Tributes to Prince spring up across U.S.

Associated Press

Chanhassen, Minn. — Tributes to Prince sprang up across the country, on buildings, bridges and Broadway.

In Minnesota, where Prince, 57, was found dead Thursday in his suburban Minneapolis compound, the Star Tribune reports the Interstate 35 West bridge over the Mississippi River was bathed in purple light. A dance party in downtown Minneapolis was expected to go all night.

Thousands of people filled the streets outside the downtown Minneapolis nightclub where Prince’s “Purple Rain” was filmed ahead of an all-night dance party in honor of the singer.

Prince’s sister thanked fans who showed up at his suburban Minneapolis compound to mourn his death.

His sister, Tyka Nelson, emerged from the compound early Thursday evening to look at bouquets, balloons and signs left by fans of her brother, then approached the crowd of nearly 200.

Nelson told the fans that her brother “loved all of you. Thank you for loving him back.”

Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken honored Prince on the Senate floor Thursday, with Klobuchar calling him “our neighbor, the superstar next door.”

Klobuchar recalled Prince holding a concert when Minnesota’s WNBA team won the championship.

She said that “even with all that success, even with all that fame, Minnesota never lost that sense that he was a beloved son.”

Franken, a former Saturday Night Live comedian, said Prince’s “artistry, his innovation, his presence inspired and will continue to inspire millions of people.”

A vigil quickly turned into a party at Los Angeles’ Leimert Plaza Park, where dozens danced as huge speakers blasted Prince hits and deep cuts. Some wiped away tears but most treated the gathering as a celebration.

Stars of Broadway’s “The Color Purple” performed a rendition of Prince’s hit “Purple Rain.” The show posted a video of the performance led by Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo online late Thursday.

A sea of people gathered in front of First Avenue late Thursday. Local musicians played covers of his hits and the crowd danced and sang along.

First Avenue owner Dayna Frank says the dance party was planned to give people a place to share their emotions and celebrate Prince. Entry to the event is free.

Scores of people came to the club Thursday to leave bouquets, balloons and a guitar under the star that honors Prince on the club’s exterior wall. Frank said everyone at the club is devastated.

Prince last played the club in 2007.

Filmmaker Spike Lee drew a crowd of roughly 1,000 people for an impromptu street party in honor of Prince, presiding from the stoop of his Brooklyn headquarters in a purple T-shirt.

Fans brought their babies and their dogs, dancing to Prince’s music in front of Lee’s 40 Acres & A Mule production company. Police shut down the block for the celebration that was going strong late into Thursday night.

The mood was jubilant as people wearing touches of purple swayed and sang along. Some hoisted bouquets of purple flowers.

In New Orleans, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome glowed Thursday night with the late singer’s signature purple, as did San Francisco’s City Hall and Madison Square Garden in New York.