Purple for Prince: Minnesota remembers legend on anniversary of his death

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Prince fans from around the world marked the two-year anniversary of Prince’s death in the Twin Cities Saturday. 

The music icon was found dead inside his Paisley Park home on April 21, 2016. 

With Governor Mark Dayton declaring April 21 to be “Prince Day” and memorial events popping up across the state, the legend of Prince lives on. 

Under a tree across from Paisley Park, artist Dan Lacey set up to create a portrait of the music legend. The artist found himself there just hours after Prince’s death and has returned each year to create a new portrait of him. 

“I don’t just want to copy a photograph, I want to put something into it,” Lacey said. 

Other fans made the “Prince Pilgrimage” Saturday—stopping at places like Paisley Park and First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. 

“He was a great musician, one of the best guitarists ever,” said Prince fan Debbie Rainville. “And I’ve always loved Prince; I grew up listening to Prince and coming here to First Avenue when he was making a name for himself.” 

Carol Nelson, another Prince fan from Colorado, said she’ll return home with a permanent reminder of her love for Prince. She said that although the crowds of years past weren’t present this year, the love true fans have for Prince hasn’t gone away. 

Various Minneapolis landmarks, including the 35W Bridge and the Lowry Avenue Bridge were lit purple, for the Purple One. 

Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park estate. Authorities say he thought he was taking Vicodin, but the pills were counterfeit and laced with fentanyl. On Thursday, prosecutors announced they would not file criminal charges in the musician’s death

A celebration in remembrance of Prince kicked off Thursday night at Paisley Park with performances by Sheila E. and other former Prince bandmates.