Prince awarded posthumous honorary degree from the University of Minnesota

The singer died before he was able to receive the honour in 2016

Prince has been awarded a posthumous honorary degree from the University of Minnesota.

The late singer was recognised for his influence on music and his role in shaping his hometown of Minneapolis. 

University President Eric Kaler and Regent Darrin Rosha presented the school’s highest honour, the Doctorate of Humane Letters, to Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, in a ceremony on campus last night (September 26).

The university had been preparing to present it to Prince himself before his death in 2016, reports Billboard.

Students from the university’s School of Music were joined by guest artists including St. Paul Peterson and Cameron Kinghorn in paying tribute to the late singer by performing music associated with his career.

After the hour-long ceremony, Omarr Baker, Prince’s brother, explained why the doctorate was so special.

“This award ranks higher than all of them,” Baker said. “Because Prince didn’t even like award shows. Those are bought and sold. This was earned. It’s a lifetime achievement. He’d think this award is on top.”

Prince, 1983

Earlier this month, a newly unearthed recording of ‘Why The Butterflies’ from the late singer’s recent live album ‘Piano & Microphone’ was unveiled.

The record features the icon’s solo rehearsals, recorded at his home in 1983, with performances of ’17 Day’, ‘Strange Relationship’ and ‘Purple Rain’ that he would later record properly. However, with ‘Why The Butterflies’ there is no record of him ever returning to the song either in the studio or live.

Meanwhile, another previously unreleased Prince song features on the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s new movie, BlacKkKlansman. ‘Mary Don’t You Weep’ plays during the film’s end credits.

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