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Gov. Walz signs bill with purple ink to dedicate highway to Prince

Purple signs for the "Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway" will soon go up along a seven-mile stretch of Highway 5 in Chanhassen and Eden Prairie.

CHANHASSEN, Minn. — The late pop superstar Prince is being honored with a renamed stretch of highway that runs past his Paisley Park museum and studios, under a bill that Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed Tuesday.

Gov. Walz used purple ink to sign the bill that dedicates the roadway formerly known as Minnesota Highway 5 to Prince. Now, the stretch of road in the suburbs of Chanhassen and Eden Prairie will be named the Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway.

Prince’s friends and fans are covering the costs of the purple signs that will soon go up along the road.

After touring Paisley Park on Tuesday, Walz described Prince as a “global icon” and “creative genius.” The governor said this is the “coolest bill signing” he’s ever done.

For Minnesotans, Prince is “part of our shared cultural identity that really does transcend generations,” Walz said, adding that the highway dedication is just “a small recognition” of Prince and a gift to Minnesota.

“I for one am just incredibly grateful to be a part of this celebration. But like so many Minnesotans, I’m just proud that Prince called Minnesota home,” Walz said.

The Minnesota Senate approved the legislation 55-5 on Thursday. The bill passed the House unanimously last month on the seventh anniversary of Prince’s death.

Credit: KARE 11
Senate passes bill to rename stretch of Highway 5 after Prince

"I'm real honored to be here today," Prince's sister Sharon Nelson told KARE 11 shortly after the signing. "Oh, I got chills. Just a second. He's really happy. I can tell you that."

Paisley Park security guard Mark Webster has been pushing for this for at least three and a half years, first pitching it to Chanhassen City Council.

"We know Prince never wanted anything from anybody," Webster said at the event. "He got everything he wanted himself, but I think the state of Minnesota giving him this highway is a great thing for the world."

And with music that's still "in the vault," Nelson says Prince isn't done giving to the world.

"It must be professionally mixed and mastered," she said. "So I am telling you that when we do release the music, it will be perfect just as Prince would like it."

Nelson also mentioned that she will release her own music, "Game Over," this Mother's Day.

Paisley Park, where Prince lived and recorded, now draws visitors from around the world to Chanhassen. It's also where Prince died on April 21, 2016, of an accidental fentanyl overdose at age 57. The 65,000-square-foot complex is now a museum run by his estate as well as an event venue and recording studio.

The singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist broke through in the late 1970s and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He created hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ″Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” and sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

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