A Friend Shares Prince Memories From Paisley Park

April 21, 2016
Photo: Prince at Coachella(Photo: Scott Penner/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons)
Prince

The music world is still reeling today from the news of Prince's death.

Fans and journalists in Minnesota -- which the artist called home throughout his remarkable career -- mourned en masse outside Prince's Paisley Park home in suburban Minneapolis.

Andrea Swensson, music reporter for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current, was on site today at Paisley Park. She had gotten to know Prince over the past few years after he took a liking to a drawing she had made of one of his performances.

Swensson spoke with us over the phone to share some touching Prince memories and describe the reaction in the Twin Cities. 

Read and listen to those below.

On the scene outside Paisley Park immediately after news of Prince's death:

"There's a memorial wall that has started. The fence around Paisley is being covered in purple balloons and purple flowers.  

"When we got word that it was in fact Prince that had died, that was a really rough hour or so of people flooding the scene and crying together and holding each other. Even the journalists were hugging."

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On her first time meeting Prince one-on-one at Paisley Park:

"I was so taken aback by how funny and down to earth and genuine he seemed. He was obviously very shy. He kept a very private life. But in that moment he was very candid and sweet."

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On Prince's impact on the city of Minneapolis:

"He was Minneapolis. There's an entire genre of music that we know now as the Minneapolis sound, and he created it. ... I don't think we're even going to understand the full impact of his legacy for years."

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On her favorite Prince memory:

"The last time I saw him perform was alone at the piano. He played 'Purple Rain.' ... At the end of the song he got up, walked offstage and came back and said: 'That song, I guess it still means something to me.' And he was visibly crying. Shaken from the experience of playing it.

"That he was that moved by it, I'll never forget that."

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