Morris Day Clashes With Prince’s Estate Over Use of the Name Morris Day & The Time

“Suddenly, the people who control his multimillion dollar estate, want to rewrite history,” Day writes

Morris Day and The Time

Well this isn’t very Cool at all. On Friday, funk/R&B legend Morris Day told fans that he has been forbidden by the Prince estate from performing as or otherwise making use of the name Morris Day & the Time.

“I’ve given 40 years of my life to building up a name and legacy that Prince and I came up with. A name that while he was alive, he had no problem with me using. I literally put my blood, sweat and tears into bringing value to that name. In fact, he booked me on several tours, and many jam packed nights at Paisley Park, under the name Morris Day & The Time. Not once ever saying to me that I couldn’t use that name configuration,” Day said in a statement posted to the Morris Day & The Time Facebook account.

“However, now that Prince is no longer with us – Suddenly, the people who control his multimillion dollar estate, want to rewrite history by taking my name away from me, thus impacting how I feed my family. So as of now, per the Prince estate, I can no longer use Morris Day & The Time in any capacity,” Day said.

Representatives for Prince’s estate contested Day’s characterization of the matter, however. “Given Prince’s longstanding history with Morris Day and what the Estate thought were amicable discussions, The Prince Estate was surprised and disappointed to see his recent post,” the estate said in a statement. “The Estate is open to working proactively with Morris to resolve this matter.  However, the information that he shared is not entirely accurate.”

Prince and Day became friends as teenagers and formed The Time together in 198o as part of Prince’s record deal with Warner Bros. that allowed him to develop and produce his own artists. Day was teamed up with members of the Minneapolis groups Flyte Time (which featured the great Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis Day) and Enterprise. After a lineup change — Jam & Lewis were fired in 1983 — The Time made a mesmerizing, career defining appearance in Prince’s movie “Purple Rain,” which led to their two biggest hits, “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.”

The Time broke up in 1985 but the original lineup briefly reunited for Prince’s 1990 movie “Graffiti Bridge”; Day reformed the group again in 1995 from which point the group began touring as Morris Day & The Time. Since then they’ve had further original lineup reunions alongside the Morris Day and The Time incarnation. Prince, of course, died in 2016.

Many of The Time’s most famous songs were cowritten by Day and Prince, but while Day was the accepted leader of the band, the name itself apparently belonged to Prince, even if Day is credited co-songwriter alongside Prince on most of the group’s most famous songs. We’ll see if the matter is resolved satisfactorily.