The Purple Rain singer was found unresponsive in his Paisley Park Studios elevator on Thursday, April 21, his sudden departure rocking the world with grief.
Prince is survived by his 55-year-old sister, who may or may not gain access to his estate depending on whether the artist had a will. Here’s what you need to know about Tyka, courtesy of PEOPLE.
On the possibIlity of Tyka inheriting the estate:
Tyka is Prince’s only full biological sibling. The 7-time Grammy winner was preceded in death by both of his parents John L. Nelson and Mattie Shaw, who divorced in 1966 when Tyka was 6 and Prince was 8. With their parents deceased, Tyka is Prince’s closest living relative.
On Tyka being a musician like her bother:
Like Prince and her jazz musician parents, Tyka has a love for music. According to a 2008 interview with City Pages, she began writing songs when she was 10 and “hasn’t collaborated” with her brother Prince since they were young. During her music career, Tyka released six albums with the most recent one in 2008, a gospel album titled A Brand New Me. The mother of two also plays 4 different instruments: piano, guitar, bass and clarinet.
On Tyka battling drug addiction and bouncing back from prostitution:
Tyka battled an addiction to crack cocaine and prostituted herself to support her children, according to the September 23, 2003, issue of The National Enquirer. “I was a single mother and my boys were babies. I sold my body for food, money and pampers. I pawned the car Prince had given me and sold the kids’ TV for drugs,” she said in the “exclusive interview.” In the early 2000s, Prince entered Tyka into a rehab program, and in 2008 reignited her music career after getting sober.
On her estranged relationship with Prince:
In her interview with City Pages, Tyka described her childhood in Minnesota. “I was the overweight kid who didn’t have a boyfriend. I listened to other people say, ‘You’re ugly, you’re fat, you’re stupid,’ and I believed it,” she said. “My brother, he just thought I was crazy.” The siblings had a strained relationship early in Prince’s career. “I love my brother. But I’m not a yo-yo. He can’t just keep spinning me in and out of his life,” she shared with The National Enquirerin 2003.