Paisley Park Studios is opening its doors for free on 21 April to allow fans to pay tribute. Prince’s ashes have been put on rare display inside the atrium in the centre of the complex, housed in their specially created urn, to mark the sad milestone of five years since the icon’s death.
The music legend died at his former home and studios, on 21 April 2016 aged 57. Paisley Park is permitting free access for the occasion, between 9am and 9pm. Spaces are strictly limited to 1,400 and have sold out promptly, those going were required to book one of 70 available 30-minute time slots. Demand has been so high that a waitlist is in operation.
The annual Celebration event, which usually takes place at Paisley Park during the latter half of April, has been called off for a second year running due to the ongoing restrictions on public gatherings being in place resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. It is understood some events will be moved online instead. However, the full Celebration, which was last staged over 25-28 April in 2019, is set to return in 2022 when it is also expected to be shifted from the usual April death anniversary to a happier date in the purple calendar, Prince’s June 7th birthday. On 30 July 2020, a stunning 11ft-tall memorial of Prince’s omnipresent Prince love symbol was installed outside the main entrance of Paisley Park.
There remains plenty for fans to look forward to for 2021, as The Prince Estate gears up for the release of the first full studio album to get unlocked from Prince’s legendary vault. Titled Welcome 2 America, this 12-track studio album completed by Prince in 2010 was shelved for reasons known only to him, despite pressing ahead with the Welcome 2 America Tour in 2010/11. The album is to finally receive a commercial release on 30 July 2021, in partnership with Sony Legacy. It will be available as a high-end Deluxe Edition release accompanied with a 12” booklet and a Blu-ray of one of the concerts filmed on the 2011 tour. There will also be a Standard edition containing just the album. Welcome 2 America has also been subject to a special preview on 60 Minutes, featuring interviews with contributors Morris Hayes and Shelby J filmed inside Studio B at Paisley Park, was aired by CBS on 11 April. Pre-orders of the Welcome 2 America album soared in result, ranking it at number 2 in the Amazon sales chart, 14 weeks ahead of its release.
Welcome 2 America Deluxe due July
8 April 2021