Birthday: May 18, 1960
Lyricists & Songwriters
Age: 60 Years, 60 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Taurus
Also Known As: Tyka Evene Nelson
Born Country: United States
Born in: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Famous as: Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Maurice Phillips
father: John L. Nelson
mother: John L. Nelson
siblings: Alfred Jackson, Duane Nelson, John R. Nelson, Lorna L. Nelson, Norrine Nelson, Omarr Baker, Prince, Sharon L. Nelson
City: Minneapolis, Minnesota
U.S. State: Minnesota
Tyka Nelson is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She is best known as the younger sister of the late singer, performer, actor, and producer Prince. Nelson was born into a family of musicians. Hence, both she and Prince were born with the talent. However, Nelson went through a lot in her life and career before she could make a name for herself in the music industry. She had a troubled childhood, which led to her taking to substance abuse in her teenage years. She ran away from her home to Los Angeles, California, to start a career in music but attained little success. Her drug and drinking problems continued. She even resorted to prostitution to support herself and her children. However, in 2008, after she overcame her addiction issues with her brother's help. Following this, she revived her life and her career.
Childhood & Early Life
Tyka was born on May 18, 1960, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., to Mattie Della (nee, Shaw) and John L. Nelson. Mattie was a jazz singer, and John was a pianist and songwriter.
All her grandparents were from the state of Louisiana in the U.S.
Legendary singer, songwriter, musician, dancer, actor, record producer, and filmmaker Prince Rogers Nelson, famously known as “Prince,” was her elder brother. The siblings were born around 2 years apart.
She and her brother were interested in music since childhood, and their father encouraged their passion. She began singing when she was 2 years old.
Her half-siblings from her father's previous marriage to Vivian Nelson, namely, Sharon, Norrine, Lorna, Duane, and John, were all elder to her. She had another half-sibling, her older half-brother from her mother’s side, Alfred Frank Alonzo.
Her parents legally separated when she was 8. Her mother then married Hayward Baker and had a son, Omarr Baker, Nelson's younger half-brother.
She grew up listening to Mahila Jackson and the practice sessions of funk bands such as 'Flyte Time,' who rehearsed near her house. By the time she was 10 years old, she had started writing songs.
She was a member of a dance group in her childhood. However, the talented and promising Tyka Nelson was soon addicted to drugs.
As a child, she had low self-esteem. She was upset about being overweight, and people called her ugly and fat. Her brother thought she was crazy.
She attended the 'University of the Holy Spirit.'
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When Nelson's brother struck a record deal, she had run away from home. She reached Los Angeles, California, with her collection of lyrics. She could also play four instruments: the piano, the guitar, the bass, and the clarinet. Unfortunately, she failed to establish a career as a successful artist.
She became part of the 2000-member-strong 'Bethany Apostolic Pentecostal Church' and joined its well-known choir.
She released her first album, 'Royal Blue,' in 1988. The song 'Marc Anthony's Tune' from the album made to the 33rd position on the ‘Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop’ chart.
Her second album, ‘Moon Yellow, Red Sky,' was produced in 1992.
After recovering from her addiction to drugs and alcohol, with her brother's support, she revived her musical career. She came up with the gospel album 'A Brand New Me' in 2008, which she performed and recorded in her bedroom.
Along with musicians from the 'Faith Pentecostal Church,' she created a live band named 'The Word' and performed at the CD release party of 'A Brand New Me' on December 12, 2008, at the 'Bunker's Bar & Grill,' on North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis.
Three years later, in 2011, she released her fourth album, 'Hustler.’
She released a single written by 'The End of the Road' in 2017, which was part of the EP ‘Enlightened.'
In mid-2018, she conducted the tour titled 'Nothing Compares 2 Prince,' across various locations in Australia, such as the 'Sydney Opera House' in Sydney and 'Hammer Hall' in Melbourne. She took this initiative to honor her late brother and sang songs from his albums.
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Her Relationship with Prince
Born to parents who were associated with the music industry, both Nelson and her brother, Prince, had an early exposure to the art. However, as revealed by her later, their relationship was not always cordial and was mostly fluctuating.
She has claimed that her brother thought she was crazy in her childhood.
When her brother started gaining fame, she had already left for Los Angeles. However, she did not taste success and returned to Minneapolis soon.
Her brother helped her overcome her issues with drugs and alcohol.
Whenever she developed new projects, he offered his studio, 'Paisley Park,' for her to record. However, she rejected his offer.
A self-respecting woman, she wanted to make a career in music all by herself and not with her brother's help. She claimed that though she loved her brother, she was not his yo-yo that he could spin her in and out of his life.
As Prince passed away on April 21, 2016, she became his only surviving full-blooded biological sibling.
The same year, she accepted the 'American Music Award' for the “Top Soundtrack” on his behalf.
The song 'The End of the Road' was inspired by the three most incredible people in her life, her father, mother, and brother. The song was a birthday present to her late brother and a fulfillment of his wish that she record a song at his studio, 'Paisley Park.' The music video of the song was created by her and released in 2017.
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Her Australian tour 'Nothing Compares 2 Prince' showcased some of the talented musicians who had partnered with Prince. She chose to perform songs from four of his albums that were released between 1988 and 2011.
Having exposed herself to drugs early in her teenage years, she had become an addict later. For a long time, she was addicted to crack cocaine. She had pledged the car gifted by her brother and had sold her children's TV to buy drugs.
To support her family, she went to the extent of resorting to prostitution. She was not in a position to afford basic needs such as food and diapers for her kids.
Her brother signed her up for a rehabilitation program. By 2008, she had completed the course and was a renewed person.
She claimed that her brother had hinted about the end of his life 3 years before his death.
Family & Personal Life
Nelson is married to Maurice Phillips.
She has six children: three daughters, Danielle Phillips, Crystal Phillips, and Chelsea Phillips, and three sons, Rachard Phillips, Sir Montece Laeil, and President LenNard Nelson.
A devout Christian, she claims that she relies on Jesus.
She currently lives in a house owned by her brother in Minneapolis.
She has been declared as one of the heirs of her brother's estate worth millions, which include his real estate and music rights.
Nelson composed the song 'Marc Anthony's Tune' because she was infatuated by the singer.