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How Minneapolis Is Mourning Its Purple Son, Prince


So let's go to Prince's home state now, Minnesota. As you might imagine, fans there continue to take the death of Prince Rogers Nelson particularly hard. But as Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck reports, fans are remembering the music star in all kinds of ways.

TOM SCHECK, BYLINE: Early this morning, people streamed outside of First Avenue in Minneapolis. The nightclub Prince made famous in the 1984 movie "Purple Rain" is holding all-night dance parties throughout the weekend. University of Minnesota student Shaun Lee says the mood is joyous.

SHAUN LEE: No one here is sad. No one here is crying. We're all just here enjoying each other. I think I've heard more compliments today than I have in, like, the last year.

SCHECK: While Lee drove just a few hours to remember Prince, others traveled hours. Forty-five-year-old Chris Lahey came from De Pere, Wis., to drop off purple flowers outside the club.

CHRIS LAHEY: He was the voice when - that - you know, I couldn't find when I was a kid. I used his words to express how I was feeling. I just had the utmost respect for what he did.

SCHECK: The scene outside of First Avenue had some energy as revelers and mourners mixed with street vendors looking for business. Twenty-two-miles south of Minneapolis, it was more silent and somber. Scores of people gathered outside of Prince's Paisley Park studios in Chanhassen. Hundreds of purple balloons and signs hung from the fence surrounding the building. Jennifer Moseman of Belle Plaine, Minn., says Prince was a huge influence.

JENNIFER MOSEMAN: Oh, it's so quiet here. People are being very respectful, and they just know the caliber of how big he was, what he meant to Minnesota.

SCHECK: Police are still investigating the cause of death. On Friday, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said there were no signs of foul play or suicide. He declined to speculate.


JIM OLSON: This is a - certainly a big event, internationally and nationally. And I can tell you that we are going to leave no stone unturned with this and make sure that - that the public knows what happened.

SCHECK: The medical examiner says it could take several weeks before toxicology results are released. Fans will be left to wait on the specifics of Prince's death. They will also have to wait to see whether there are any yet-to-be-released recordings that would keep his music living long after his death. For NPR News, I'm Tom Scheck in Minneapolis.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRINCE SONG, "WEST") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tom Scheck