Saturday, August 13, 2022

Morris Day Calls Out Prince’s Estate for Prohibiting Him from Using ‘the Time’

Morris Day on stage
Musician Morris Day performs onstage with The Time during KISS 104.1 Flashback 2019 Festival Series at Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre on May 26, 2019 in Mableton, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

*Music legend Morris Day claims the Prince estate is prohibiting him from using “Morris Day & the Time” as a band name. 

Day has been the group’s frontman for four decades. 

“Now that Prince is no longer is with us, suddenly the people who control his multi-million-dollar estate want to rewrite history by taking my name away from me,” Day wrote on Facebook, accusing the estate of “impacting how I feed my family.”

As reported by Star Tribune, representatives of Prince’s estate say Day’s claims in posts Thursday on social media, including Instagram, are “not entirely accurate.”

“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,” the estate said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “The Estate is open to working proactively with Morris to resolve this matter.”

READ MORE: EUR VIDEO THROWBACK: Prince Recorded ‘When Doves Cry’ 2 Days After Losing Grammy to Michael Jackson

Morris Day Instagram
Morris Day / Instagram

An attorney for the three Prince siblings was surprised by Day’s claim. 

“There was no discussion of this with the heirs,” said L. Londell McMillan, adding: “Comerica is very odd in how they do things.”

According to the report, McMillan once worked with Prince and he currently represents Prince’s sisters Sharon Nelson and Norrine Nelson and the estate of brother John “Johnny” Nelson, who died Sept. 3. McMillan reacted to Day’s claim in a post on Twitter, writing: “I support Morris Day,” adding the hashtag #LetMorrisDayUseName.

Here’s more from Star Tribune:

Prince famously created the Time in 1981, serving as producer and songwriter under the pseudonym Jamie Starr. The group scored a series of R&B hits including “Cool” and “Jungle Love” and was featured prominently in two Prince movies, “Purple Rain” in 1984 and “Graffiti Bridge” in 1990.

Prince retained rights to the band’s name. When its original members, including producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, reunited with Day for the 2011 album “Condensate,” Prince would not let them release it as the Time, so they recorded and performed as the Original 7ven instead. However, the lead singer has continued performing as Morris Day and the Time, a lineup that includes founding drummer Jellybean Johnson.

In his Facebook post, Day noted that he deserves ownership of the name: “I’ve given 40 years of my life to building up a name and legacy that Prince and I came up with. A name that when he was alive, he had no problem with me using. I literally put my blood, sweat and tears into bringing value to that name.”

The singer also pointed out that Prince booked “Morris Day and the Time” many times to perform at Paisley Park.

According to the report, Day said his post “created a storm of response.”

“Everything’s kind of crazy,” when contacted by phone, per the report. “I don’t want to talk about it right now. There will be a time when it’s appropriate to talk.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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