Judge confirms Prince's six siblings as the heirs to his $300 million estate

2017-05-20 18:00

New York -A judge ruled Friday that Prince's six siblings are the heirs to his estate, a key step in the more than year-old battle over the pop legend's fortune and vast trove of unreleased songs.

Kevin Eide, the judge in Carver County, Minnesota, where Prince died suddenly in April 2016 at his Paisley Park estate, said that the Purple Rain star's heirs were his sister Tyka Nelson and five half-siblings.

"The heirs of the estate are determined to be Omarr Baker, Alfred Jackson, Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John R. Nelson and Tyka Nelson," the order read.

In practical terms, the ruling will not immediately hand over Prince's fortune - which is estimated to be worth up to $300 million - to his siblings.

Instead, it starts a one-year process in which people who claim to be related to Prince can still make their appeals, but be definitively excluded if the judge does not accept their case.

"I'm finally my brother's legal sister again," Tyka Nelson, herself a singer but with much less success than Prince, wrote on Facebook. "It's a happy day!"

The ruling comes nine days after a hearing in which the siblings pressed for a resolution, and following months of sometimes colourful claims by people who say they are Prince's descendants.

Prince was a sworn foe of music industry conventions and in the mid-1990s wrote "slave" on his cheek and changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol after Warner tried to put the brakes on his prodigious output.

Prince reconciled with Warner late in his life and the label will put out a new edition of his iconic 1984 album-soundtrack Purple Rain, complete with previously unreleased tracks, to mark birthday next month.

The pop legend died from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers.

The 57-year-old - outwardly a model of health who did not drink, advocated a vegetarian diet and fired musicians who abused drugs - left no will and had no living children who were recognised.

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