By Victor Ochieng
The world learned of the death of singer Prince with great shock that left many fans feelings devastated. The singer died on Thursday, and on Friday, his half brother Duane Nelson also died at the age of 52.
Duane used to work for his multitalented brother Prince at Paisley Park as the security chief.
A report by Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s chief investigator Don Gorrie said Duane was found dead in his apartment. Gorrie further revealed that the autopsy was already done, although further investigations are being conducted to ascertain the cause of his death. He also confirmed that Duane was rightly described as “a very large man” although “not big a guy.”
Tyka Phillips, Prince’s real sister, paid respects to Duane on Twitter, saying, “All Glory & Honor 2 God — We Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the kind words, e-mails, etc. of condolences. My brother Duane has gone to be with God — He is in a better place. Please respect our Family’s privacy at this time of mourning.”
Prince’s friend Sheila E., who also at times worked as Prince’s drummer, tweeted, saying, “Prayers go out to Prince’s family for the loss of his brother Duane, who was an awesome man” and included a link to Phillips message.
Back in the 1990s, Nelson had several run ins with the law. In 1994, Duane was slapped with assault charges in Carver County after he was accused of hitting his former girlfriend who’d gone to Paisley for a Prince concert. Later in 1997, he ended up in Hennepin County Jail after he got involved in an altercation with process servers and his neighbors.
While in jail, he apparently made a call to Prince’s other sibling called Lorna Nelson, who passed on in 2006, saying, “Please, if you could get me out of here tomorrow, then I could think again.”
It’s reported that around the time that Duane was in jail, there was a prevailing restraining order against him filed by Prince, which could be the reason he didn’t reach out to the singer directly to bail him out, said Lorna.
The memorial service for Duane was held on Saturday at Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis. It’s the same church where his half brother Prince had tied the knot with his first wife Mayte Garcia.
Duane’s obituary says he’s survived by a child, a grandchild and his sisters and brothers.