On Wednesday, the University of Minnesota awarded late music icon and famous local native Prince with a posthumous honorary doctorate in recognition of “his influence on music and his role in shaping his hometown of Minneapolis,” according to The Associated Press.
University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler and regent Darrin Rosha presented the school’s highest non-academic honor, the Doctorate of Humane Letters, to Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, on her brother’s behalf. The university had been preparing to honor Prince with the Doctorate of Humane Letters even before his death due to an accidental opiate overdose in 2016, noted the Associated Press.
The ceremony, which took place on the University of Minnesota campus Wednesday evening, featured a performance by students of the school’s music program in addition to local funk hero, former The Time member, and Prince collaborator St. Paul Peterson, as well as Nooky Jones frontman Cameron Kinghorn.
The presentation of the honorary doctorate comes on the heels of the release of the new stripped-down posthumous Prince album, Piano & A Microphone 1983, which debuted last week. As Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter said in a statement announcing the album,
This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016. The Estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano.
You can listen to Prince’s posthumously released Piano & A Microphone 1983 album below via Spotify:
Prince – Piano & A Microphone 1983 – Full Album
[H/T Associated Press]