The dress code was purple, and the only demand was to bash. Hundreds of folks obliged Saturday as Spike Lee threw a huge outside party for Prince ahead of the late star’s 58th birthday.
Al Sharpton, Rosie Perez, former Prince associates and others joined the crowd in paying tribute to the late superstar, whose birthday is Today.
Prince died April 21, and an autopsy revealed this week that he had died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller. But the focus Saturday was on Prince’s life and music, not his death.
“Y’all came to celebrate? Are you going to celebrate him tomorrow? Next week are you going to celebrate him? Are you going to celebrate him next year? Are you going to celebrate him the remainder of your life?” TV host Sway Calloway questioned the crowd, to cheers.
Spike Lee entered the party holding a gold Prince symbol, followed by a troupe of child drummers, all wearing purple. Lee took turns with Sway as emcee of the occasion.
Others and Sharpton also acknowledged the loss of another idol, Muhammad Ali, who passed early Saturday morning.
“As one who knew him for many years, I told Spike maybe he left ‘cause he heard there was a jam session,” Sharpton said. “And Prince has heated up the band on the other side. And somewhere I see Ali waving his hands saying ‘Purple Rain, Purple Rain.” They’re having a big jam session.“
Musician Andre Cymone, who knew him since childhood and played with Prince, said he was mourning.
Perez, basketball great Earl “ The Pearl” Monroe and John Salley also spoke at the occasion.
Lee held an impromptu dance party in Brooklyn after the vocalist died on April 21. He also held a similar celebration honoring Michael Jackson in the past few years since his 2009 death.