Friends and family gathered over the weekend at Prince’s Chanhassen, Minnesota, mansion — dubbed Paisley Park — to remember the music legend a few days after his sudden death. Among those in attendance was Sheila E., a longtime muse/musical collaborator of the Grammy award winner, who spoke out about the “somber” memorial and more.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sheila E., 58, said that the event was intensely emotional for everyone involved. She told the publication that around 20 people were invited to Prince’s former home, where they quietly listened to his hits. Everyone at the memorial seemed to be “[in] disbelief,” she said.
“What was challenging yesterday was listening to his music at a very low soft volume and the room very low in lights and everyone just taking a moment, just sitting there, kind of going, ‘Wow,’ [in] disbelief.”
Sheila E. also shared an update on the future of Prince’s estate, revealing that those in the musician’s inner circle are working to get Paisley Park made into a museum of sorts. Sheila told ET that Prince had been working toward that goal, “gathering memorabilia and stuff” to be displayed long after his life ended.
“There’s a hallway of his awards and things, which he really didn’t care about too much, but he displayed it for the fans because he knows that they would want to see it,” she revealed. “There’s pictures of him all down the halls, some you’ve seen before and some never [seen]…There’s a mural on the wall with his hands out and on one side is all the people he was influenced by and on the other side is all of us who have played with him…It’s beautiful.”
On Saturday, ET reported that mourners began arriving at Paisley Park around 2 p.m. CDT. Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, as well as close friends and family members Maurice Phillips, Van Jones, Judith Hill, Larry Graham and Damaris Lewis were all seen making their way inside. Fans, too, gathered outside the mansion, creating a memorial of their own. His family handed out purple boxes filled with tour merchandise, vintage concert T-shirts and booklets from past tours. Tyka reportedly briefly addressed mourners outside Prince’s home, thanking them for loving her brother.
Prince died April 21 at the age of 57. His cause of death remains unknown, but there has been no shortage of speculation. It was initially reported that his passing may have been a result of complications from the flu, for which he was treated a few days before his death. TV personality Dr. Drew Pinsky, however, has other thoughts on the matter. In an interview with Billboard magazine, he suggested Prince may have accidentally overdosed, pointing to the recent incident when the “Purple Rain” singer’s plane was forced to make an emergency landing. Pilots “don’t land planes for the flu,” he said.