According to Prince’s family a public memorial is in the works, however, a small one for close friends has been held on 11 May in Beverley Hills. Mayte Garcia and Manuella Testolini, who were each married to Prince in 1996-2000 and 2001-2006 respectfully, hosted the event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre. The event was unofficial and some members of Prince’s family were unaware of this being planned and were uninvited. The family themselves say that a public memorial service is being planned for August and that his remains have not yet been laid to rest. Guests included Spoke Lee, Nile Rodgers, Mavis Staples, Janelle Monáe.
The memorial came on the same day officials in Minnesota had introduced a bill that’s been dubbed the Prince Act (officially the Personal Rights In Names Can Endure law) to control the commercial use of the deceased individual’s image or voice.
The law, brought in result of Prince’s death and that he left no last will and testament to manage his estate, is being rushed through the Minnesota senate because it only has two more weeks remaining in the current session. It is intended to protect the decease individual’s estate by controlling the commercial use of the person’s image, voice and publicity for a period of a minimum of 50 years, even for perpetuity, after the the person’s death (far and beyond the duration imposed by existing copyright law). His image would be subject to a ‘fair use’ in circumstances such as news reporting.
The bill, however, faced criticism (and has since been withdrawn) due to the speed it was being rushed into law. Critics argued it’s vague wording risked unintended consequences on fans and did not properly define what would be permitted as legitimate and fair use even beyond the minimum 50-year period.
The order of service at Wednesday’s memorial gathering was as follows:
- Musical intro Sometimes It Snows In April, played by Greg Phillinganes (Michael Jackson’s former keyboardist)
- Opening remarks by the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
- Video of Prince’s acceptance of his Oscar
- Venus de Milo, played by Greg Phillinganes
- Musical Tribute (video)
- Reflections by Michael Testolini, Morris Hayes, Spike Lee and Nile Rodgers
- Musical performance by Esparanza Spalding
- Reflections by Susannah & Wendy Melvoin, and Mayte Garcia
- Final thoughts by Manuela Testolini and Omar Baker
- Video – a celebration of life
- Closing remarks by Rev Michael Bernard Beckworth
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