The Minnesota Vikings won their first game in their new stadium against the Green Bay Packers, making them just one of eight teams in the NFL that still holds the title of being undefeated. But the game was also important for another reason: its incredible Prince tribute.
In honor of the iconic artist, who was born in Minneapolis and was a fan of the Vikings, the team draped the entire stadium in purple lighting for a halftime performance by the Minnesota Orchestra and gospel group The Steeles. Together, they performed Prince’s hit song “Purple Rain,” while Vikings and Packers fans flashed their cell phones.
There was also a strange moment in the game in which fans have since interpreted as a homage to Prince. The Green Packers scored the first touchdown of the night, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers passing the ball to wide receiver Jordy Nelson. When you add Aaron’s last name and Jordy’s last name together, what’s the name you get? Rodgers Nelson (the late guitarist’s full name was Prince Rodgers Nelson).
In 2010 Prince wrote a fight song for the Vikings, “Purple and Gold.” Following his death the team said, “We will forever be proud and grateful that he considered himself a Vikings fan.” Minnesota’s other pro sports teams, including the Twins and the Wild, have also paid tribute to Prince.
The homage comes right as the Official Prince Tribute has announced its lineup. The Official Prince Tribute: A Celebration of Life & Music, is happening on October 13 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, and will feature performances from: Stevie Wonder; Christina Aguilera; Chaka Khan; John Mayer; Tori Kelly; Anita Baker; Doug E. Fresh; Luke James; Bilal; Mint Condition; Morris Day & the Time; Judith Hill and Liv Warfield; and the New Power Generation featuring Morris Hayes and members of 3RDEYEGIRL.
Check out video of the tribute below.