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Prince’s Sister Tyka Nelson Gives Tearful Acceptance Speech After ‘Purple Rain’ Wins at AMAs 2016: He ‘Defied the Odds’

Never forgotten. Fighting back tears, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson gave an emotional acceptance speech after the late icon won a posthumous American Music Award at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater on Sunday, November 20. Watch what she said in the video above.

Related: PHOTOS: Prince’s Life in Pictures

Purple Rain — from the semi-autobiographical film of the same name — was released in 1984 (and snagged an AMA for Best Pop/Rock Album that year). But the classic work won Best Soundtrack this year because the award is based on sales, radio airplay, and streaming, which all skyrocketed after the legendary singer’s tragic death at age 57 on April 21.

Prince performs during the Pepsi halftime show at Super Bowl XLI, between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears, on Feb. 4, 2007, at Dolphins Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Related: PHOTOS: Prince Remembered: 15 of His Most Iconic Fashion Moments

Nelson took the stage to accept the trophy and remember her late brother: “Prince defied the odds, a black teen from Minneapolis with a goal to electrify the world. He had the courage to be different. With his vision and God-given talent, he is still one of the world’s most respected and loved artists,” she said. “But what he told me was that he wanted to be known as the world’s most prolific songwriter, and with 984 titles to his credit and counting, he has done just that.”

Related: PHOTOS: Celebrity Deaths in 2016: Stars We’ve Lost

Tyka Nelson
Tyka Nelson accepts the award for Favorite Soundtrack for ‘Purple Rain,’ on behalf of Prince, onstage during the 2016 American Music Awards, held at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 20, 2016, in Los Angeles. Michael Tran/FilmMagic

At the end of her speech, Nelson, understandably, became overwhelmed and got choked up. “In the words of Prince, ‘With love, honor, and respect for every living thing in the universe, separation ceases, and we all become one being, singing one song.’ On behalf of Prince, our wonderful friend, teacher, and brother, I humbly accept this award,” she said. “And me, my brother Omarr, my brother Alfred, my sister Sharon, my sister Norrine, and my brother John, we’ll keep this for you in Paisley Park until we see you again. This is for you!”

As previously reported, the musician died at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Prince’s autopsy later revealed that he passed away from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a strong opioid pain medication. Paisley Park was turned into a museum and opened to the public last month for tours of the property. 

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