do-you-think?' kind of look."
Apple Inc. didn't return a call seeking
Prince signed on instead with Tidal, the
music streaming service backed by Jay Z,
telling Rolling Stone last year: "Once we
have our own resources, we can provide
what we need for ourselves. Jay Z spent -
$100 million of his own money to build his
own service. We have to show suppprt for
artists who are trying to own things for
He also told Ebony that artists should
seek to control distribution, saying,
"Where we finally get into a position to
run things, we all should help."
Prince also sent money to the family of
Trayvon Martin after the unarmed Florida
teen was shot to death by a neighborhood
watch volunteer in 2012, the Rev. A1
Sharpton said recently on MSNBC.
Activist Van Jones said that after
Martin's death, Prince was influential in
establishing #YesWeCode, an initiative to
get more minorities into tech jobs. Jones
recently told USA Today that Prince didn't
exclusively blame racism for the way some
people view young blacks in hoodies as
thugs instead of potential Facebook
founders. Jones recalled Prince saying,
"Maybe you civil rights guys haven't creat
ed enough Mark Zuckerbergs."
His black consciousness was also
apparent in his best-known records and
performances, according to Stephen Hill,
president of programing for BET, or Black
' Entertainment Television.
"Prince was very proudly black and a
lot of the music that he played - you've got
to remember the rock 'n' roll that some
people said that was the * white' side - no,
? rock 'n' roll was black music. Funkis black
music. Ballads is black music," Hill told
. the Ap. "Prince was playing music that was
trutrto his soul and true to his core."
AP staffers Jeff Baenen and Kevin
Burbach reported from Minneapolis. Greg
Moore reported from Milwaukee. Nekesa
Mumbi Moody and John Carucci con- ?
tributed to this report.
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