MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fans were shocked to learn Thursday that music icon and Minneapolis native Prince was found dead at the age of 57 in Paisley Park, his home and recording studio in Chanhassen.
Many fans know the complex from his late-night concerts and dance parties. In fact, he just held one there on Saturday, where he did make an appearance, but did not perform.
Fans have been camped out at the compound since news broke Thursday morning.
“I just want it not to be true,” Maryanna Miller said outside the studio.
Like many of the fans who came to mourn and remember, Miller was overcome with emotion.
“I didn’t believe it. He was just here Sautrday,” she said.
Prince had hosted one of his famous fan parties Saturday night. Michael Holz was a DJ at many of Princes Paisley Park parties, and was there Saturday. He says Prince made a passing reference to the highly publicized emergency medical landing his plane had made in Illinois earlier in the week.
“He basically said when you hear news, give it a few days before you waste any prayers,” Holz said.
Other fans like Deanne Jensen thought he looked frail.
I just thought he looked really pale and thin, and kind of tired,” she said. “But he has been thin for a long time.”
Mike Rendahl was also at the fan party Saturday.
“I heard the news. It was just devastating,” he said.
Rendahl said Prince did appear pale but that he was also in great spirits as he unveiled for fans a brand new purple piano.
“He seemed like a kid doing show and tell,” Rendahl said. “You could tell he really liked it.”
The former owner of Flyte Tyme Productions, who has worked with Prince for decades, rushed to Paisley Park, too.
“It’s just been gut wrenching and heartbreaking,” Dick McCalley said.
McCalley says he has been talking to Staff at Paisley Park to try and find out what happened.
Prince’s mark on the Twin Cities reaches far beyond Paisley Park. He turned the downtown Minneapolis dance club, First Avenue, into a Minnesota landmark.
When the news broke that Prince had passed away, dozens of fans came here to First Avenue to pass their respects. The day has been filled with range of emotions: smiles as fans remember his musical influence and tears as the realization that prince is gone sets in.
Fans created a memorial in honor of the music legend outside of First Avenue. Flowers, cards and candles show a glimpse of Prince’s impact and influence on his fans.
Strangers found comfort in each of other as they remembered an icon, musical inspiration and fellow Minnesotan.