Prince's Home State of Minnesota to Lobby Congress to Honor Late Pop Star With Medal

Minnesota lawmakers are lobbying Monday for the Congressional Gold Medal to be posthumously awarded to Prince and later placed in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in the music icon's honor.

Representative Ilhan Omar, one of the many in Minnesota's congressional delegation in favor of this bill, believes that Prince was an inspiration that deserves recognition.

"Prince is 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," Omar said.

The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest civilian honors in the nation and has been previously awarded to luminaries such as George Washington, Rosa Parks, the Wright Brothers, Dalai Lama and more.

Senator Amy Klobuchar believes Prince deserves this award as much as its previous recipients.

"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," Klobuchar said.

The Congressional Gold Medal will be presented to the House of Representatives and the Senate, and in order to pass requires the approval of at least two-thirds of both houses, before being signed into law by the president.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Minnesota lawmakers lobby to honor Prince
Minnesota lawmakers are lobbying Monday for the Congressional Gold Medal to be posthumously awarded to Prince. Prince performs during the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in Miami on February 4, 2007. Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Prince, whose hits include "Little Red Corvette," ″Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," died April 21, 2016, of an accidental fentanyl overdose at age 57 at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The resolution for Prince is led by Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat who represents Minneapolis in the House. The full Minnesota delegation serves as original cosponsors, including Senator Tina Smith and Representatives Jim Hagedorn, Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, Betty McCollum, Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Pete Stauber and Omar.

The legislation notes that Prince is "widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation," with seven Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, an Oscar for the score to Purple Rain and a Golden Globe.

It adds that he is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, sold more than 150 million records worldwide and that "Purple Rain" was added by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. The bill also puts into the Congressional Record the glyph he used instead of his name for a time that Prince called "The Love Symbol."

Born Prince Rogers Nelson, the singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist broke through in the late 1970s with the hits "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover," and soared over the following decade with such albums as 1999 and Purple Rain. Among his other notable releases: Sign O' the Times, Graffiti Bridge and The Black Album.