New Details on Prince’s ‘Emotional’ Memorial Service Reveals It Was Both ‘Happy and Somber’



Many big name celebrities gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate the life of Prince at a private memorial service held Wednesday. Much like the late icon’s personal life, details of the gathering were closely guarded and remained that way until May 11 arrived.

ET Online reports Prince’s ex-wives, Manuela Testolini and Mayte Garcia, organized the ceremony, which took place at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The service program reveals musician Greg Phillinganes started it off with a performance of “Sometimes It Snows in April.” A video of Prince’s 1985 Oscar win played and several reflections and tributes were given by many of the late singer’s famous pals. They included PBS host Tavis Smiley and film director Spike Lee. Omarr Baker, the musician’s step-brother, was the closest relative to attend.

Lee donned a purple beret and purple sneakers to honor the icon. He shared a photo of the apparel on Instagram before the four-hour event.

Other notable stars who paid their respects included singer Eric Benet, Prince’s band The Revolution, musician Nile Rodgers and singer Herbie Hancock. About 80 to 90 people showed up in total. Men wore white flowers pinned to their suits and many guests combined black and purple color schemes, according to E! News.

Cat Glover is a choreographer and singer who worked with Prince, who died April 21 at age 57.

“Tonight is so beautiful to see all these great celebrities and speakers and professors and musicians come together,” she tells E“And they’re so humble. And what they did tonight was amazing. As a matter of fact that’s why I’m out here ’cause I was crying. It’s just too emotional. Everything was so beautiful.”
Glover added  that even though there were tears, the event was still a “celebration.”
“Happy, heavenly, beautiful, somber. It is a celebration,” she said to the media outlet. “Although people may cry, we cry and we laugh but, yeah. It’s a celebration.”
The memorial service comes after another so-called relative has come forward to claim they are entitled to a portion of Prince’s $300 million fortune. RollingOut reports attorney Mike Padden filed documents stating that Prince’s deceased half-brother, Duane Nelson, Sr., has a granddaughter who is eligible to claim an inheritance. Padden is looking to get the 11-year-old’s blood tested as sources say Prince’s full sister, Tyka Nelson, omitted Duane from the probate proceedings. Sources say some family members doubt Duane is related to the late icon, and they question the granddaughter’s relation, too.

Amid the alleged relative reports, Billboard reports that Madonna will perform a tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC. No details on the set have been announced.

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