'Most beloved' of Prince family, friends bid farewell
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Family and friends of Prince said a "loving goodbye" to the music icon on Saturday in a small private ceremony after his remains had been cremated.
His publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said the celebration of his life included his "most beloved" family, friends and musicians. She said a musical celebration will be held at a future date.
The list of people who attended was not announced, but Prince's sister Tyka Nelson and brother-in-law Maurice Phillips were seen on the grounds of Prince's estate Paisley Park, as well as friends such as percussionist Sheila E. and bassist Larry Graham.
Some of the hundreds of fans who congregated at Paisley Park Saturday got a memento of Prince. People emerged from the estate and handed out round purple boxes containing a color photo of Prince and a black T-shirt with "3121" printed on it in white the numbers were the title of a Prince album.
Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator Thursday at Paisley Park, and an autopsy was done Friday. But authorities have not released a cause of death and have said results could take days or weeks.
The publicist's brief statement repeated that the cause of Prince's death was unknown and said autopsy results wouldn't be received for at least four weeks.
The statement said the "final storage" of Prince's remains would be private.
"We ask for your blessings and prayers of comfort for his family and close friends at this time," the statement said.
Prince was last seen alive by an acquaintance who dropped him off at Paisley Park at 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson. The "Purple Rain" star, born Prince Rogers Nelson, was found by staff members who went to the compound in Chanhassen, about 20 miles outside Minneapolis, the next morning when they couldn't reach him by phone.
Emergency crews who answered the 911 call could not revive Prince, the sheriff said.
Prince's death came two weeks after he canceled concerts in Atlanta, saying he wasn't feeling well. He played a pair of makeup shows April 14 in that city, apologizing to the crowd shortly after coming on stage.
Early in the first show, he briefly disappeared from the stage without explanation. After about a minute he returned and apologized, saying he didn't realize how emotional the songs could be. He played the rest of the show without incident and performed three encores.
In the later show, he coughed a few times, though the show was again energetic.
Prince was slated to perform two shows earlier this week at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis but canceled last week because of health concerns.
Sheila E. has told the AP that Prince had physical issues from performing, citing hip and knee problems that she said came from years of jumping off risers and stage speakers in heels. But she said she hadn't talked directly with him in several months.