NEW YORK, USA – Artists will pay tribute to pop icon Prince with a giant stadium concert in October in his hometown Minneapolis, his family says.
The show will take place on October 13 at the newly built US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings football team, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson wrote on Facebook.
The 66,200-capacity stadium, opened on July 22 on the site of the city’s former Metrodome, has both seats and LED lighting in purple, the signature color both of the “Purple Rain” singer and the Vikings.
The lineup has not been announced, but Nelson said that tickets would go on sale later in August. Rolling Stone magazine reported that the family wanted Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder to take part.
Nelson said the family would also invite Prince’s friends to a private memorial. She wrote last month on Facebook that it would be “a day when we can grieve, share stories and dance together for a man who touched our lives, in so many different ways.”
Prince, one of the most influential artists of his generation who popularized the “Minneapolis sound” of infectious funk, died on April 21 from a painkiller overdose at his Paisley Park estate outside the city. (READ: Prince death ruled a painkiller overdose)
The concert would be the only publicly sanctioned memorial event for Prince, who was guarded about his personal life despite his flamboyant stage presence.
His body was cremated and family and friends held a small gathering at Paisley Park shortly after his death, followed by a private service among his Jehovah’s Witness religious community.
Fight over Prince estate
David Bowie, another music legend whose death stunned fans this year, was similarly discreet with his family holding no public events to mourn him.
In contrast, King of Pop Michael Jackson – sometimes described as Prince’s rival in the 1980s – was mourned with a star-studded concert in Los Angeles in 2009 with his gold-plated casket in front of the stage.
Perhaps the best-known tribute concert in rock history was for Queen singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1992 of complications from AIDS. The show, featuring a who’s who of stars from Bowie to George Michael to Metallica, was broadcast internationally from London’s Wembley Stadium to raise money for AIDS research.
While the financial aspects of the Prince tribute are not yet known, it could be a boon to his family amid questions over the future of his estate.
Prince, who was outwardly a model of health, did not leave a will and had no recognized children. Tyka Nelson is his closest relative and he also had five living half-siblings, but a number of other people have also claimed to be heirs.
The family put a professional administrator in charge of Prince’s affairs. A judge in June gave the green light for the service to pursue business deals, saying the estate likely risked a shortfall in cash needed to pay taxes in the wake of Prince’s death.
A judge recently ordered genetic testing that could ascertain two more heirs to Prince’s estate, but a diverse array of characters have also staked claims.
The court in suburban Carver County on Wednesday received a petition from a man in southern California, Rodney Dixon, who asked the judge to prohibit any immediate selling of assets and to consider interested parties other than family heirs.
Dixon has told the court that he spoke to Prince in 1982 on his tour bus and that they had a “meeting of the minds” that the singer would in effect give him everything he had.
Dixon, who said he was a college basketball player at the time, is seeking control of copyright to all of Prince’s output as well as $1 billion – a figure far above estimates of Prince’s net worth, which is usually put in the hundreds of millions of dollars. – Rappler.com