Insight News: Paisley Park Alums Honor Prince

KING to perform at concert benefiting area nonprofits

By Harry Colbert, Jr., Managing Editor, @HarryColbertJr

Prince left us with many gifts before his untimely passing.

The man who made it hip to say you were from Minnesota … who put First Avenue on the map … who made Lake Minnetonka a household name worldwide … who was Bruno Mars before Bruno Mars (and much better at it) … left an indelible legacy in music, in film and in our hearts. But there’s another legacy that Prince left behind … his legacy of philanthropic giving.

During his existence here on earth, Prince Rogers Nelson gave countless amounts of money to those in need and to worthy causes. This wasn’t celebrated during the artist’s life because for the most part … outside of a select few … most never knew about Prince’s giving. Many of the recipients of Prince’s generosity were unaware as to who was their benefactor.

It is that legacy and spirit of giving that has motivated a group of former Prince associates to band together in continued philanthropy. The PRN Alumni Foundation – made up of former staffers at Paisley Park – was formed last year to promote giving to various causes; most centering on children in need and music, but also giving to former Prince associates now in need. This week the foundation will host a series of events, including a Thursday night (Sept. 7) concert with Prince protégées, KING (this week’s cover), at the Machine Shop and a Saturday noon (Sept. 9) panel discussion on the music and fashion industries at the Capri Theater – home to Prince’s first ever concert.

Jacqui Thompson, president of PRN Alumni Foundation board said the chosen weekend has special meaning.

“Sept. 11 marks the 30th anniversary of Paisley Park, so we wanted to do something to commemorate that and at the same time keep Prince’s legacy of philanthropy alive,” said Thompson.

The choice of Grammy-nominated KING to headline the inaugural benefit concert was a no brainer for the foundation, said Thompson.

“They are from here and Prince supported them and mentored them, and we felt it would be great to have them,” said Thompson.

For KING, being able to honor their former mentor is bittersweet.

“Nothing is the same as having him (Prince) here and we miss him dearly, but we’re honored to celebrate his life,” said Paris Strother, KING producer and vocalist.

Tickets for Thursday’s 9 p.m. Machine Shop (300 2nd St. S.E., Minneapolis) concert are $50 general admission, $100 VIP and $125 reserved seat VIP. There will also be a silent auction with items such as a signed Carlos Santana guitar and artwork by Miles Davis.

Saturday’s panel discussion at the Capri, 2017 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis, begins at noon and tickets are $40 for a session or $100 for all sessions.

Tickets for both the concert and the panel are online at

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