Signed in purple ink, Minnesota dedicates highway to Prince

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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Associated Press/Report for America

CHANHASSEN — The late pop superstar Prince is being honored in Minnesota as the state renames a seven-mile stretch of highway that runs past his Paisley Park recording studios.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Waz used purple ink on Tuesday to sign the bill that dedicates the roadway formerly known as Minnesota Highway 5 to Prince. Now, the stretch of road in the Minneapolis suburbs of Chanhassen and Eden Prairie will be named the Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway.

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Prince’s friends and fans are covering the costs of the purple signs that will soon go up along the road.

After touring Paisley Park on Tuesday, Walz described Prince as a “global icon” and “creative genius.” The governor said this is the “coolest bill signing” he’s ever done.

For Minnesotans, Prince is “part of our shared cultural identity that really does transcend generations,” Walz said, adding that the highway dedication is just “a small recognition” of Prince and a gift to Minnesota.

“I for one am just incredibly grateful to be a part of this celebration. But like so many Minnesotans, I’m just proud that Prince called Minnesota home,” Walz said.

Paisley Park, where Prince lived and recorded, now draws visitors from around the world to Chanhassen. It’s also where Prince died on April 21, 2016, of an accidental fentanyl overdose at age 57. The 65,000-square-foot complex is now a museum run by his estate as well as an event venue and recoding studio.

The singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist broke through in the late 1970s and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He created hits including “Little Red Corvette,” “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” and sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

The Minnesota Senate approved the legislation 55-5 on Thursday and sent it to the governor for his signature. The bill passed the House unanimously last month on the seventh anniversary of Prince’s death.