Prince Had Hoop Dreams in Junior High [PHOTO]

Categories: The Purple One
Prince suiting up for Bryant Junior High.
A handful of years before Prince became a diminutive pop star he was ripping it up on Twin Cities basketball courts. An amazing find by Star Tribune reporter Libor Jany uncovered some documentation of the Purple One's early athletic pursuits. The story was part of a series penned by Strib staffer Jon Bream, who has since commented on this piece of viral history.

As Dave Chappelle and Charlie Murphy told us several years later, Prince can still play ball -- even in a blouse.

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Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Wore Prince Earrings on SNL

Categories: The Purple One
Screengrab via NBC
Nothing compares 2 Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard with Prince earrings.
Alabama Shakes' return to Saturday Night Live over the weekend was both soulful and stylish. A pair of emotionally crushing new tracks, "Don't Wanna Fight" and "Gimme All Your Love," effectively stoked anticipation for April's release of their sophomore full-length, Sound & Color. But did you see frontwoman Brittany Howard's ears?

Update: Alabama Shakes are coming to Minneapolis in May! Details below.

Amidst her plentiful hammering on her seafoam green SG and emotional outpouring on the mic, two tiny Prince faces were taking in all the action. Here's a closer look.

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Prince's Face Won the 2015 Grammys

Categories: The Purple One
Screengrab via CBS
This expression was the big takeaway from the 2015 Grammy Awards.

The Grammy Awards telecast is like a plastic handle of vodka. The moments of elated bliss are brief, and, well, you know the rest.

When lucky, a music fan watching the Grammys is incensed. "Sam Smith wins again?" "They condemn domestic violence, but look who's in the room?!" "The GWAR singer was left off the "musicians we lost" montage?!?!" But often the true lovers of glam rock, K-pop, cloud rap, death metal, or West African Tuareg blues are left bored, listless, and scrolling through Twitter to find meaning.

Prince showed his exasperation in the middle of the show's third hour, and it couldn't have come at a better time.  

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Prince Collaborator Rosie Gaines Has Fallen Ill: How You Can Help

Rosie Gaines

One of the key players in Prince's sound in the late '80s and early '90s has been hit with a series of health challenges. Rosie Gaines was reportedly hospitalized in December for a serious infection in both of her legs. Friends and collaborators are rallying to help her with a benefit show in her current hometown of Oakland.

As a singer, keyboardist, and songwriter, Gaines provided crucial contributions to 1991's Diamonds and Pearls. In addition to the scorching vocals alongside the Purple One that secured the title track as one of his classics, she also brought "Nothing Compares 2 U" to life in a live version featured on his '93 deluxe hits package. Since then, she's released numerous solo projects, but complications from diabetes have hampered her ability to work.

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RIP, Prince's Twitter and Facebook Accounts

Categories: The Purple One
Twitter/Warner Bros.
@3rdEyeGirl is out of commission.

It seems the Purple One is now the artist formerly known on social media.

The always enigmatic Prince joined Twitter in August of 2013, and delighted us by posting some selfies as @3rdEyeGirl, which later was revealed as his new band. The page fit well into the dual promotional campaign for this year's Plectrumelecrum and Art Official Age. This past October, he briefly adopted Facebook and conducted a fan Q&A, wherein he notoriously only answered a single question related to sound frequencies. As of today, both accounts are inactive.

See also:
Prince Joins Twitter and Posts His First Selfie: A Timeline

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Cardboard Prince Takes a Tour of London

Categories: The Purple One
All Photos Courtesy Explore Minnesota Tourism

After safe passage abroad, the cardboard representation of Prince has spent the last couple of days taking a royal expedition across the pond in London.

Recently, Explore Minnesota Tourism's market development manager Bill Von Bank recruited our Purple Rain-era friend as an unofficial ambassador for the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Together, they're attending the World Travel Market trade show. Between November 1 and 6, they have the primary goal of boosting local tourism here, and the secondary goal of crossing items off a cardboard bucket list. Here are several photos from the expedition.

See also:
Purple Rain-era Cardboard Prince sees the Minneapolis sights

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Watch Prince's Eight-Minute Saturday Night Live Performance

Categories: The Purple One

Prince made a powerful return to the Chris Rock-hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend with an eight-minute jam.

The Minneapolis pop, funk, and soul fusionist made sure that all of his talents were on display for his third official musical guest slot with the help of 3rdEyeGirl, Lianne La Havas, Liv Warfield, and other Paisley Park associates sharing the stage. He even sported a pair of his custom three-eye shades.

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Cardboard Prince Is Going to London

Categories: The Purple One
Oh, the places Cardboard Prince will go!

Earlier this year, the City Pages staff met Prince -- the cardboard cutout, that is. We soon discovered that he loves scenic adventures around Minneapolis. He also loves pancakes because they have a lot in common, thickness-wise.

We'll admit the last couple of months indoors have been hard on him. Even though he gets the occasional visitor in our office, he can't really rev up his cardboard motorcycle and feel the wind in his cardboard hair the way he'd like. So when we got the unique opportunity to send him to England, everything seemed right.

See also:
Purple Rain-era Cardboard Prince sees the Minneapolis sights

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Prince Returns as Saturday Night Live Musical Guest

Categories: The Purple One
Warner Bros.

NBC announced today that Prince will return to Saturday Night Live for his first appearance since 2006. (This does not count the many times he's been impersonated on the show, including a recent amusing turn by Fred Armisen.)

Update: The show will feature an uncut, eight-minute jam from Prince and 3rdEyeGirl in the middle of the broadcast. "It's anyone guess what the songs will be," reads a flowery press release.

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The Life of a House Band: Dr. Mambo's Combo

Courtesy of Dr. Mambo's Combo

Around 8:30 p.m. on a Monday evening, the crowd at North Loop institution Bunker's Music Bar & Grill was a bit thin. Only 15 people were there, including a well-dressed man in a cream-colored three-piece suit accented by a navy blazer and an almond-colored hat.

Just under an hour later, more folks trickled in slowly. Many of them clearly knew each other. Warm smiles were met with open arms, and followed by embraces. All of them also knew why they were here: Dr. Mambo's Combo was set to perform. This was where young and old meet to get down, dance, and get funky.

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