EXCLUSIVE: Inside Prince's Paisley Park as the Recording Compound Becomes a Fan Museum

by Zach Seemayer 7:00 AM PDT, October 05, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Inside Prince's Paisley Park as the Recording Compound Becomes a Fan Museum

Months after Prince's death, the iconic musician's Paisley Park estate is getting ready to open to the public. ET's Kevin Frazier recently joined Angie Marchese, Director of Archives at Paisley Park, for an exclusive guided tour of the sprawling compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Marchese began in the estate's stunning atrium, which she called "the heart of Paisley Park."

"The skylights, the clouds, they really give it that open feeling that Prince loved about this place," she explained. "This is where he would relax and this room is being captured kind of as a moment in time. This is the way it was left and it's the way we are keeping it."

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As Prince contemplated his life and career under the skylights of the atrium, he wasn't alone. The singer was accompanied by his two pet doves, Majesty and Divinity, who are still living in the atrium in his absence.

"They’re here to greet us just like they were here to greet Prince," Marchese explained.

After the beauty of the atrium, the tour continued with a look at the singer's famous Purple Rain room, which was set up as a monument to the artist's beloved 1984 album and movie.


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The room features the original album, Prince's iconic purple ensemble from the rock musical, and a slew of other coveted Purple Rain memorabilia -- including the Academy Award the film won for Best Original Score, front and center.

"That is the Oscar," Marchese explained. "So when you first walk in the room, the first thing you see is the Oscar."


Finally, Marchese introduced the "Holy Grail of Paisley Park": Studio A, Prince's 1,500-square foot studio where he recorded the bulk of his impressive musical catalog.

However, it wasn't just Prince who made beautiful music in the spacious studio. "Celine Dion recorded in here, Madonna recorded in here," Marchese shared. "This was kind of the heart of the creativity here at Paisley Park."


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According to Marchese, the studio hasn't been changed or altered in any way since Prince's death in April, and everything is exactly "the way we found it."

"It was really important that we keep the authenticity of Paisley Park," she explained. "We keep that feeling here as if Prince could walk in at any moment and be sitting behind those control panels…. We really wanna be true to Paisley and true to Prince."

Further along in the estate, a wall of Prince's gold and platinum records -- as well as a large, framed case displaying tickets for the 88 shows in his 2004 Musicology Tour -- block the elevator where the singer’s body was discovered.


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Frazier also spoke with Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, who opened up about the Paisley Park museum and what it means for her brother's legacy.

"We left it the way he would want everybody to see it," Nelson explained. "That's what you want when you come here -- you want to see him."

According to Nelson, the museum will give fans a chance to get a much more intimate look at the life of the revered artist.

"When you normally see Prince up on stage, it's a distance. This is up close," she explained. "When you start to see the different eras in his life, you'll go, I remember where I was when that song came on. You'll hear the music, you'll smell the smells, and you'll experience Prince up close and personal."

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As for Prince's unreleased music, sitting and waiting in the vault at Paisley Park, Nelson said that it wouldn't be locked away for much longer.

"We're going to pull it up and we're going to remix it and we're going to get it out!" she said, adding that efforts to release the unheard tracks would be made "as soon as possible."

For more with Nelson on Prince's legacy, and to see the rest of Paisley Park, tune into Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday. Check here for local listings.

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