Larry Graham Honors Prince at Jehovah’s Witness Memorial
Sly and the Family Stone musician Larry Graham honored his late friend Prince during a private memorial at his Jehovah’s Witness church on Sunday. The Purple Rain star passed away last month and the congregation at Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Minnetonka, Minnesota was able to pay its own tribute to the icon, who worshipped there frequently.
The invitation-only event included both local parishioners and high-profile guests, including Graham, the soul bassist who was Prince’s spiritual mentor and introduced the star to the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith. In the memorial’s program, it lists Graham under an “interview,” in between prayers and tribute songs. Prince’s lyrics from his song “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed” were printed on the back of the pamphlet: “If I were to ever write down my life story, I could truly say with all the fame and glory, I was just a piece of clay in need of the potter’s hand.” Shortly after Prince’s passing, Graham shared he was extremely proud of his close friend’s professional success, but more so that he was able to share his faith with others. “His joy – his biggest joy – was sharing the hope of everlasting life,” Graham said. Comedian Sinbad was reportedly on hand for the exclusive memorial as well, but Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson previously insisted the singer’s family wouldn’t be involved, and wouldn’t allow his remains to be part of the service. “I nor my brother’s remains will be present at any Memorial or Funeral services,” she wrote on Facebook, according to TMZ. The event came days after Prince’s two ex-wives, Manuela Testolini and Mayte Garcia, united for a star-studded memorial in Beverly Hills, where celebrity guests included Dita Von Teese, Spike Lee, Herbie Hancock and Tavis Smiley.