Signed in purple ink, Minnesota dedicates highway to Prince
CHANNASSEN, Minn. (AP) — The late pop superstar Prince is being honored in Minnesota as the state renames a seven-mile stretch of highway that runs alongside its Paisley Park recording studios.
Minnesota Governor Tim Waz used purple ink on Tuesday to sign the bill dedicating 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 Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway.
Prince’s friends and fans are paying the cost of the purple signs that will soon be going up along the road.
After touring Paisley Park on Tuesday, Walz described Prince as a “global icon” and “creative genius.” The governor said it’s the “coolest bill signing” he’s ever done.
For Minnesota residents, Prince is “part of our shared cultural identity that truly transcends generations,” Walz said, adding that the commitment to the highway is just “a small acknowledgment” from Prince and a gift to Minnesota.
“I am just incredibly grateful to be a part of this celebration. But like so many Minnesotans, I’m just proud that Prince has called Minnesota home,” Walz said.
Paisley Park, where Prince lived and recorded, now attracts visitors from all over the world to Chanhassen. It’s also where Prince died on April 21, 2016, of an accidental overdose of fentanyl at age 57. The 65,000-square-foot complex is now a museum run by his estate as well as an event venue and recording studio.
The singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist had his breakthrough in the late 1970s and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He created hits like ‘Little Red Corvette’, ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ and ‘When Doves Cry’. and sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
The Minnesota Senate passed the legislation 55-5 on Thursday and sent it to the governor for his signature. The bill passed unanimously last month on the seventh anniversary of Prince’s death.
Trisha Ahmed is on the Corps for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues. Follow Trisha Ahmed on Twitter: @TrishaAhmed15