City turns “purple” in honor of musical artist Prince
BY BRIANNA RHODES — On Saturday, April 23, residents of the City of Hyattsville, and those from surrounding cities, traveled back into time and partied on the dance floor like it was “1999” during a special gathering held at the Municipal Building to celebrate the life and legacy of musical superstar Prince.
Prince Roger Nelson, who was more famously known simply as Prince, died on Thursday, April 21 at the age of 57. The circumstances surrounding his unexpected death are under investigation. The singer was cremated and was remembered by family and friends at a private memorial service held at his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minn.
During his career, Prince won seven Grammy awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He directed and performed in films, such as, “Purple Rain,” and “Under the Cherry Moon.”
The Hyattsville community came together to remember the late musician in a fun way. The Municipal Building was filled with purple decorations and refreshments. Many remembered the musician loved the color purple and wore the color in his honor. The crowd ranged in age from toddlers to adults.
Songs such as, “I Would Die 4 U,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Let’s Go Crazy” filled the room and those in attendance danced all night.
Cheryl Fountain, owner of Frame Savvy in Hyattsville, has been a fan since 1978. She once attended his concert two nights in a row.
“I don’t think people realize his impact,” said Fountain. “Prince’s career never stopped. He’s just amazing.”
José Bollesteros, of Hyattsville, said he has been a fan of Prince since 1984, while growing up in Ecuador. Bollesteros, now 45, said he was 13 and in the 7th grade when he first heard Prince.
“It blew my mind,” said Bollesteros. He couldn’t believe the state of rock n’ roll until he heard Prince.
Frances Marquez, of Mount Rainier and a native of southern California, said she grew up listening to “Purple Rain”. She had the opportunity to attend a Prince concert when she was a teenager. Marquez even remembers the red outfit Prince wore during the concert.
“The first time I saw him, he had a bath tub on the stage,” said Marquez. She says that was the moment when he performed “When Doves Cry.”
“I am blessed I got to see him in person,” Marquez said.
Mount Rainer Councilwoman Shivali Shah (Ward 2) was also in attendance.
“He was so important in my development as a teenager,” said Shah. “He was taken from us decades to soon.” Her favorite Prince song is “When Doves Cry.” Shah said she was happy that Hyattsville put the celebration together. “It shows you how much people love Prince,” she said.
Reva Harris, also of Hyattsville, was born the same year as Prince – in 1958. She thinks Prince would want to be remembered for love.
“He was a genius,” Harris said. “His music transcends through age and race. It’s a one love kind of groove.”