The Life of Prince

A Minneapolis Legend

Minneapolis is joining the world in honoring Prince, a Minneapolis legend who died on April 21, 2016. Throughout his life and his career, he kept close to his roots in Minneapolis, even as his music won him fans and fame around the globe. If you'd like to visit Prince's home, then view our page with a map of all the Minnneapolis locations most important to him.

Here are just some of the ways Prince is linked forever to Minneapolis and our music scene:

Prince was born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958 and began writing music at age seven.

The “Minneapolis sound” was truly pioneered by Prince’s hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, R&B and New Wave. It has influenced many other musicians. 

Prince’s success helped launch other Minneapolis music successes. In the early 1980s, R&B mega-producing team Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis started the band that would become The Time, which was joined by Morris Day and toured as an opening act for Prince. The team then went on to produce such artists as Janet Jackson, Sounds of Blackness, Boyz II Men, Alexander O’Neal, Cherrelle and Patti LaBelle.

Aaron lavinsky

In the 80s, Minneapolis’ innovative punk scene and the rise of Prince solidified the Minneapolis music scene’s place on the map. Bands like The Suicide Commandos, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum and The Replacements quickly rose to punk cult status and became pivotal in the development of alternative rock.

First Avenue has been the starting point for virtually every single band to come out of the Twin Cities, including Prince, as well as groups like The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, Semisonic, American Head Charge, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Dillinger Four, Dosh, The Jayhawks, Curtiss A and many others.

First Avenue also appeared in Prince’s 1984 film “Purple Rain.”

Prince is featured prominently on First Ave’s legendary Star Wall, where hundreds of music stars who graced the stage are enshrined on the walls of the former art deco bus station. Every star has the name of an artist who has played at First Avenue or 7th Street Entry.

The 1990s saw continued success for Minneapolis bands. Prince introduced one of his most popular albums, Diamonds and Pearls, in 1991.

Throughout his career, Prince remained closely connected to the Minneapolis music scene by hosting events and performances at his Paisley Park home and recording studios in suburban Minneapolis, where he passed away on April 21, 2016.

Photo Credit: Aaron Lavinsky.