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PICS: Memorial for Prince held at his Jehovah's Witnesses church

2016-05-16 12:04
 



Minnetonka - Security was tight as mourners packed a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall on Sunday evening for a memorial for megastar Prince, who worshipped there before he died last month.

Traffic cones lined the streets in front of the church in the Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka, and media and fans were kept well back from the invitation-only event. City spokesperson Kari Spreeman said last week that police were preparing for up to 500 people, including up to 50 high-profile guests.

Some people who weren't able to get inside before the church filled up were able to obtain programmes, which they shared with reporters outside.

From left, Prince's personal assistant, Meron Bekure, 3rdEyeGirl bassist Ida Nielsen and guitarist Donna Grantis, former staffers Romeo and Mark Spark leave the Kingdom Hall following the memorial service for Prince. (AP)

The programme said the service was to begin with the song He Will Call, followed by an opening prayer. 

It also included an "interview" with Larry Graham, the former Sly and the Family Stone bassist who was Prince's spiritual mentor and introduced him to the Jehovah's Witnesses faith. The programme was to conclude with the song See Yourself When All Is New and a closing prayer.


Larry Graham, centre, arrive at a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall for a memorial service for Prince. (AP)

On the back was a quote from the Prince song, Beautiful, Loved and Blessed, from his 2006 album 3121. It read, "If I were to ever write down my life story, I could truly say with all the fame and glory, I was just a piece of clay in need of the potter's hand."

In an interview with The Associated Press two weeks ago, Graham said it was important to Prince to give his fans joy with his music. But the most important thing to Prince was being able to share scripture, he said.

"His joy — his biggest joy — was sharing the hope of everlasting life," Graham said.

Prince was known at the Kingdom Hall as "Brother Nelson." He was found dead at age 57 in his Paisley Park recording complex in Chanhassen on April 21. Authorities are still investigating.

The artist's two ex-wives held a star-studded memorial in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Sheila E arrives at the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall with her manager, Gilbert Davison, centre for a memorial service for Prince. (AP)


Read more on:    prince  |  music  |  celebrity deaths
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