Columbus fans dress in purple to celebrate Prince's life at candlelight vigil

Columbus fans dress in purple to celebrate Prince's life at candlelight vigil

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's been one week since the world learned about the death of music icon Prince.

Fans in Columbus gathered Thursday afternoon to publicly celebrate his life and legacy with a candlelight vigil.

Hundreds made their way to Broadway in Uptown Columbus - including music lovers of all types, to sing, dance and celebrate everything Prince.

The superstar musician was found unresponsive last Thursday, April 21, at his home in Minnesota and pronounced dead a half hour after deputies arrived. 

Magic 101.3 FM in Columbus hosted the event, titled "Remembering Prince." 

Earlier in the afternoon, the first group of people to arrive signed their names and left little messages on a banner bearing Prince's signature symbol. 

Midway through the event, dozens launched purple balloons into the air, in honor of the artist who made that color a key part of his artistic persona.

As those balloons disappeared in the sky and the crowd passed around small white candles, DJs from Magic 101.3 FM played several classic Prince songs like "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain." 

Prince fan Teddy Rivera, 48, said he was first drawn to the late icon's music when he was 20, and he wanted to hear more of this unique sound.

"I thought it was kind of strange," Rivera said.  "I heard it - the sound was different. It was innovative. It was ahead of its time."

Another fan of Prince's music, Alexandra Preston, 21, said she had a difficult time believing the musician died at the age of 57. However, Preston said she's happy he left people with a collection of great songs. 

"It took me a minute to bring it in, but eventually I just accepted it," Preston said. "That's just the way of the universe saying that he's done what he's supposed to do, and it's his time."

Others at the vigil told WTVM their personal stories about how Prince's music taught them about individuality and love of self. 

They want to send their love and affection for the artist who they say inspired them to enjoy life and love passionately.

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