STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Prince is gone, but his spirit lives at Minnesota Super Bowl

Prince's death from an accidental painkiller overdose in 2016 leaves fans to only imagine how the megastar might have topped his electrifying performance in pouring rain at the Super Bowl 11 years ago in Miami.

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 6:16 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Picture this: Prince taking the stage at U.S. Bank Stadium in his hometown of Minneapolis for the 2018 Super Bowl to a dazzling display of purple lights, wowing the crowd at halftime with his frenzied guitar work, soulful singing and slick dance moves.

Perfect marketing, a die-hard fan's dream. But it won't happen.

Prince's death from an accidental painkiller overdose in 2016 leaves fans to only imagine how the megastar might have topped his electrifying performance in pouring rain at the Super Bowl 11 years ago in Miami.

"People joke, 'Can we just have a Prince hologram?'" said Mike Howard, spokesman for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. Justin Timberlake is the halftime performer for Sunday's game.

At a press conference Thursday, Timberlake said Prince was a big influence.

"In my opinion, the greatest all-around musician in popular culture," Timberlake said. "The time I got to spend around him, with him, talking about music . those are memories that I'll take with me forever."

But the sights and sounds of Prince still surround the big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. There's the mural of Prince with a white dove in the Uptown neighborhood, his gold star outside Minneapolis' First Avenue nightclub, or Paisley Park, his recording complex-turned-museum in Chanhassen, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Minneapolis.

"Prince is not here in being, but he's here in spirit," said music producer Jimmy Jam, who along with his producing partner Terry Lewis went heavy on Minnesota musical acts for Super Bowl Live , a free, 10-day fan festival on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Jam said he hears Prince music "on every NFL telecast and highlight on all the networks."

Jam said Prince "is so associated with this state and with this city that his presence is definitely felt."

Thousands packed downtown for Monday's "Prince Night" concert, featuring Sheila E., Morris Day and The Time, and Prince's 1980s band The Revolution.

Fans also are getting a firsthand look at Prince's guitars, costumes, hats and shoes on loan from Paisley Park at an exhibit as part of Super Bowl Live.

"He was magic. I think that people in Minnesota didn't realize exactly how big he was probably until after his death, because he was our hometown guy," Jeanette Blasewitz, 66, of Eden Prairie said while checking out the displays.

Sunday's game marks the anniversary of Prince's appearance at the 2007 Super Bowl that saw the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears. Many called the show the best Super Bowl halftime ever.

Dressed in turquoise jacket and pants with an orange shirt, Prince gave a blistering rendition of his own hits, such as "Let's Go Crazy," followed by covers of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary," Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" and the Foo Fighters' "Best of You" before finishing with "Purple Rain" in a driving rainstorm.

Morris Hayes, 55, was a keyboardist for Prince's former band New Power Generation and was on stage that night. He remembers organizers approaching Prince before the Super Bowl with the forecast of rain and offering to pre-record his performance. Hayes said that prompted Prince's famous response: Can you make it rain harder?

"The fact that it did rain when it did and how (Prince) did 'Purple Rain' in the rain, you can't beat that. ... It was magical, you know," Hayes recalled.

Fan Melisa Rokala, 46, of Cokato explains Prince's appeal to Minnesota residents.

"As a Minnesotan, we love our own. And we love it when our own people love us here," Rokala said. "He loved Minnesota. It was always his home. And his music was groundbreaking."

She believes Prince — who once wrote a song for the Minnesota Vikings — would have been involved in a Minneapolis Super Bowl, perhaps again as the halftime performer, if he was still alive.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 139444

Reported Deaths: 2440
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34988995
Ramsey14471364
Dakota10132138
Anoka9160153
Washington623372
Stearns608248
Scott354934
Olmsted335930
St. Louis314271
Wright265315
Clay246443
Nobles231918
Blue Earth20857
Carver18677
Kandiyohi17835
Sherburne176322
Rice168310
Mower153918
Winona129619
Chisago11142
Crow Wing108322
Benton10099
Lyon10076
Waseca9419
Beltrami9278
Otter Tail9217
Todd8726
Morrison8029
Steele7873
Polk7864
Itasca77117
Nicollet75618
Douglas7344
Freeborn7004
Le Sueur6516
Goodhue63311
Martin61918
McLeod6154
Becker6044
Isanti5835
Watonwan5814
Pine5630
Carlton4832
Chippewa4693
Mille Lacs43216
Hubbard4233
Cass4055
Dodge4050
Wabasha4050
Pipestone36117
Rock3555
Meeker3483
Brown3353
Roseau3000
Redwood29411
Yellow Medicine2946
Murray2913
Cottonwood2900
Fillmore2650
Renville26313
Sibley2623
Wadena2573
Faribault2440
Kanabec23010
Houston2201
Jackson2191
Swift2122
Pennington2091
Unassigned19553
Lincoln1910
Aitkin1882
Stevens1861
Koochiching1765
Pope1650
Big Stone1531
Lac qui Parle1453
Wilkin1424
Marshall1371
Lake1290
Clearwater1281
Mahnomen1282
Norman1280
Grant1024
Red Lake822
Traverse580
Kittson500
Lake of the Woods451
Cook180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119931

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19440289
Woodbury735998
Johnson596531
Black Hawk5862102
Linn5823132
Dubuque538358
Scott474442
Story408218
Dallas352547
Pottawattamie333245
Sioux249817
Buena Vista227912
Marshall209036
Webster192315
Plymouth170331
Wapello157362
Clinton151627
Muscatine151258
Des Moines147310
Cerro Gordo146127
Crawford137014
Warren12947
Carroll118913
Jasper115034
Henry10955
Marion104811
Tama98637
Lee98311
Delaware81713
Dickinson7769
Wright7481
Boone7369
Mahaska72824
Bremer7029
Harrison68415
Washington67711
Jackson6623
Benton6222
Lyon5598
Clay5474
Louisa53415
Winnebago50619
Winneshiek4969
Cedar4947
Hardin4887
Kossuth4850
Hamilton4794
Buchanan4755
Poweshiek47211
Jones4704
Clayton4613
Floyd45211
Emmet44620
Iowa4299
Page4190
Guthrie41315
Mills4133
Cass4123
Cherokee4112
Sac4074
Butler3963
Franklin39318
Shelby3932
Fayette3924
Allamakee3879
Madison3713
Chickasaw3691
Clarke3573
Humboldt3503
Hancock3394
Grundy3326
Palo Alto3262
Calhoun3234
Osceola2930
Mitchell2881
Howard2819
Monroe26411
Union2635
Taylor2522
Jefferson2471
Monona2472
Pocahontas2382
Appanoose2343
Fremont2121
Lucas2106
Ida2082
Adair1911
Greene1890
Montgomery1877
Davis1854
Van Buren1842
Keokuk1711
Decatur1600
Audubon1561
Worth1460
Wayne1343
Ringgold922
Adams841
Unassigned90
Rochester
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 26°
Mason City
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 24°
Albert Lea
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 26°
Austin
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 28°
Charles City
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 27°
Tracking a breezy weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events