Prince’s death on April 21, 2016, left the world stunned. The musical icon’s unexpected passing left fans across the world inconsolable. Now, days later, the tributes to and sharing of Prince’s music and persona continue to celebrate his life across the world.
Paris did not escape the upset felt by the passing of Prince, nor that he is no longer a part of the physical world. The last chance Parisian fans would have had to bathe in the genius of Prince was in December 2015. The Purple One had a scheduled concert at L’Opera Garnier. However, the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris forced Prince to cancel his concert and the last opportunity Parisian fans would have had to appreciate Prince’s purple reign on earth.
As the news spread of the music idol’s untimely passing, the fans in France began sharing their memories and the music that shaped their lives. Fans went as far as creating false images of the Eiffel Tower in purple lights to match other monuments across the world. The doctored social media photos of the Eiffel Tower glowing in purple lights made its way into the national news. The actual tower was not turned purple, however.
Paris fans had a few public venues in which to cry with their wine and to hold up their lighters as they listened to Purple Rain. The night it was announced that the purple icon’s reign had ended, DJ Jazzy Jeff was performing at club Wanderlust in Paris. Those in attendance were able to enjoy a tribute to the icon while DJ Jazzy Jeff spun some of Prince’s most well-known songs. Mariah Carey fans, who were in attendance at her recent concert, were also treated to an emotional tribute. Carey described the loss of Prince, as one she will never get over.
Many fans likely echo Carey’s sentiment. Fans throughout France may feel a bigger hole in their hearts and fewer places to share their sorrow. During the week of April 21, there was no shortage of news coverage or video tributes to Prince’s legacy. However, while fans across the U.S. were able to see Purple Rain in theaters, French fans could only watch the airing of the film at home.
Many would not question that Prince loved Paris and France in general. “The Artist Formally Known As” star held several concerts throughout the Riviera and even once toyed with the idea of purchasing a jazz club in Nice. When visiting Paris, the elusive star often visited smaller lesser known clubs throughout the city. His Purple Highness once considered leaving Minnesota to reign in Paris full-time.
Prince often arrived at small venues throughout Paris right before closing and performed all night. This was something that the Purple One would do when he visited cities. His unannounced performances became mythical experiences that seemed to only happen to those worthy of witnessing his reign so closely.
Prince once told a reporter that he planned to sing in every concert hall in Paris. This is an unfortunate dream that Parisians will never be able to realize. Despite the lack of huge public sharing through the city, Paris fans are no less dedicated; their way of mourning is just more reserved. Perhaps they are mimicking Prince’s appreciation for personal privacy. Paris fans are nonetheless distraught and feeling the hole Prince left in the world.
Opinion by Gichele Cocrelle
Edited by Jeanette Smith
thelocal.fr: How Prince had Fond love of France and one Paris Venue
People: Mariah Carey pays tribute to Prince during Paris concert: ‘He talked me through some times when I really needed someone’
leparisian.fr: Mort de Prince: souvenir d’une breve rencontre
Buzzfeed.com: Non la tour Eiffel n’a pas ete illumine en violet pour Prince
Photo by Yann Caradec Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License