No matter how much international acclaim he received, Prince was always tied to his hometown of Minneapolis.
Current Mayor Betsy Hodges wrote a touching tribute to the late musician, who died Thursday at 57.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
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Hodges noted Prince’s ubiquity in the Minneapolis community and music scene growing up. “He was one of us,” she noted. “He gave us more opportunities to hear his music than anyone else. What a blessing. Only now may we realize how lucky we were.”
Prince lived in the area at his famed Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota — just outside Minneapolis — where he was found dead Thursday morning.
“For many of us, we grew up with his music and it became an essential part of our youth and our growth. I will never ever forget the electricity I felt the first time I listened to the Purple Rain soundtrack — and many times since.”
For a further tribute, Hodges changed her Facebook cover photo to a very purple image.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton also mourned the death of one of his state’s most high-profile residents. “Prince, and his music, defined an era. His tremendous talent was matched only by his generosity and commitment to improving his community,” he said in a statement. “Minnesotans and our nation mourn the loss of a great artist today; one who has left an unforgettable mark on music history, and whose contributions to the betterment of our state will be remembered for years to come.”
Read Hodges’ full tribute here.