Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation want to honor Prince with a Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest awards given to U.S. civilians.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced the legislation on Monday (Oct. 25). It will honor the Purple Rain singer for his “legacy of musical achievement and … indelible mark on Minnesota and American culture.”
“Like so many, I grew up with Prince’s music. I was always proud to say he was from Minnesota,” Sen. Klobuchar said in a statement. ”The world is a whole lot cooler because Prince was in it — he touched our hearts, opened our minds, and made us want to dance. With this legislation, we honor his memory and contributions as a composer, performer, and music innovator.”
According to NPR, the Congressional Gold Medal is presented by the U.S. Congress. Since 1776, only 163 people have been given the honor, including Rosa Parks, Colin Powell and the Tuskegee Airmen. In order for the bill to get approved, it must get support from two-thirds of both the House and Senate.
“I remember when I first came to America being captivated by Prince’s music and impact on the culture. He showed that it was okay to be a short, Black kid from Minneapolis and still change the world,” Rep. Omar said in a statement. “He not only changed the arc of music history; he put Minneapolis on the map.”
Prince was only 19 years old when he released his first album in 1978. Over the span of his musical career, he won several awards, including a Golden Globe, seven Grammy awards and an Oscar for the film Purple Rain. In 2019, the movie was added by the Library of Congress for conservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Sadly, the “When Doves Cry” musician passed away at the age of 57 from an accidental overdose.