Iconic musician and seven-time Grammy winner Prince died unexpectedly in his Minnesota home Thursday, producing an outpouring of grief from fans, friends, and family. As the shock of the innovative and influential performer's passing began to wear off, a handful of questions arose. At the time of his death, the 57-year-old was estimated to be worth $300 million, but it remains unclear who stands to inherit Prince's estate. Bustle has reached out to his representatives for comment, who says there was no information beyond the confirmation of his death.
"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57," his publicist, Anna Meacham, tells Bustle.
Prince was found unconscious in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound in Carver County, Minnesota, early Thursday and pronounced dead soon after, a Minnesota sheriff told the Associated Press. The singer had been treated for flu-like symptoms a few weeks prior to his death, though no information has been released on the cause of death and it remains unknown if his illness was a contributing factor.
Along with grief and gratitude for Prince's work, his sudden passing has also provoked questions regarding his estate and the future of his music. Celebrity Net Worth estimates Prince's estate, which includes the Paisley Park compound in Minnesota, is worth $300 million dollars.
It is unclear if the innovative musician left behind an updated will (he wouldn't be the first celebrity to pass without one) or if Minnesota’s inheritance laws will control how his estate is divided. "I have no further information," Meacham tells Bustle when asked. If Minnesota state law does end up dictating the inheritance of Prince's estate, his closest siblings will most likely inherit everything as he died unmarried and without living parents or children, the International Business Times reported.
Prince has a full-sibling, his younger sister, Tyka Nelson, a musician. Prince also leaves behind two half-sisters, Norrine and Sharon Nelson, and his half-brother John R. Nelson. His half-sister Lorna Nelson and half-brother Duane Nelson passed away in 2006 and 2013, respectively.
Although unmarried at the time of his tragic death, Prince was married twice, first to dancer Mayte Garcia in 1996 and then to Manuela Testolini in 2001. Prince and Garcia had a son, reportedly named Boy Gregory, in the fall of 1996. But the newborn reportedly died tragically from a rare cranial abnormality known as Pfeiffer's Syndrome seven days after he was born.
In his lifetime, Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958 but known for much of his career as simply Prince, racked up an impressive list of accolades that included seven Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the first year he became eligible. The prolific musician was one of the most mesmerizing artists in pop with an influence that extended beyond music into fashion and pop culture. Over his 39-year career, Prince released 39 studio albums, five soundtracks, four live albums, five compilations, and 17 video albums.
Who will control Prince's music, however, remains one of the biggest questions as fans ponder what material might lie in "The Vault" at Paisley Park and if any of it will see the light of day in a potential posthumous album. It is also unclear whether the superstar's death will see his music, which he fought hard to retain control over, finally streamed on Spotify or shared freely on YouTube. Prince felt the Internet and digital streaming services did not adequately compensate artists for their music and took legal action on more than one occasion to ensure he remained in full control of his music. Will his untimely death see the Internet blessed with a few more of Prince's prolific hits? Time will tell.