Prince's one-year death anniversary marked by celebration - and also controversy

Prince's Paisley Park estate - opened since his death to paid tours - was the centre of festivities with plans for concerts, panel talks and a dance party to the infectious funk of the Purple Rain star.
Prince's Paisley Park estate - opened since his death to paid tours - was the centre of festivities with plans for concerts, panel talks and a dance party to the infectious funk of the Purple Rain star.PHOTO: AFP

MINNEAPOLIS (AFP) - Prince's purple-clad fans were converging today on Minnesota for a celebration of the pop legend one year after his sudden death.

But discord over commercialisation of his legacy clouded the occasion.

Prince's Paisley Park estate - opened since his death to paid tours - was the centre of festivities with plans for concerts, panel talks and a dance party to the infectious funk of the Purple Rain star.

George Clinton, the 75-year-old whose popularisation of funk music in the 1970s helped pave the way for Prince, opened the ticketed Celebration at Paisley Park.

Bridges, stadiums and other landmarks in Minneapolis and adjacent St Paul were being lit up purple for two nights in tribute to Prince, who despite his international fame had happily stayed in his home town.

 
 

But his commercial legacy remains mired in controversy. He died at 57 from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers and left no will or children, although dozens quickly came forward to claim they were heirs.

A judge also ordered a temporary halt on a six-song EP of Prince entitled Deliverance that was due for release today.

George Boxill, a sound engineer who worked with Prince, had arranged for the release of the music recorded from 2006 to 2008, with the title track already out this week.

Putting the EP on an independent label, Boxill said he was respecting the wishes of the star who long battled the music industry and that most proceeds would go to the estate.

But the estate objected, accusing Boxill of seeking to profit and saying that he did not have the right to release the music on his own.