TNJ:Celebrating the Legacy of Prince, One Year Later

TNJ Staff | 4/27/2017, midnight

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since Prince’s death. April of 2016 sparked confusion, shock and sadness for the Purple One’s fans across the nation and the world at large when it was reported that Prince collapsed in an elevator at his home, Paisley Park, in Minnesota.

On the anniversary of Prince’s passing, there are tributes being held around the nation, but act fast; tickets won’t last.

The African American Film Critics Association is paying tribute to the music icon for his successful films by hosting a series of discussions and screenings to take place in several cities including Denver, Kansas City, Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale.

“Prince was one of the few black musicians who enjoyed success in cinema,” Gil Robertson, AAFCA President said in a released statement. “His aptitude as a visual artist was stunning and continues to be influential today. It is both a privilege and an honor to share his cinematic works with our community partners around the country.”

And according to the official Paisley Park website, Celebration 2017, a collective of musicians, creative personnel, special guests and friends who worked closest with Prince and knew him best, “will feature live music, panel discussions and presentations on Prince’s tremendous talent, influence and importance as a composer, musician, producer, live performer and filmmaker.” The events will include exclusive tours of Paisley Park Studios in Minnesota from April 20 to April 23. Limited edition merchandise will also be available for purchase.

In honor of Prince’s legacy, the website describes the significance of Paisley Park in the passage below:

Located in the quiet idyllic suburb of Chanhassen, Minnesota, Paisley Park is Prince’s mythical creative sanctuary. Following the metaphoric success of Purple Rain in the mid 1980s, construction began on what would become a $10M, 65,000 square-foot recording and production complex complete with state of the art technology capable of outputting any form of creative work Prince could envision – from music recordings, clothing production, artwork and graphic design, music videos and even full-length feature films.

Iconic albums recorded at Paisley Park include Lovesexy, Batman, Diamonds & Pearls, The Gold Experience, The Black Album, Sign O’ The Times and Emancipation through to more recent releases such as PLECTRUMELECTRUM, ART OFFICIAL AGE and HITNRUN Phase 1 & 2. Equipped with a massive sound stage and live event space, Prince recorded many films at Paisley Park, including the feature film Graffiti Bridge and the New Year’s concert special Rave Un2 The Year 2000.

The iconic superstar would often open Paisley Park’s doors for spontaneous performance events, inviting the public into the Sound Stage or NPG Music Club rooms for marathon sets of live music. Through its storied history, many other notable musicians have spent time recording at Paisley Park, including Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Celine Deon and R.E.M. In addition, artists such as Neil Young, Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughn utilized the Sound Stage for tour preparations and rehearsals. 

Prince once said, “I like to say I live in the world, but I’m not of it". In every way, Paisley Park was the fulfillment of his creative desire to live and work in a space free from limitation. Here he created a unique universe unto itself – one that allowed him to nurture and fully express his otherworldly gifts as a musician and performing artist. In his words, “Paisley Park is pretty much representative of everything I am musically”. Love, freedom, connection, community and spiritualty are all ever-present at Paisley Park.

Prince envisioned Paisley Park as one day being opened to the public. Throughout the past sixteen years, he occasionally opened the studio to tours, most notably in the year 2000 as part of the special Prince: A Celebration event. With the official public opening of Paisley Park, fans from around the world will now have the very rare opportunity to tour the estate and experience first-hand this singularly unique creative sanctuary where Prince lived, led and created for more than 30 years.