"Purple reigns": Ilhan Omar co-sponsors bill to give Congressional Gold Medal to Prince

Washington DC – Minnesota's congressional delegation is introducing a bill to the House and Senate on Monday to award a Congressional Gold Medal to pop icon Prince.

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (l.) is co-sponsoring a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Prince.
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (l.) is co-sponsoring a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Prince.  © Collage: IMAGO / agefotostock, IMAGO / ZUMA Wire & IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

The effort is primarily led by Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, but the entire Minnesota congressional delegation is listed as original co-sponsors of the bill, the Star Tribune reported.

Prince, born in Minneapolis as Prince Rogers Nelson, died in 2016 of an accidental fentanyl overdose in Chanhassen, Minnesota. He was 57.

The musician released 39 albums over the course of his life and earned numerous awards, including seven Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, an Oscar, and a Golden Globe.

Omar released a statement announcing the legislation, in which she called Prince a "Minnesota icon."

"He showed that it was OK to be a short, Black kid from Minneapolis and still change the world. He not only changed the arc of music history; he put Minneapolis on the map," she continued.

Klobuchar said in her own 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."

"Purple reigns in Minnesota today and every day because of him," she added.

In order to send the bill to Biden's desk for signature, two-thirds of the members of each congressional chamber must vote in favor.

If the Minnesota delegation succeeds, the legislation calls for the medal to be given to the Smithsonian Institution and made available for viewing at the National Museum of African American History and Culture or on loan.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / agefotostock, IMAGO / ZUMA Wire & IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

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