Hands were up, eyes were closed, and tears were falling as thousands of fans were in the streets of Minneapolis singing along to “Purple Rain” outside of First Avenue on the night of Prince’s passing on April 21, 2016.
After on-and-off rain all day, many people saw a rainbow over Paisley Park, Prince’s home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Around 8 p.m., there were reports of what looked like a purple sunset over Minneapolis where the 35W bridge and the Lowry bridge were illuminated with purple lights. The IDS and Target Plaza South towers were also lit purple in honor of the musician.
St. Paul mayor Chris Colman spoke at the outdoor performance just outside of First Avenue. Minneapolis rapper Lizzo headlined the impromptu show, flying in to Minneapolis for the occasion where she performed several songs, including “The Beautiful Ones.” Local artists DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Dem Atlas, and Sarah White also hit the stage. After the show, White said, “The loss of Prince reminds us of the beauty of music… So deep is this legacy… this journey. We honor Prince as the king he is. None of this would be without him.”
Photos by Mike Madison for the Village Voice