Despite Jay-Z’s best efforts, no musician has ever fully owned a color the way Prince did purple. The hue is practically synonymous with his music, embodying all the sex and fun and mystery of his catalog of classic albums. There’s Purple Rain, of course, but also 1999, with its violet confetti cover, and Indigo Nights, the live album from a decade ago.
When Spotify launched a viral campaign to tease the addition of his catalog to their streaming library this year, they simply put a bunch of all-purple billboards with no text up in major cities, and people understood exactly what it was supposed to mean. Pantone, too, recently released a Prince-inspired shade of purple.
“The stand out piece for me is his orange Cloud guitar. It is strange because people always associate the colour purple with Prince, but his favourite color was actually orange.”
Your first reaction, like ours at Spin, might be disbelief. But a cursory search of images from Prince’s public appearances over the last decade of his life bear Nelson’s assertion out. Here he is in a sparkling orange tunic at last year’s Grammy awards. Here he is in an all-orange suit from his legendary 2007 Super Bowl performance, and here he is in a high-collared orange shirt, another outfit from the same show. Here he is in orange–with an orange guitar–during a Las Vegas residency in 2006. Here he is with the same orange guitar at that year’s BET Awards. Here he is in fiery orange at the 2012 iHeartRadio festival.
Say it slowly with me now. Prince’s favorite color was orange. Prince’s favorite color was orange. Prince’s favorite color was orange. At some point, it will get easier to hear.