Prince Mourned at Private Religious Memorial Service in Minnesota

by Meredith B. Kile and Emily Krauser 4:45 PM PDT, May 15, 2016
Playing Prince Mourned at Private Religious Memorial Service in Minnesota

Legendary musician Prince was remembered at a private funeral at Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall in Minnetonka, Minnesota, on Sunday.

Though the singer was cremated shortly after his death on April 21 at age 57, the private, invite-only event marked a formal laying to rest. 

WATCH: Inside Prince's Private, Star-Studded Memorial -- Exclusive Pics

Several celebs attended the private, scripture-driven service, including comedian Sinbad. A source inside the service told ET that the guests consisted mostly of the singer’s friends and congregation, adding that a few of the singer’s family members may also have attended.

“Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958. As a musician his accomplishments speak for themselves and offer undeniable testimony to his artistry and talent,” read the elegant program for the service. “However, he also had a deep interest in spiritual things. In 1996, he began to study the Bible and enjoy warm friendship with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Then, on March 28, 2003, after seven years of Bible study, he symbolized his personal dedication to God and was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Photo: ET

RELATED: Prince's Sister Tyka Nelson Announces Plans for Family-Authorized Funeral in August

The program also included a quote from the singer himself, who said, “If I were to ever write down my life story, I could truly say with all the fame and glory, I was just a piece of clay in need of the potter’s hand.”

Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham, who is credited with introducing Prince to the Jehovah’s Witness faith, spoke about his friend and fellow musician at the service.

“Prince found great peace and fulfillment in his relationship with Jehovah God,” the program continued. “He also found great satisfaction in sharing the things he learned from the Bible with others. He did this faithfully up until his death on April 21, 2016. Our dear friend Prince now takes his rest and awaits the time when ‘all those in the memorial tombs will hear Jesus’ voice and come out.’”

Photo: ET

The singer's longtime bodyguard and director of security, Romeo, spoke to reporters outside the service, calling it "a beautiful ceremony, a true tribute to Prince."

Like the singer himself, the ceremony was meant to be private, Romeo explained, though he would divulge that the service was another testament to Prince's lasting legacy.

"People come together, not only here but around the globe, to give thanks to this man, everything he's done to change the world through his music through his efforts and his strive to be a better person and help others be better people," he added. "This right here is just a small thank you to what he's done for everyone."

WATCH: The Real Prince, According to Those Who Knew Him Best

Prince's sister, Tyka -- who has been very vocal since her brother's death -- told fans via Facebook on Friday that she would not attend the funeral, and the singer's remains were not at the service.

"I nor my brother's remains will be present at any Memorial or Funeral services, until the families Memorial/Funeral/Tribute," she wrote. "Please Don't misunderstand...The grief process is a unique experience to each individual and Therefore I support any and all Memorials or Funerals that have happened and/or are being planned...However I will Not be in attendance, because I feel that once…is enough."

Tyka also revealed that the family had previously planned a funeral for Prince, who she described as "a Very Private man," on April 23, but "those Funeral plans had to be aborted."

A number of private memorials have been held for Prince since his death last month, including one at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota on April 23. Tyka noted in her Facbeook message that "with the help of the Paisley Park staff (because friends had already flown into town) we held an intimate gathering due to that cancelation, however it was Not a Funeral."

Prince's longtime collaborator and ex, Sheila E., told ET the Saturday service was "very somber" and "sad." Incredibly, family members gifted friends and fans lined up at the complex with purple hat boxes filled with Prince memorabilia.

Some of the GRAMMY winner's famous friends also stepped out to attend a private service on May 11 at the Samuel Godlwyn Theater in Los Angeles. The singer's ex-wives, Manuela Testolini and Mayte Garcia, organized the event, which was attended by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Larry King and Spike Lee, among others.

WATCH: Prince Reportedly Prescribed Medication Weeks Leading Up to Death, Authorities Search Paisley Park

Countless celebrities have mourned Prince in interviews and on social media in the weeks since his passing. Will Smith wrote on Facebook that he had spoken with the singer the night before his death, Justin Timberlake wrote a heartfelt tribute about his "overwhelming grief" and Mariah Carey told ET she will "never get over" the singer's death. Even President Barack Obama penned a special tribute to the "creative icon."

"Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talents," Obama said in a statement. "As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer."

Carmen Electra, who was given her stage name and a recording contract by Prince at just 18 years old, told ET she was "in shock" about the passing of her friend and mentor.

"Prince, to some people, was this untouchable force," she shared. "For someone who people looked up to like a god, this musical genius, this non-human thing, this entity, to be powerless and to lose his life – it’s shocking. I feel I don't even know what to say… I didn't think this day would come."

WATCH: Beyonce Pays Tribute to Prince With Show-Stopping Cover of 'The Beautiful Ones'

The music icon was found unresponsive at his Paisley Park recording studio complex on April 21 and was pronounced dead shortly after first responders arrived. The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office confirmed to ET that Prince's autopsy was completed on April 22 in Carver County, Minnesota, and his body was released to his family.

Results of the autopsy haven't been released, but a source told ET that Prince did have some health issues. Shortly before his death, the musician had the flu, which turned into walking pneumonia. The source also told ET that Prince was suffering from a hip injury and had an issue with Percocet, which dated back to when he had hip replacement surgery in 2010. The painkiller was found in Prince's system at the time of his death, according to the Star Tribune.

Just days before his death, Prince took the stage at a Paisley Park dance party. He didn't sing for the crowd at the Saturday event, but did show off a new purple Yamaha piano and purple-and-gold custom guitar.

An eyewitness told ET at the time that "no one needs to worry about Prince," adding that “he was quick-witted and had high energy as usual!"

WATCH: Inside Prince's Paisley Park: Friends and Fans Remember the Late Singer's Enigmatic Estate

The "Purple Rain" singer is survived by his sister, Tyka, as well as five half-siblings, John Nelson, Norrine Nelson, Sharon Nelson, Alfred Jackson and Omarr Baker. They have all faced off in court over Prince's net worth, which has been estimated at $300 million, though Tyka says they "remain united."

See more exclusive details about Prince's final days in the video below.