Hidden In Plain Sight
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
You might well be aware by now that Prince, born as Prince Nelson Rogers, did not have a will. Touted as a “musical genius” by some and a “shrewd businessman” by others, and with so much money, and royalties at stake, on the surface it just doesn’t appear to make any sense. Why wouldn’t Prince leave a will? Or, did he?
His only full-blooded sister Tyka Nelson has stated in court records he had no known will and asked the state of Minnesota to “appoint a special administrator to oversee his estate,” according to the Associated Press. His estate is reportedly valued between $150 – 800 million, according to various media sources. Again: Why would any person of such vast wealth not leave a will?
Remember Michael Jackson – the King of Pop? The other “musical genius” and “shrewd” businessman. His will was questioned after his death and ended up in a long battle that made its way to the Supreme Court. So, by now you should be asking the question: What could these two chart-topping, mega-successful artists, both have in common? All you have to do is step back and look at the big picture.
They were both Jehovah’s Witnesses
The King of Pop was raised as a Jehovah Witness; whereas, Prince stated in a 2008 interview with the Washington Post “I don’t see it really as a conversion. More, you know, it’s a realization. It’s like Morpheus and Neo in The Matrix.” The often times controversial organization, Jehovah’s Witnesses, have a strict, particular interpretation of the Bible and followers can’t: associate with non-believers, join the armed forces, be involved in martial arts, boxing or wrestling, salute the American flag or vote just to name a few.
It has been reported that he remixed some of the Jehovah’s Witness hymnals for his local congregation to show his devotion and the Watch Tower Society, the governing body, sent him a letter stating that they owned the copyrights of the music. Also, an anonymous source has come forward alleging that the Church has been encouraging followers to leave the church their inheritance instead of ‘nonbeliever’ family members.
The source allegedly says there are stories about people being pressured into leaving their estates, especially if their family are not Witnesses. Could this possibly be the explanation of Prince not having a will? Maybe, or maybe not? You have to judge for yourself.
But, one thing is for sure. Not having a will leaves the final decisions up to the state of Minnesota to decide. And the irony is this may have been Prince’s will all along – not having to choose one over the other – inadvertently helping out the people he loved the most, his family and Church.
From his 1991 album, “Diamonds and Pearls,” comes “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night”. How appropriate for Prince.