Prince received seven Grammys, one Oscar and numerous awards from MTV, the Minnesota Music Academy and other organizations. On Wednesday, he added a posthumous Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Minnesota.
In a ceremony at Ted Mann Concert Hall, Prince was praised for his contributions as a musician, activist, humanitarian, philanthropist and Minnesotan.
His “impact and legacy are immeasurable,” said American Studies Prof. Elliott Powell, who spoke along with the U president, a member of the Board of Regents, a college dean and the director of the School of Music.
When Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sister, accepted the award, she was overcome with emotion. Fighting back tears, she saluted the student musicians onstage and managed a few words: “This is so special. Thank you.”
After the hourlong ceremony, Omarr Baker, Prince’s brother, explained why the doctorate was so special.
“This award ranks higher than all of them,” Baker said in an interview. “Because Prince didn’t even like award shows. Those are bought and sold. This was earned. It’s a lifetime achievement. He’d think this award is on top.”