John R. “Johnny” Nelson, the eldest half-brother of the late legendary Prince, has died, the family has announced.
Prince Rogers Nelson had eight siblings, and one of the surviving sisters made the announcement via Twitter on Sept. 3, 2021. No cause of death has been revealed.
Sharon L. Nelson, the eldest sister, said that Johnny Nelson worked hard “to help preserve Prince’s legacy.”
It is with great sadness, we announce that our beloved brother Johnny R. Nelson received his Heavenly wings tonight at 7:47PM. Johnny’s loving personality and spirit shined brightly, and he fought hard to help preserve Prince's legacy
We will miss you Johnny. Love Sharon💜💜💜 pic.twitter.com/DCDpSRYMKV
— Sharon L. Nelson (@Sharon_L_Nelson) September 4, 2021
Johnny Nelson was the eldest son of Prince’s father John L. Nelson and his first wife. His death comes two years after the death of another older half-brother of Prince’s, Alfred Jackson, at age 66. Jackson was the son of Prince’s biological mother, Mattie Della Shaw, from her previous marriage.
The Purple Rain mastermind has four surviving siblings: Sharon, full sister Tyka, half-brother Omarr Baker and half-sister Norrine Nelson.
Two others siblings predeceased Prince: half-sister Lorna Nelson died at 63 in 2006, and half-brother Duane Nelson died at age 52 in 2011.
Prince, widely considered one of the greatest and most versatile musicians of all time, died on April 21, 2016, at age 57 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid pain medication. Prince wrote, composed, produced and sang on 40 albums, five soundtracks, five compilation albums and sold well over 100 million records worldwide, according to Billboard magazine.