Let's go crazy, Prince fans. Paisley Park, Prince's estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota, finally opens its doors to the public today. And to get folks hyped right before the big moment, Al Roker gave an exclusive first look at the compound where thee Purple One lived and worked on The TODAY Show Wednesday.
Al gave a tour of Paisley Park, which essentially looks the same as when Prince had lived there before his death at the age of 57 in April (clip below). For one thing, there's handwritten notes from the artist on a music stand in Studio A, where Prince was working on a jazz album, which will one day be released. The likes of Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder have also laid down tracks here. You'll also find a purple piano, drum kits adorned with Prince's iconic symbol (every drum kit that ever toured with him is in storage), and platinum records lining the walls.
Some of the other rooms of the estate probably look more like what you'd expect from a museum, such as the Purple Rain Room, which features items from Prince's classic 1984 film, including the wardrobe, an Oscar, and one of the motorcycles Prince rides in the movie. But head into the NPG Music Club (for the uninitiated, New Power Generation was the name of Prince's backing band), and you'll find a more intimate affair in this performance space where Prince would entertain friends and play for small groups.
It doesn't sound like transforming Paisley Park into a museum required much work. "He did plan it to be a museum. Everything is strategically placed," Prince's sister Sharon Nelson said on TODAY. "And when the fans come in, they'll see that it is."
Prince's actual living quarters are off-limits to the public for now, but his other sister, Tyka Nelson, told Al that she thinks fans will still be able to feel like they're in the same room as him when they come visit the museum. "I want them to maybe feel like maybe they saw Prince up close. Sometimes, when you're a fan you only get to see him from a seat, but this way, you're almost face-to-face with him," she said during an interview on TODAY (clip below). "And then when you see the different eras and then also hear the different music, I want you to go away with your memories."
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