The estate of the legendary artist who changed his name in protest of record industry politics has allegedly prevented another artist from using their best-known band name.
In a surprising Facebook post published March 3, Morris Day - frontman of Prince-created/produced funk outfit The Time - claims the late artist's estate is preventing him from utilizing his band name. "I've given 40 years of my life building up a name and legacy that Prince and I came up with," the statement read in part. "I literally put my blood, sweat, and tears into bringing value to that name...However, now that Prince is no longer with us - suddenly, the people who control his multi-million dollar estate, want to rewrite history by taking my name from me, thus impacting how I feed my family."
Day's relationship with the band name is, in some ways, as complicated as his character's relationship with The Kid in Purple Rain. Day, a high school classmate of Prince's, fronted The Time from 1981 to 1984 - a consistent presence through line-up changes and the veritable star of the group in Prince's blockbuster hit film - before they broke up. Prince, Day and the original line-up came together again in 1990 for the ill-received Purple Rain sequel Graffiti Bridge and the album Pandemonium, featuring the hit single "Jerk Out."
Since then, Day has been the most consistent member of the group, billed as Morris Day & The Time in everything from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back to The Artist's Rave Un2 The Year 2000 pay-per-view special. In 2007, the original line-up again reunited, but this time, Prince in fact forbade the group from performing as The Time. (They nonetheless released an album, 2011's Condensate, as The Original 7ven.)
For their part, Prince's estate contradicted Day's claims in a statement of their own. “Given Prince’s longstanding history with Morris Day and what the Estate thought were amicable discussions, The Prince Estate was surprised and disappointed to see his recent post," their statement read. "The Estate is open to working proactively with Morris to resolve this matter. However, the information that he shared is not entirely accurate.” Hopefully, this dispute clears up...in due time.