Purple Reign: Celebrate Prince in Los Angeles

Pantone's "Love Symbol #2" was inspired by Prince's purple piano

Prince in "Purple Rain"
Prince in "Purple Rain" | Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

In August 2017, the Prince Estate collaborated with the Pantone Color Institute™ to create Love Symbol #2, a standardized custom color to represent and honor legendary musician, Prince. Love Symbol #2 was inspired by his custom Yamaha purple piano, and "pays tribute to Prince’s indelible mark on music, art, fashion and culture."

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“Love Symbol #2” | Photo courtesy of Pantone

Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute said: "A musical icon known for his artistic brilliance, Love Symbol #2 is emblematic of Prince’s distinctive style. Long associated with the purple family, Love Symbol #2 enables Prince’s unique purple shade to be consistently replicated and maintain the same iconic status as the man himself."

Los Angeles has plenty of purple power, from the historic studio where Purple Rain was recorded to the Metro Rail Purple Line and more. Read on for some of the best places in L.A. to celebrate Prince's purple reign.

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"Purple Rain" - Sunset Sound

Released on June 25, 1984, Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution is the Grammy- and Oscar-winning soundtrack album to the hit film, which opened on July 27. Purple Rain is consistently ranked as one of the best albums in music history. Take Me With U, The Beautiful Ones, When Doves Cry and the string section of Purple Rain were recorded at Studio 3 of Sunset Sound, located at 6650 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Founded in 1962 by Walt Disney’s Director of Recording, Tutti Camarata, the historic music facility has recorded everything from the audio for Disney’s Bambi and Mary Poppins to landmark albums such as Exile on Main St., Pet Sounds, Smile, and Led Zeppelin II and IV.

A four-disc Deluxe Expanded Edition of Purple Rain was released in June 2017, featuring the Prince-supervised "2015 Paisley Park Remaster" of the original album, "From the Vault & Previously Unreleased," Single Edits & B-Sides," and a DVD of a 1985 concert in Syracuse.

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Metro Purple Line at Wilshire/Western Station | Instagram by @california_holic

Metro Purple Line

The Purple Line is one of six lines on the Metro Rail system, operated by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro). The Purple Line begins at Union Station in Downtown L.A. and terminates at Wilshire/Western in Koreatown. Along with the Red Line, the Purple Line is one of L.A.’s two subway lines, servicing districts such as the Civic Center, Pershing Square (near the Historic Core), the Financial District, Pico-Union and Westlake.

Los Angeles Lakers

The famous purple and gold uniforms of the Los Angeles Lakers made their debut when the team began playing their home games at The Forum in 1967. Purple was the favorite color of the Lakers’ then-owner, Jack Kent Cooke, who changed the color scheme when he bought the team and moved them from Minneapolis to L.A. For some reason, Cooke always referred to the Lakers’ purple as “blue,” so Hall of Fame broadcaster, Chick Hearn coined the phrase “Forum Blue and Gold” to describe the team’s home uniforms.

Unveiled for the 2018-19 season, the new Lakers uniforms brought back an element of the 1980s Showtime Era - updated numbers, which use a vertical drop shadow - along with a rounded neckline. The Lakers purple "Statement" jersey features the addition of a black side panel.

Something tells us LeBron James is a Prince fan. In a recent Instagram story, LeBron shared an exclusive edition of his signature Nike LeBron 15 that he dubbed "Purple Rain," featuring a purple floral pattern and other purple touches. The Instastory was timed to the anniversary of Purple Rain opening in theatres in 1984.

Grape Agate from Indonesia at the Natural History Museum
Grape Agate from Indonesia | Photo: Gem & Mineral Council of the NHM, Facebook

Gem & Mineral Hall - Natural History Museum

The Gem and Mineral Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) is one of the finest exhibits of its kind in the world. You’ll find every shade of purple as you explore over 2,000 spectacular specimens on display, which are only a fraction of the more than 150,000 specimens in the museum’s collection, considered the most significant in the country west of the Smithsonian.

CadZZilla in The Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum
Take a Livestream Tour of The Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Photo: Hagerty

CadZZilla - Petersen Automotive Museum

"The Vault" is the nickname for the near-mythic collection of thousands of unreleased Prince songs that were housed in his Minneapolis studio-turned-museum, Paisley Park. For car buffs, The Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum is a bucket list experience - an extraordinary collection of 250 iconic and rare cars from around the world exhibited in a newly renovated 60,000 square-foot underground space. Two tour options are available: the 75-minute Introductory Tour and the 120-minute World Tour.

Dubbed by Hagerty as "the world’s most famous custom Cadillac," CadZZilla was commissioned by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and is now part of The Vault collection. Designed by Larry Erickson during his tenure at Cadillac, CadZZilla was built in 1989 by hot rod legend Boyd Coddington. The original 1948 Series 62 Cadillac, a two-door fastback sedan, was one of only 4,764 built and was the first Cadillac to have the distinctive tailfins. And here's another Prince connection: the Boyd Blog says the car is finished in a "rich custom purple" mixed by House of Kolor in Minneapolis.

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Elizabeth Taylor at Madame Tussauds Hollywood | Photo courtesy of Loren Javier, Flickr

Elizabeth Taylor - Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Elizabeth Taylor was one of the world’s greatest movie stars, renowned for her acting, beauty and glamour. Taylor’s legendary violet eyes are showcased at Madame Tussauds Hollywood, where she is immortalized as the title character from Cleopatra. The epic 1963 film is one of the most expensive films ever made, and despite mixed reviews, received nine Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture), and won four Oscars. During filming, Taylor met Richard Burton, and they began one of the most turbulent love affairs in Hollywood history.

Camellia sasanqua "Nodami Ushiro" at The Huntington Library
Camellia sasanqua "Nodami Ushiro" | Photo: The Huntington Library, Facebook

Camellias - Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

Located on 207 acres in San Marino, The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens features a world-renowned rare book collection, art galleries, and more than a dozen specialized gardens arranged within a 120-acre landscape of rolling lawns. The Huntington is home to one of North America’s most comprehensive collections of camellias, featuring nearly 80 different species on display throughout the grounds. The long-blooming camellia season at The Huntington gets underway in late fall and continues through February and March.