Here’s the Top 10 Must-Visit MinneapSites That Made the Prince of Funk
Anyone who has lived in (or even visited) Minneapolis understands the impact that the late musical artist Prince had on the culture and music scene of the city. That impact flowed both ways, with many of Minneapolis’ iconic landmarks serving as backdrops for the artist’s remarkable story.
Here’s a snapshot of the top spots in Minneapolis that shaped Prince.
1. Mt. Sinai Hospital
The place where it all began, Mt. Sinai Hospital welcomed Prince into the world on June 7, 1958. He was the son of jazz singer Mattie Della and musician and songwriter John Lewis Nelson. The hospital, located on Park Avenue South, is home to the Philips Eye Institute today.
2. The original site of Sound 80 Studios
Prince recorded the demo tapes for his first album “For You” in 1977 at this iconic studio. Other artists like Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens have also recorded at Sound 80. Home to the Guinness Book of World Records title of “Quietest Place on Earth,” the studio on East 25th Street offers tours by appointment.
3. Capri Theater
Prince signed with Warner Brothers Records in 1976 and released his first album in 1978. In January of 1979, he and his newly formed band performed their first two shows at the Capri. The theater, located on Broadway Avenue, is being fully renovated and set to reopen in October of 2020.
4. First Avenue and 7th Street Entry
As one of the city’s most influential music clubs, First Avenue & 7th St Entry has hosted countless artists over four decades, including Prince, Soul Asylum, Semisonic, The Revolution and The Replacements. Prince even featured the club in his 1984 “Purple Rain” video. Guided tours are available for a behind-the-scenes look into the club’s history.
5. Glam Slam (reopened as Cowboy Jack’s)
In 1989, Prince opened a club on North 5th Street, named “Glam Slam” after the song from his 1988 album “Lovesexy.” He sold the club to his former manager eight years later, becoming one of the hottest nightspots in Prince’s beloved home town of Minneapolis. Today, the club operates as “Cowboy Jack’s.”
6. Schmitt Music mural
For true Prince fans, the Schmitt Music mural on Marquette Avenue is a must-stop photo opportunity. The artist was photographed standing in front of the famous mural early in his career. Schmitt Music moved out of the building many years ago, but the five-story mural remains intact.
7. The “Purple Rain” house
Prince’s movie “Purple Rain” featured exterior shots of a home on Snelling Avenue, where the artist allegedly lived. A year before he died, Prince purchased the iconic home for $110,000.
8. The Orpheum Theatre
One of the most iconic theatres in Minneapolis, the Orpheum hosted countless musical stars over the years. It was also featured in “Purple Rain” for some of the green room scenes and backstage shots. The Hennepin Theatre Trust offers public tours of the backstage areas.
9. Paisley Park
Just outside the city in Chanhassen, Minnesota, visitors can tour the site of Prince’s first record label, Paisley Park Records. The artist lived and recorded at Paisley Park until his death in 2016.
10. Calhoun Square
Now a bustling shopping and restaurant scene, Calhoun Square inspired two of Prince’s most well-known songs, “Uptown” and “Calhoun Square.” Often spotted running errands around the city, the artist was spotted shopping for records in the area just days before his death.