CHASKA, Minn. — Prince’s death at age 57 stands to make instant millionaires out of six surviving siblings if no will is ever found. So who are they? Two sought to follow in their brother’s musical footsteps. One is a military veteran. Most have kept low public profiles. Two other siblings who sued the superstar have died. Here’s a look at what’s known about the family:
Tyka Nelson, 55, is Prince’s only full sibling, and his little sister has taken the lead in the initial work to settle his estate. Both are children of John L. Nelson and Mattie Della Shaw, who divorced when Prince and Tyka were young and have since died.
By most appearances, she’s the sibling to whom Prince was closest. She stepped out of his Paisley Park studios on the day Prince died to tell mourning fans that Prince loved them and to thank them for loving him back. But it wasn’t always so. She admitted in a 2003 interview with The National Enquirer that she had been addicted to crack cocaine, prostituted herself to support her babies and pawned a car Prince had given her to buy drugs.
Prince got her into rehab, and she eventually resumed her music career. She has released several records since 1988, mostly in a gospel groove, and tried to chart her own musical course without her brother’s help. Her most recent release was in 2011, according to Amazon.com. She lives in a Minneapolis house owned by Prince.
Older half brother Alfred Jackson, 63, is a Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force and then lived for many years at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center after being honorably discharged. That’s according to his attorney, Frank Wheaton, who told The Associated Press that Jackson now lives with a brother in Kansas City. Wheaton declined to comment on the problems that landed Jackson at the VA.
Prince, Jackson and Tyka Nelson share the same mother.
Jackson said last week in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” that he had not seen or spoken with Prince for nearly 15 years. But, he said, he and his mother had visited Prince at Paisley Park. He said it was clear even in childhood that Prince was musically gifted. His attorney acknowledged the televised comments, but said Jackson had actually had “sporadic talks and visits” with Prince over those years.
SHARON NELSON, NORRINE NELSON AND JOHN R. NELSON
Prince’s older half sisters are Sharon Nelson, 76, and Norrine Nelson, 74, who are related to him by their father’s previous marriage. Little is known about Norrine Nelson, but Sharon Nelson pursued a music career in New York City and released a CD in 2009 called “57th Street Sound,” according to Amazon.com. She also co-produced an EP featuring her father in 1994. And she did a musical variety show podcast from 2009 to 2011 that included an episode called “Three Generations of Music by the Nelsons,” from John L. Nelson to Prince, according to iTunes.
Little is known about half brother John R. Nelson, 72, who was the only sibling who did not attend Monday’s first probate court hearing on the Prince estate. According to public records, he lives in Kansas City.
Younger half brother Omarr Baker, 45, is the son of Prince’s mother and her second husband. Property records show he lives in a house in suburban Golden Valley that is owned by Prince, but little else is known about him.
DECEASED HALF SIBLINGS
Lorna Nelson, who died in 2006 at age 63, is best known for suing Prince in 1989, claiming that he stole his hit “U Got the Look” from her song “What’s Cooking in This Book.” She lost the case. She also took Prince to court in 2001 over his handling of their father’s estate.
Prince’s former security chief, Duane Nelson, who died in 2011, has been widely described as Prince’s half brother. But papers filed by Tyka Nelson’s lawyers in the probate case over Prince’s estate do not list him as a relative, nor do they list as potential heirs the daughter or granddaughter listed in a 2011 Star Tribune obituary for Duane Nelson. Tyka Nelson’s lawyers declined a request for clarification, citing attorney-client confidentiality. Duane Nelson sued Prince after he was fired.
Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Schafner contributed to this story from New York City.