Lead Story West Edition

City Hall memorial for Prince planned May 6

LOS ANGELES — A memorial service for Prince will be held at Los Angeles City Hall May 6, event organizers said April 27.

The May 6 memorial was originally scheduled for 11 a.m. but is now set for 5 p.m. to allow more people to attend, according to organizer Najee Ali.

Ali also organized a candlelight vigil for Prince in Leimert Park April 21, the same day the musician was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota at the age of 57. Hundreds of people attended the vigil, including Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

Los Angeles City Hall and the U.S. Bank Building were both bathed in purple light overnight April 21 as a tribute to Prince.

Ali, who is director of Project Islamic Hope, said the May 6 City Hall memorial service will be a “celebration of Prince’s life, music and his legacy.”

With the singer “being cremated so quickly at a private, small memorial service in Minnesota,” his fans in Los Angeles did not have the opportunity to have “true closure,” Ali said.

Ali said he has reached out to radio station KJLH-FM 102.3, which is owned by musician Stevie Wonder, to help sponsor the event, as no public money has been allocated.

City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson has agreed to help reserve City Hall space for the memorial, Ali said.

A master of showmanship, Prince created a musical style of his own, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. His hits included “When Doves Cry,” “1999,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Kiss” and “Little Red Corvette.”

His talent was on full display in the 1984 film “Purple Rain,” which became a cult sensation and propelled him to superstardom.

Prince — born Prince Rogers Nelson — won an Oscar for best original song for “Purple Rain.” He also won seven Grammys.

President Barack Obama issued a statement calling Prince “a creative icon.”

“Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince,” he said. “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent.

“As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader and an electrifying performer.”