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Tribute in purple for home town fans

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Graham Hoete spent about three days painting the Prince mural on a Chanhassen, Minnesota wall. Photo / Facebook
Graham Hoete spent about three days painting the Prince mural on a Chanhassen, Minnesota wall. Photo / Facebook

A New Zealander's mural of Prince has been unveiled in the musician's hometown.

The 8m tall mural of the star awash in purple rain was painted on a wall in Chanhassen, Minnesota. It was formally unveiled by the city's mayor and about 2000 Prince fans yesterday.

Graham Hoete said he spent about three days completing the mural and had been overwhelmed with the responses from emotional fans of Prince, who died in April aged 57.

"It was awesome. They just showed up. Over the past few days I had so many people call in or drive past offering to take me out for lunch and dinner, really looking after me, showing me love."

Hoete, formerly of Motiti Island in the Bay of Plenty, said seeing the complete mural and the response it triggered made this latest piece "pretty special".

"Man, I was brought up on Prince music. My brother and sister are huge fans as well.

When I heard he'd passed I was gutted obviously. I had to do something to pay tribute."

Hoete will return to Oklahoma City today to begin a commission after a local business saw his work with the Steven Adams mural he created earlier this month He will then travel to Louisville, Kentucky to explore the possibility of creating a tribute to Muhammad Ali.

"The thing is, even this Prince piece wasn't 100 per cent confirmed. I just knew I had to come here. It's just one of those things," he said.

"My wife and I are definitely considering moving over here, especially with the doors that have been opened up for us pretty much saying 'come over, come over'."

At yesterday's unveiling he performed a one-man haka to Mayor Denny Laufenburger. View video of the haka below or mobile and app users click here.


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