The Truth About Prince's Sister, Tyka Nelson

In the wake of Prince's sudden and tragic death, much of the media's attention has turned to his closest relative and younger sister, Tyka Nelson, who now stands to inherit part of his fortune. Just who is Tyka Nelson? From prostitution to rehab, find out why her life was, at times, the polar opposite of her rich and famous brother.

She's battling it out over Prince's fortune

When word emerged that Prince may not have had a will, speculation began over who might inherit his fortune, reportedly worth "at least $250 million," according to People. All signs immediately pointed to Tyka, who is Prince's closest blood relative. (Prince's parents, who divorced in 1966, are both deceased.) Tyka filed an emergency petition "for the appointment of a special administrator," People reported. "I do not know of the existence of a Will and have no reason to believe that the Decedent executed testamentary documents in any form," the petition read.

A Minnesota judge officially confirmed there was no will shortly, reported TMZ, and under those circumstances, Prince's fortune would be split equally among Tyka and her five half-siblings, according to Minnesota law. TMZ later reported that family meetings about Prince's fortune have been "tense." Tyka reportedly went "ballistic" and "marched out of the room" over the alleged "money squabble." "Tyka thinks she's entitled to more than them when it comes time to divide Prince's assets" even though State law says otherwise, sources told TMZ.

Since that alleged dispute, the siblings agreed in court "to openly communicate with each other and to have regular communication," according to People. "None of us has a crystal ball," a judge presiding over the case said. "We don't know what claims will be made, but we will address those as they come."

Her teenage years were rough

Speaking to City Pages in 2008, Tyka admitted she fell into a world of drugs and alcohol when she was just 13. Specifically, she began smoking weed. "My world was different from [other kids]" she told the paper. "I was the overweight kid who didn't have a boyfriend. I listened to other people say, 'You're ugly, you're fat, you're stupid,' and I believed it." As for Prince, Tyka claims her brother thought she was "really crazy" at the time.

She resorted to prostitution

In a painful 2003 interview with The National Enquirer, Tyka revealed she fell on tough times while Prince was amassing his multimillion-dollar fortune. "I was a single mother and my boys were babies," Tyka said, explaining she was often homeless and became a prostitute. "I sold my body for food, money and Pampers." By 2000,Tyka said she was living in a crack house. "I pawned the car Prince had given me and sold the kids' TV for drugs," she said. During the interview, Tyka also hinted that her relationship with her famous brother had become strained. "I love my brother," she said, "but I'm not a yo-yo. He can't just keep spinning me in and out of his life."

With Prince's help, she went to rehab

Although his relationship with his sister may have been strained, Prince reportedly played a key role in getting Tyka to check into a Hazelden treatment center in 2003. At the time of her interview with The National Enquirer, Tyka said entering rehab had been a success. "I relapsed once, but I've been clean for three months now," she said. "It's the longest I've been sober and drug-free in years." Five years later, Tyka recalled her darkest days before rehab, telling City Pages there were times when she felt suicidal. "For a long time I didn't want to live," she confessed.

She also sings

Tyka has released three albums of her own: Royal Blue in 1988, Moon Yellow, Red Sky in 1992, and A Brand New Me in 2008. According to City Pages, her music career began at the age of 10 when she started writing songs. Years later, around the time that Prince landed his first record deal, Tyka ran away from home and headed to Los Angeles. When success as a solo artist eluded her, she joined a gospel choir.

In her City Pages interview, Tyka claimed it was her parents, and not her brother, who influenced her music. She elaborated further in an interview on her record label's website. "I sing whatever comes out and if it sounds like him, I don't know it until someone tells me," she said. "Then I think maybe I should change it, but since it's really me, why? It is not my intent to sound like anyone else and I have strived to be original in everything I do. Even though my brother is someone I greatly love and respect, there can and will be only one Prince."

She's very quiet

Despite being related to one of the most theatrical performers of all time, Tyka claims she's actually very quiet, all because she was once teased while trying to become a singer. "In the beginning, my brother would play the piano and I would sing, because that's what my mom and dad did," she told City Pages. "And then along the way somebody teased me for even thinking that I could get up there. That stayed with me, and I became very shy."

She dyed her hair purple

In an effort to pay respect to her late brother's incredible music career, as well as the film Purple Rain, Tyka recently dyed her hair purple. She also took to Facebook to thank Prince's fans for their outpouring of support. "Thank U 4 Loving My Brother!" she wrote. "He LOVED Playing His Music & I KNOW He Loved U 2." Excuse us while we go have a cry.