Prince: Global rock star? Check. Flamboyant fashionista? Check. Musical genius? Check. Good neighbor? Apparently, that, too.
While Prince was known around the world for the first three things, only after his death are some fans seeing another side of the music legend, with heartfelt stories of his anonymous generosity appearing at memorials and in social media posts around the Twin Cities.
Thank you for letting us weave you into the fabric of our community. We loved you as our neighbor and we hope you felt our love and our welcome. We appreciated your gentle humanity as well as your music. You gave anonymously and humbly to our town, our schools — but we knew it was you behind all those large donations! You enriched our lives and made Chanhassen a better place.
Rest in peace, neighbor. You left a legacy and you made a difference.
A community bids farewell to a neighbor. / For someone known around the world, Prince was intensely private in the community where he lived. Sightings were common but pictures rare, an apparent testament to his requests to not be photographed and a #minnesotanice compulsion to comply. #chanhassen #thisismyminnesota #minnstagramers #minnstagram
That tribute is far from the only one.
On the day Prince died, Star Tribune reporter John Reinan spoke to a grant writer who recalled that when Seed Academy and Harvest Prep were being founded, Prince gave $150,000 to help in the launch. The schools, which serve primarily economically disadvantaged youth, have been lauded for helping students succeed in the classroom.
And on Friday, KSTP’s Tom Hauser found this simple note, written in marker on a Halloween themed towel at an estate where Prince lived previously: “Prince, Tnx for giving out Halloween candy. #goodneighbor.” It was signed simply, “The Wagners."
Prince's cherished place in the community was echoed by Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson during Friday’s news conference.
“To you, Prince Rogers Nelson was a celebrity. To us, he was a good neighbor,” Olson said. “In life, he was a private person. We are going to continue to respect his privacy and dignity."
As a practicing Jehovah’s Witness, Prince “was not allowed to speak publicly” about his good acts, friend Van Jones told CNN.
Among other initiatives, Prince helped fund #YesWeCode, an initiative led by Jones to help teach 100,000 low-income youth to code to help them find jobs in the tech world.
Now, after his death, the stories about generosities big and small are being told.