Prince’s Sister Tyka Nelson Says Late Icon Kept Avoiding Questions During Their Last Phone Call ‘Talk to Me’

Prince’s Sister Tyka Nelson Says Late Icon Kept Avoiding Questions During Their Last Phone Call ‘Talk to Me’

Tyka Nelson, the sister of the legendary musician Prince, recently opened up about her final interactions with her brother before his untimely death. In a heartfelt interview with the Star Tribune, Nelson shared poignant memories of their last phone call and the final time she saw him in person. Prince, who passed away from an opioid overdose in April 2016 at the age of 57, left a lasting impact on his family and fans worldwide.

Nelson, a singer-songwriter herself, is preparing for what she describes as her farewell performance at the Dakota in Minneapolis on June 7, coinciding with what would have been Prince’s 66th birthday. This performance marks her first show since 2018 and her first time singing in her hometown in over 15 years. As she reflects on her career and her relationship with her brother, Nelson is also contemplating stepping back from her public role as Prince’s sister, citing her advancing age.

During the interview, Nelson recounted the last phone conversation she had with Prince, which took place just four days before his death. She described how Prince kept deflecting her questions, making jokes, and changing the subject. “He kept avoiding questions. I kept getting mad,” she said. “I felt like, ‘Talk to me for two seconds.’ He’d change the subject, make a joke, and then we’d both laugh.”

Prince also asked Nelson to find more information about their family during that call, specifically requesting their sister Sharon’s number. Nelson complied without questioning his motives, reflecting on how Prince’s requests often came without explanation.

The last time Nelson saw her brother was during his hospitalization in April 2016, after his private plane made an emergency landing. She recalled a moment when a woman wanted to hug Prince, and Nelson instinctively stepped in to protect him. “The bodyguards came over and got her. Prince looked at me [like], ‘What you gonna do?’ So that made us smile,” she remembered.

Nelson, who is currently working on a memoir about her family, shared that she was unaware of any illnesses Prince might have had but noticed he had lost some weight during their final encounter. She expressed frustration that Prince didn’t open up about his health, despite her concerns. “A couple of times, I said, ‘How are you really?’ He didn’t go into anything with me. That was bothering me, and he knew it was, but that was all he wanted to tell me,” she said.

Following Prince’s death, his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, confirmed the news in a statement, expressing profound sadness. It was later revealed that Prince’s death was caused by “fentanyl toxicity,” with the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office stating that he had self-administered the drug.

In the wake of her brother’s passing, Nelson honored his legacy with an emotional speech at the 2016 American Music Awards. Accepting a posthumous award for Prince’s iconic album “Purple Rain,” she highlighted his courage and vision, stating, “Prince defied the odds. A Black teen from Minneapolis with a goal to electrify the world, he had the courage to be different. With his vision [and] God-given talent, he is still one of the world’s most respected and loved artists.”

As Nelson prepares for her upcoming performance, she continues to cherish the memories of her brother and the bond they shared. Her reflections offer a glimpse into the personal side of the music icon, revealing the complexities and love that defined their relationship.

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