There’s an effort underway to honor Prince with a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a U.S. civilian.
A bill in Congress call for the Grammy Award-winning musician to be singled out for his “legacy of musical achievement and … indelible mark on Minnesota and American culture,” a statement released Monday by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said.
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The legislation is led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the Senate and Rep. Omar in the House.
“I remember when I first came to America being captivated by Prince’s music and impact on the culture. He showed that it was okay to be a short, Black kid from Minneapolis and still change the world. He not only changed the arc of music history; he put Minneapolis on the map,” Omar said in the statement.
The full Minnesota congressional delegation co-sponsored the bill. Once the legislation is introduced, it must be approved by two-thirds of the membership of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to be awarded.
The first recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal served in wars such as the American Revolution, but Congress expanded the scope of recipients to include actors, authors, entertainers, musicians, astronauts, explorers, lifesavers, notables in science and medicine, athletes, humanitarians, public servants, and foreign recipients.
In the last thirty years, recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal include General Colin Powell, the Little Rock Nine, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and this year the U.S. Capitol Police who defended the Capitol during the insurrection and the 369th Infantry of World War I “Harlem Hellfighters” were honored.
Prince, whose full name is Prince Rogers Nelson, died in 2016 after reaching a musical career which included Grammy awards, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and an induction into the the 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.