Purple Prince tributes pour from everywhere
Days after Prince died in his home near Minneapolis, tributes to and love for the music icon seemingly poured out of every outlet, locally and nationally, from billboards to basketball games.
Over the weekend, the usually blue lights of Michigan’s tallest building, the Renaissance Center, glowed a purple hue. Electronic billboards around Metro Detroit also shown purple, with the symbols peace, love and Prince.
Local radio and television hosts honored the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning musician with tributes big and small. R&B, pop and rock radio stations blasted his music all weekend. Television hosts were more subtle: Jimmy Kimmel wore a purple tie Thursday night, Jimmy Fallon wore purple tie during the “SNL” tribute Saturday night, and WDIV-TV meterologist Andrew Humphrey donned purple ties Saturday and Sunday. Even the cat featured in the station’s weekly pet adoption segment for the Michigan Humane Society sported a purple bandana in memory of Prince.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan tweeted a purple image of the Spirit of Detroit on Friday. “We are mourning the loss of the musical legend #Prince,” he wrote, adding the hashtags #Purple ForPrince and #PrinceGoneTooSoon.
The Fillmore Detroit and Magic Bag in Ferndale used their marquees to reach out. “PRINCE Thank You For the Music” read the Fillmore’s sign. The Magic Bag posted the “Dearly Beloved” quote, the opening lyrics from his 1984 song “Let’s Go Crazy.”
The Detroit Institute of Arts used nods to classic art in their tribute to the artist. On Thursday, the museum posted an image of Harold Edgerton’s 1934 print titled “Rising Dove” to Facebook and dedicated it to the musician with a short message: “We’re saddened to learn about the passing of music legend Prince. We’ll miss his talent and creativity.”
The adjacent Detroit Film Theatre turned on the interior purple lights and posted a quote from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” on the screen. It read “now cracks a noble heart, good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to rest.”
In Friday’s Detroit News, General Motors ran a full-page advertisement that was all black except for a red Corvette at the bottom and the phrase “Baby, that was much too fast. 1958-2016,” an homage to Prince’s 1983 single “Little Red Corvette.”
During one of the Detroit Pistons playoff games at The Palace of Auburn Hills on the weekend, the famous “dancing usher” paid tribute to the Purple One in a dance cam feature.
When the camera panned to the usher during MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” he removed his polo to reveal a white T-shirt that read “R.I.P. Prince.” The lights went purple, and “1999” fired up.
Detroit bars and restaurants also joined the praise train, with several boasting Purple Rain shots in various forms over the weekend. Monday night Corktown’s Bobcat Bonnie’s Prince-ified their burger menu by offering sandwiches named after his songs.
Several area movie theaters will show Prince’s 1984 rock drama “Purple Rain” this week, including the Redford Theatre, Cinema Detroit, Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor and area MJR Digital Cinemas and AMC theaters. The Henry Ford will show the film on its 80-foot by 43-foot giant screen Thursday evening, and the Historic Howell Theater will show it May 6-8.