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In Minneapolis, Prince still reigns over Super Bowl LII

Amy S. Rosenberg, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Entertainment News

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rose Schreiber of Shamong, N.J. flew here from Philadelphia this week but she had no intention of going to the Super Bowl. She was there for the music, to see friends perform. And this week, a lot of that has been about Prince, whose presence lives on in his hometown of Minneapolis.

"If he were alive, he'd be ecstatic," Schreiber said. "It's his town. He'd be having a helluva lot of parties."

Prince's exuberant performance in the Super Bowl XLI in Miami, in a literal pouring purple rain, arguably the best Super Bowl halftime show in history, plays on a loop at Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, just outside Minneapolis, where Prince's recording studio has been turned in to a museum and shrine.

Tours are booked this week and prices are rising through the weekend. Justin Timberlake performed there Thursday night in a private "listening show."

The New Power Generation, Prince's backing band for many years, was performing outside at the Nicollet Mall Wednesday night amid Super Bowl festivities and and have two more shows planned in town. Questlove is DJ'ing a Prince set Friday night at the Dakota jazz club (perhaps similar to the one he performed last summer at 58th and Baltimore in West Philly).

On Wednesday at the Dakota, there was a family reunion of sorts, literally of the Family, a band formed by Prince in 1984 who debuted his "Nothing Compares 2 U" before Sinead O'Connor. Original band members Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton and Susannah Melvoin, were there, and Susannah's twin sister Wendy, a guitarist in the Revolution, was pulled up on stage to play at the end.

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Super Bowl week in Minneapolis has been a beautiful and sad week for fans and friends of Prince, a Minneapolis native who died in April 2016. At Paisley Park, they'll tell you Prince mostly liked to watched basketball, the Timberwolves and the WNBA's Lynx, on a flat screen in the Little Kitchen at Paisley Park (when he wasn't playing ping pong up in Studio B.)

But he was a fan of the Vikings, whose purple colors may or may not have been ingrained on him as a child growing up in Minnesota. In any case, purple can evoke the Vikings or Prince in these parts, or both.

For Andre Tippett, the NFL Hall of Famer with the New England Patriots, this was a week for football of course, but also for touring Paisley Park, Prince's recording studio just outside Minneapolis that has been turned into a museum and shrine.

"You can't be in Minneapolis and not want to capture a piece of Prince and his beautiful music," said Tippett, a hard core fan since his days at the University of Iowa. "It's a shame he's not with us. How sweet would that have been. He'd be having a party. I'm sure the NFL would have figured out how to involve him. What a shame. We lost something special."

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