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Memorial service held for Prince

Do Not UseDo Not Use 16/05/2016
Prince © AP Prince

A private memorial service for the singer Prince has been held in his home city.

Larry Graham, who helped Prince become a Jehovah's Witness, was at the service © AP Larry Graham, who helped Prince become a Jehovah's Witness, was at the service

The 45-minute ceremony, which was closed to media, took place at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness in Minnetonka, Minneapolis, on Sunday.

Ida Nielsen and Donna Grantis of Prince's last band, 3rdEyeGirl, attended the ceremony © AP Ida Nielsen and Donna Grantis of Prince's last band, 3rdEyeGirl, attended the ceremony

Hundreds attended the service, including Prince's friend Sheila E and members of his band, 3rdEyeGirl.

The singer's family are understood to be planning to stage a public memorial in August.

Prince became a Jehovah's Witness in 2003 after being introduced to the religion by Larry Graham, who played bass in Sly and The Family Stone.

He reportedly embraced all aspects of the religion, including the practice of knocking on doors to distribute literature.

Local television station KARE said the printed programme at the memorial included a passage about how the star "found great joy and satisfaction in sharing the things he learned from the Bible with others".

Prince was cremated in a private ceremony on 24 April, three days after he was found unresponsive in a lift at his Paisley Park complex.

His sister, Tyka Nelson, wrote on Facebook that the April service was "not a funeral" and the "proposed plan is to have our memorial/funeral/tribute in August".

"Prince and his music influenced so many people that we feel inspired to celebrate his life and legacy in just the right way.

"We appreciate the public's patience and have been comforted by your outpouring of love, support and condolences.

"We look forward to sharing with the world this celebration of, and farewell to, our Prince."

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