Prince’s ex-wives Manuela Testolini and Mayte Garcia have paid tribute to the late music star by organizing a special memorial service overnight (May 11) at Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The memorial featured messages from the likes of Nile Rodgers; Mavis Staples; Recording Academy president Neil Portnow; Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and Spike Lee, and performances from Esperanza Spalding and Janelle Monae.
Testolini, Garcia, ?Omarr Baker (the son of Prince’s mother, Mattie, and her second husband, Hayward Baker) and others reflected on their time with Prince, who died April 21 at his Paisley Park home and studio in Minneapolis.
Sources tell Billboard a performance of “Sometimes it Snows in April” by keyboardist Greg Phillinganes opened what has been described as a sombre occasion.
Spike Lee told guests another Brooklyn event would be hosted in Prince’s honor on June 7, the date Prince would have turned 58. The movie director dressed in purple from head to toe in honor of the music master. In the leadup to the private gathering, the movie director offered a glimpse at his purple ensemble in an Instagram post. “Purple beret and purple Kobe’s for Prince memorial tonight in El Lay,” he wrote.
Prince’s six surviving siblings said in a statement last Friday (May 6) that, contrary to reports, no public memorial, funeral or tribute service has been organized or authorized by his family or Paisley Park representatives. The cause of the artist’s death remains under investigation.