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Fans Gather at Prince’s Home One Year After His Death

  • VOA News

FILE - A makeshift memorial is seen as fans gather at Harlem's Apollo Theater to celebrate the life of deceased musician Prince.

Fans are marking the anniversary of U.S. musician Prince’s sudden death from an accidental drug overdose with visits to his Paisley Park home, which has been turned into a museum.

The museum is hosting a four-day event that includes concert performances by Prince’s former bandmates and panel discussions.

It was a year ago Friday that the pop legend was found dead at Paisley Park, a recording complex outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Prince lived and created his music.

Chasity Spearman of Minneapolis takes a picture of her aunt, Ethel Smith, of Toledo, Ohio, outside First Avenue nightclub, April 21, 2017, in Minneapolis.
Chasity Spearman of Minneapolis takes a picture of her aunt, Ethel Smith, of Toledo, Ohio, outside First Avenue nightclub, April 21, 2017, in Minneapolis.

Fans come to grieve

Fans who came to the complex Friday included Mary Adams, who drove six hours from Kansas City, Missouri, with her 10-year-old daughter.

“I needed to come here. This is where it began. I needed to pay homage to the star,” she said.

Adams said Prince had a profound impact on her life.

“Prince is the person that helped me decide that is was OK to be me, because that’s who he was. And he did it his way, his music, his style,” she added.

Minneapolis landmarks in purple

Fans are also holding a street party Saturday outside First Avenue, the club Prince made famous in Purple Rain, the title track of his breakthrough 1984 album and movie.

Landmarks around Minneapolis are being lighted in purple for two nights in tribute to Prince, while the Minnesota History Center is holding a special exhibit of Prince memorabilia.

The anniversary was supposed to be celebrated by the release of new Prince music. However, a Minnesota district court this week issued a temporary injunction barring the release of the six-song EP Deliverance after Prince’s estate filed a lawsuit claiming the works were stolen by his former sound engineer.

Prince’s commercial legacy continues to be surrounded in controversy. The pop star died without a will or children, and dozens of people came forward after his death, claiming they were heirs.

Musical legacy

Prince died at 57 from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers he was secretly using to ease the pain of hip surgery.

Prince was 19 when he released his first album, For You, in 1978. In the decades that followed, the multitalented musician released 1999, Little Red Corvette and Purple Rain.

He sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won seven Grammys and picked up an Oscar for Best Original Song score for Purple Rain. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Rhonda Soso said Friday that she came from California to Paisley Park “just to be a part of the purple family, the purple army, just be a part of just his spirit, just his energy.”

“It’s just still so difficult accepting that he’s no longer here,” she added.

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