UPDATED: Prime Minister Erna Solberg was among Norwegian fans mourning the death of artist and musician Prince on Friday. She said she played Prince’s music at her own wedding, and joined others from Crown Princess Mette-Marit to Norwegian hotel king Petter Stordalen in paying tribute to the man described as “a cultural icon” by US President Barack Obama.
On Saturday, Prince’s groundbreaking sound “Purple Rain,” was set to be heard all over downtown Oslo. The chimes at City Hall would ring out one of the artist’s greatest hits at high noon, in another tribute to the late musician.
Prime Minister Solberg was so moved by Prince’s death at the age of 57 on Thursday that she invited reporters to her official residence in Oslo to share her grief. She claimed Prince’s music literally set the tone for some of the most fundamentally important moments of her life.
“It was that time (in the 1980s) when I met Sindre (Finnes, her husband), when we got married (in 1996), all those big moments in life,” Solberg told newspaper VG. She said she still listens to Prince every day: “I’ll miss him, but the music fortunately lives on.”
Liberal Party leader Trine Skei Grande, musician Inger Lise Rypdal and hotel tycoon Petter Stordalen were also among the millions paying tribute to Prince around the world.
“My best memory is from the O2 Arena in London in 2007,” said Stordalen, recalling how he was among six members of the audience to dance on the stage with Prince at the end of his concert. “I think it had to do with the burgundy-red leather jacket I was wearing,” Stordalen reminisced with a laugh to VG.
Prince was supposed to play two small concerts in Oslo last December, but they were postponed after the terrorist attacks in Paris. The cause of Prince’s death remained unconfirmed Friday, with an autopsy scheduled during the weekend.