Gov. Mark Dayton paid tribute to Prince on Friday, calling him "a shy little boy who rose to stratospheric world acclaim" but who never forgot his Minnesota roots.
At a press conference the day after Prince's death, Dayton was asked to reflect on his passing. Stressing that he's no expert on music, Dayton nevertheless spoke with eloquence about what Prince meant to his home state.
"The outpouring of emotion by Minnesotans and by people, leaders and citizens throughout the world is just testimony to the greatness of this man," said Dayton, who sported a purple necktie. "He was such a phenomenal representative of Minnesota and our music industry here. We owe him an eternal debt of gratitude."
Dayton also said he appreciated that the artist stayed closely connected to his hometown.
"The fact that he stayed and kept his home here in Minnesota means so much," Dayton said.
The two men never met, Dayton said. But he said they had at least one thing in common: "Purple's been my color since I could tell the colors apart."
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will continue to bathe the I-35W bridge in downtown Minneapolis in purple light throughout the weekend, Dayton said. Other tributes from the state could be forthcoming, he said.
Could Minnesota ever produce another Prince? "He can never be replaced, but he'll be emulated for many years and by many generations," Dayton said. "Somewhere in north Minneapolis or somewhere in Minnesota, I hope there's a young boy or a young girl -- hopefully more than one -- who's inspired by Prince and becomes the next for their generation."