While the Interstate 35 bridge and several downtown buildings let their purple lights shine, Prince’s sisters Tyka and Norrine Nelson spoke to a large crowd gathered by the mural.
Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune
“This street and this city mean so much to us,” Tyka Nelson told the crowd. “You showed up, and you showed out.”
Before the speeches, DJ Mickey Breeze, 20, spun Prince tunes, and people partied to live music by Dr. Mambo’s Combo, a veteran Twin Cities funk band with which Prince would occasionally sit in at Bunker’s Bar in the North Loop.
Awash in purple with hints of pink and gold, the mural features in the lower right corner Prince with a prominent Afro, an image based on a 1977 Robert Whitman photograph taken before the singer signed with Warner Bros.
“I wanted a narrative,” Veiga said. “And I wanted to have the symbol but not so obvious.”
Other speakers included Twin Cities arts consultant Joan Vorderbruggen and marketing executive Sharon Smith-Akinsanya,who worked for Prince in the 1990s. She began a campaign for the mural with his blessings in 2015, the year a Bob Dylan mural went up on a private building at Hennepin Avenue and 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis. The Prince mural was also privately financed.