What’s the Story Behind Prince’s Custom Urn?

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Prince’s untimely death in 2016 marked the end of his life, but not the end of his legacy. The star made an impact on music and pop culture that we may never forget.

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His legacy doesn’t merely live on through the music he left, either. Even Prince’s urn, which holds the ashes left behind after his cremation, is a symbol of his creativity and spirit.

Because Prince was a star like no other, his family knew he needed an urn that was equally dynamic and original. By working with the company Foreverence on a custom design, that’s exactly what they got.

Prince’s urn isn’t just a container for his ashes. It’s a monument to a legend. This blog will describe what it looks like, how Prince’s family got it, and what its current status is. 

Custom urn tip: Unique custom urns aren't just for world-famous celebrities. If you want to design a one-of-a-kind urn for a loved one (or for your own remains), you can work with the very same company that made Prince's iconic final resting place: Foreverence

What Is Prince’s Urn Shaped Like?

Prince’s urn is as unique and striking as the performer himself was throughout his iconic career. Its shape is that of a museum-like building with Prince’s symbol in front. The urn is 14 inches high, 18 inches long, and the Prince symbol features seven crystals Prince’s sister Tyka chose. She applied the final crystal herself, essentially completing the urn.

The front column of Prince’s urn contains the star’s ashes. Inside the urn is a replica of an atrium space, with a small-scale purple Yamaha piano (the same kind Prince used when performing on stage), decorative flooring featuring the Prince symbol, dove ornaments, and even functioning lights. It’s certainly one of the more impressively detailed urns for ashes you’re ever likely to see.

Fans of the artist will also recognize it as a miniature replica of Paisley Park. Prince’s urn resembling this building is fitting, given the important role it played in both his personal and professional life.

Prince’s Paisley Park dream

In some ways, Paisley Park began as a song of the same name. Prince released the track in 1985. Its lyrics describe an imaginary place filled with “colorful people” where “there aren’t any rules.”

Prince turned Paisley Park into a much more real place in 1987. While the outside of this compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota might not resemble the whimsical land Prince described in his song, inside, it was (and still is) a colorful dream world.

Paisley Park began as a recording and overall production studio for Prince. It also became his home, as well as a sanctuary he returned to for spiritual and creative inspiration.

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How Did Prince Get a Custom, 3D Printed Urn?

One of music’s most creative artists should also have one of the world’s most creative urns. This particular urn is the result of a collaboration between Prince’s family and Foreverence, a company that helps customers design custom urns for their deceased loved ones.

Prince’s family approached Foreverence with the idea of modeling his urn after Paisley Park because they wanted to store his ashes in an urn that resembled the place he considered his true home. They believed it was important that people realize Paisley Park was more than just a studio. It was an embodiment of Prince’s visions in building form.

Foreverence went to work on the design after discussing the original idea with several of Prince’s close loved ones. To ensure any customer, whether they’re Prince’s family or not, receives an urn that truly matches what they had in mind, Foreverence’s team starts by using 3-D modeling tools to create concept images before actually creating the urn itself.

This allowed Prince’s family to see a digital version of the urn from all angles before confirming it matched their vision. Once they gave their approval, Foreverence’s team created the finished product.

It’s worth noting that Prince isn’t the only music legend Foreverence has created a custom urn for. Here are some other names you might recognize:

Lemmy Kilmister

Motorhead’s hard-rocking frontman got an appropriate urn featuring a model of his iconic hat atop a triangular base featuring the words “Ace of Spades.”

Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland, who rose to fame as the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots, often sang through a megaphone during live performances. His family decided to pay tribute to this unique quality by ordering a custom urn that resembles the same megaphone he used on stage.

Bob Casale

Bob Casale was the founder of DEVO. Even those not very familiar with DEVO’s music may recognize the unique red “Energy Dome” hats the band frequently wore in videos and during concerts. Casale’s ashes now rest in an urn of the same shape.

A note on custom urns

Whether you’re honoring the funeral wishes of a loved one or simply looking for an urn you believe they would have liked, you can also reach out to companies like Foreverence with a custom design idea. They’ll use your stories, images, and anything else you supply to create a fitting urn. They’ll also answer questions about how much an urn costs, how long the process may take, and any other topics about which you’re curious.

Where is Prince’s Urn Today?

Prince was never one to hide away from the spotlight for very long. He wanted to share his art and message with the world. 

Thus, his family didn’t order Prince’s urn from customer designers simply to keep it in their own home. For several years, fans could see it up close as well.

Prince’s urn at Paisley Park

Prince had always hoped that one day Paisley Park would be open to the public in some capacity. That dream came true when the Paisley Park Museum opened in October of 2016. Along with offering guests a chance to tour the facility where Prince once lived and worked, Paisley Park Museum now serves as an event space and concert venue.

When the museum first opened, visitors also had the chance to see Prince’s urn on display. At first, the urn sat on the floor of the main atrium space, ensuring it was one of the first items guests saw when they entered the museum.

Some of the museum's earliest guests reported having a strong emotional reaction to seeing the urn as soon as they walked in. Prince had only died earlier that year, and the sight of the urn made many pause and linger for a moment, before moving on to explore the rest of the museum.

Prince’s urn didn’t stay in that spot forever, though. That December, his family requested to move the urn to a frosted plastic case on the front of the atrium’s balcony. This elevated the urn in a way that some found was more respectful.

This lasted until 2019 when Prince’s family decided to keep the urn in the museum, but to no longer have it out on display.

Prince’s brother Omarr Baker explained the decision to remove the urn from the display, saying “Three years is enough time to mourn. There’s a season for everything.”

This has naturally upset some fans and relatives. Even among Prince’s heirs, not everyone agreed with the decision to keep his ashes away from the public eye. Some have proposed establishing a mausoleum on the grounds of Paisley Park, so fans can at least know where Prince’s ashes are, but due to zoning restrictions, it could be difficult to do so.

Baker may have also made a good point when he explained that removing Prince’s urn from public display was a natural part of the mourning process. According to some reports, fan reactions may have been one of the factors contributing to the decision. Some believe the family members who chose to remove the urn did so in part because many fans who saw it would get too emotional.

Regardless, as of now, anyone interested in seeing Prince’s urn up close may want to follow the story as it develops. While you currently don’t have the option to see it, that could change in the future. In the meantime, you can still celebrate a beloved music icon by visiting Paisley Park and exploring the place where he lived and dreamed.

Prince’s Urn: A Tribute to Greatness

Prince was one of music’s most authentic voices and visionaries. Although he may no longer be with us, Prince’s urn—along with his music, films, and much more—reminds us of his soul.


Sources

  1. “About Paisley Park.” The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson, www.paisleypark.com/about
  2. “The Legends.” Foreverence Inc., foreverence.com/legends/prince/
  3. Petridis, Alexis. “Prince: ‘Transcendence. That’s what you want. When that happens – Oh, boy'.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media Limited, 12 November 2015, www.theguardian.com/music/2015/nov/12/prince-interview-paisley-park-studios-minneapolis
  4. “Process.” Foreverence, Inc. https://foreverence.com/process/
  5. Runtagh, Jordan. “First Photos of Prince's Final Resting Place: Singer's Urn Modeled After Paisley Park.” People, Meredith Corporation, 15 October 2016, people.com/music/prince-urn-first-photos/
  6. Bream, Jon. “Urn with Prince's ashes still in the building, 'just not on display' at Paisley Park.” StarTribune, StarTribune, 21 March 2019, www.startribune.com/urn-with-prince-s-ashes-still-in-the-building-just-not-on-display-at-paisley-park/507434942/
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