Morris Day has taken to social media to slam the estate of late singer Prince for barring him from using the name Morris Day & The Time.
Prince, who died of a drug overdose in April 2016, formed The Time in Minneapolis in 1981.
The creation of the group stemmed from Prince’s contract with Warner Bros., which allowed him to produce other artists for the label. Prince helped develop The Time from existing Minneapolis funk group Flyte Tyme, and Morris Day was the lead singer.
Related Story: Morris Day Leads Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis Tribute at Soul Train Awards
But on Thursday, Day said the name that he’s performed under for four decades is being taken away.
“I’ve given 40 years of my life building up a name and legacy that Prince and I came up with,” he wrote on Instagram. “However, now that Prince is no longer with us, suddenly, the people who control his multi million 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.”
Billboard obtained a letter sent from the Prince estate warning Day that he could not use the name of his band The Time “in any form.”
In response to Day’s social post, Prince’s estate released a statement to Billboard, saying: “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 is open to working proactively with Morris to resolve this matter. However, the information that he shared is not entirely accurate.”
The Time topped the charts with the singles “The Bird” and “Jungle Love.”
Former members Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis went on to become prolific producers and worked with artists including Morris Day, Janet Jackson, Cherrelle, and Alexander O’Neal.