Prince Estate Urged to ‘Do the Right Thing’ in Morris Day’s ‘The Time’ Dispute
Morris Day's public sparring match with the Prince Estate to use the name Morris Day and the Time has garnered support from a crucial party: Primary Wave, the music industry group that owns a 50 percent stake in the late musician’s estate.
Earlier this week, Day released a statement claiming he was no longer allowed to use the name Morris Day and the Time "in any capacity." He accused the Prince Estate of "[wanting] to rewrite history by taking my name away from me, thus impacting how I feed my family," after he had "given 40 years of my life building up a name and legacy that Prince and I came up with."
Because Prince died without a will, his estate is currently under the control of Comerica Bank, which was appointed to oversee the legal proceedings involving his assets. The lengthy proceedings are set to end later this year. Yesterday, Primary Wave released a statement imploring the bank to grant Day permission to use the Time name.
"We have reached out to Comerica to let them know that we do not agree with their decision and believe they should do the right thing here, which is to let Morris Day continue to use the name," Primary Wave said (via Billboard). "Morris Day has Primary Wave's full support." The company also noted that it "does not currently have any say in the affairs of the estate."
Day also received public support from L. Londell McMillan, an attorney who represents the heirs who will control the other half of Prince’s estate. "Comerica and their advisors currently run the Prince Estate," he tweeted. "I think this is horrible. I support Morris Day [100 percent]. We cannot wait to take over the Estate from those in charge. Hopefully soon."
The Prince Estate, for its part, has refuted Day's version of events. "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. "The Estate is open to working proactively with Morris to resolve this matter. However, the information that he shared is not entirely accurate."
Formed in 1981, the Time marked Prince's first instance of recruiting and producing another artist. He built the group around Day, who was his high school classmate. The Time released four albums between 1981 and 1990 and broke up in the early '90s. Day continued touring as Morris Day and the Time, even as Prince retained the rights to the band name. In 2011, Day and his original Time bandmates released the album Condensate under the name the Original 7ven.
Day released another statement yesterday thanking fans for their support. "I want to thank everyone for their thoughts & support regarding this estate matter," he wrote. "I felt all of your love and energy yesterday, and I look forward to your continued support until we find resolve. Thank you!!"