When Prince Rogers Nelson first passed away, acclaimed director Spike Lee held an impromptu block party in front of his 40 Acres & A Mule production offices in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, which encouraged fans of the iconic artist to come together and celebrate his influential legacy.
This past weekend, in honor of the Purple One’s upcoming birthday (he would’ve turned 58 years old today) the Do The Right Thing creator hosted a “Prince Born Day Party” in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, that was easily one of the best New York events of the summer so far. The free party featured guest appearances from Sway In The Morning host Sway Calloway, basketball greats Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and John Salley, Rosie Perez and Al Sharpton.
Sharpton took the stage to speak about the Purple Rain mastermind, while also acknowledging another legend that recently passed away — Muhammad Ali.
“As one who knew him for many years, I told Spike maybe he left ’cause he heard there was a jam session,” Sharpton said at the event, according to USA Today. “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.”
André Cymone, a musician that worked with Prince and knew him since childhood, also took the stage to speak.
“I’m still in shock. A beautiful brother, and I’m lost,” Cymone told the audience. “I can’t even put it into words.”
Although it was recently unveiled that Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl (a powerful opioid painkiller), the party served as a remembrance for the artist’s life and music, not his death.
“I’ve been – I mean I did a lot of parties! But, that will go down as one of the epic, epic parties,” Lee told us in regards to the Prince party he threw the night of the guitar virtuoso’s death. “Not just for me, just in general.”
But judging by the moments captured from this previous party, Lee might’ve topped himself. If you were there (and even if you weren’t) check out our gallery above — you might find yourself!