Why Did Prince Live In Minnesota? The Singer Was Loyal To His Home State
Prince Rogers Nelson passed away at his studio Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on Thursday and the world finally knew what it really sounded like when doves cried. Though the icon left an enormous, Prince symbol shaped hole in the hearts of millions, the Twin Cities were especially rocked with tremendous sadness at the loss of Minnesota's most iconic son. Why didn't Prince ever leave Minnesota? Because what mattered to Prince was his roots — not following the crowd.
At the news of Prince's death, his home state immediately went into mourning. The mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges wrote in a tribute post on her blog, which reads,
For the residents of Minneapolis, the loss of Prince is too large to describe. His music brought untold joy to people all over the world. But in Minneapolis, it is different. It is harder here. Prince was a child of our city and his love of his hometown permeated many of his songs. Our pride in his accomplishments permeates our love of Minneapolis.
That love was evident when Minneapolis threw an all-night dance party on Thursday and into Friday morning on First Avenue, where Prince shot his legendary film Purple Rain.
And though Prince was a lone wolf in public, his biggest goal was to improve the lives of others, not only through his music but through his philanthropy. And his music was a huge part of that — Prince not only skyrocketed to fame in the Midwest, but he helped launch the careers of several other funky, soulful Minnesota artists with his revolutionary genius, putting the "Minneapolis sound" on the map.
His collaborators include Vanity 6, the Revolution, and James "Jimmy Jam" Harris, who met Prince when the two were attending Bryant Junior High in Minneapolis. In a phone interview with Minneapolis news station WCCO on Thursday afternoon, Harris said Prince's genius was easy to recognize even at a very young age: "As a young, early teenager, he could pick up any instrument and play it better than someone who was supposedly accomplished at that instrument. Pretty easy for me to tell, at that point, that he had it." He definitely had it.
Prince was, as Matt Hendrickson wrote in the New York Daily News on Thursday, echoing the sentiment of many, the greatest musician ever to hail from Minnesota. He embodied the often true stereotype of "Minnesota nice" and was loyal to his community. "Bob Dylan was born in Hibbing, Minn., spent some time in Minneapolis, but then he bolted for New York City. Prince never left. So, with all due respect to Mr. Dylan, Prince is the greatest star that my home state ever produced. And it's not even close," Hendrickson wrote.
Prince was also a huge fan of the Minnesota Vikings, even writing a fight song for them, "Purple And Gold." And for lucky Minneapolis citizens, he was even seen riding around town on his signature motorcycle. Minnesota was lit up purple on Thursday night in his honor.
No one can come close to Prince, really, and fans made their pilgrimage to Paisley Park in the suburbs to mourn his death together. It's likely that the mysterious arsenal of Prince's catalog —which he revealed in a newly published interview with Rolling Stone is much larger than we could ever imagine, with hundreds of songs in vaults — will be turned into a museum and memorial to honor his legacy to rock and roll and to the world.