Prince’s half-brother talks about their childhood, ‘the vault’ and the unreleased music
MINNEAPOLIS — Prince’s half-brother Alfred Jackson stands to inherit part of Prince’s vast estate, but he wants the public to benefit from it, too.
He says if he had it his way, any music Prince wrote or produced that has been hidden away should be released to the public.
“(To) let people know how great he really is,” Jackson said.
But Jackson knows it isn’t just up to him.
“That is something I haven’t talked about with my family yet,” he said.
The music could generate large amounts of money for the estate.
It might seem odd that Jackson hasn’t discussed the idea with his other half siblings, who will all have a say in how to preserve Prince’s legacy.
That may give you a clue as to the tensions that have arisen among family members as they begin the legal wrangling over Prince’s estate and fortune.
Prince’s only full sibling, sister Tyka Nelson, has filed legal documents stating the late superstar did not have a will. Without one, Minnesota law states that his estate would go to his sister and his half-siblings.
The family has a probate hearing in a Minneapolis court Monday to begin sorting out what will happen to the musician’s estate.
‘Hurt and surprised’
Jackson and Prince have the same mother but different fathers. The half-brothers grew up together in Minneapolis trying to outdo each other in sports. Jackson was five years older but in awe of his little brother’s talent.
“He was always faster than me because he was so small; I couldn’t catch up with him running, “Jackson said chuckling.
“I was proud of him because he was also a better piano player than me.”
Though Jackson lived in Minnesota most of his life, the two eventually lost touch. He found out Prince had died the same way the public found out.
“I heard it over the news and right away, I called my sister, and you know, and found out it was true,” Jackson said. “I started crying deeply. I still ain’t over with it completely.”
Which is why Jackson was so hurt when he says he wasn’t invited to the private memorial to say his goodbye to his younger brother.
“To tell you the truth about it, the first memorial, the family never contacted me and that’s all I can say,” Jackson said, adding that he was “hurt and surprised” by it.
With his attorney beside him, Jackson was guarded with his comments about his brother and what has transpired between him, and his half-sister Tyka Nelson and half-brother Omar Baker.
But it is clear that dealing with the estate has created friction. A source with first-hand knowledge of the discussions about Prince’s estate said the initial meeting between the siblings was contentious and ended in shouting. Neither Jackson nor his attorney would say who exploded in anger, except to note that it was not Jackson.
“All I can do is reach out and try to touch my younger family with a good heart,” Jackson said. “If they don’t want to accept me then I just stay away and just keep trying.”
Jackson’s attorney Frank Wheaton says Jackson, like any sibling half or full, is entitled to the exact same compensation. That is the law in Minnesota.
“Since he’s had an opportunity to meet with his sister and meet with his brother, those wounds we hope will have mended somewhat. And we’re hoping from this point forward that the olive branch that we extended will be received in the manner it was intended,” Wheaton said.
Rumored vault is really there
Jackson and Wheaton were granted a two-hour supervised tour of Prince’s estate at Paisley Park. It turns out the rumored vault that has been the source of so much attention does, in fact, exist, according to them.
“We seen the vault door but we never entered,” Wheaton said.
What we still don’t know is what’s in it. While media reports have swirled about the vault being drilled and opened, Wheaton said that is pure speculation.
“I don’t believe that there is any truth, not one scintilla of truth to that statement.” Wheaton said. “I don’t think there is any truth to that rumor.”
For Jackson, the tour was about saying goodbye.
“I was hoping that he was still living. I wanted him to still be with me.”
The one thing beside the vault that Jackson recalled as he made the emotional tour through Paisley Park?
“His motorcycle,” he said. And, true to the past competitive fun he and his half-brother shared as kids, Jackson added “that he couldn’t out run me on.”