Spike Lee throws a party for Prince


Spike Lee threw a huge outdoor party for Prince ahead of the late legend's 58th birthday.

Al Sharpton, Rosie Perez, former Prince associates and hundreds of others joined the director in paying tribute to the late superstar, whose birthday is on Tuesday.

Fans at a party for Prince
Fans at the party for Prince (Shoun A Hill/AP/PA)

Prince died on April 21, and an autopsy revealed this week that he had died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller.

But the focus at Spike's bash in New York - where the dress code was purple - was on Prince's life and music, not his death.

For six hours, fans jammed to hits like When Doves Cry, Starfish And Coffee and Erotic City. Some dressed as their idol, while others wore t-shirts that bore his image.

"Y'all came to celebrate Prince today? Will you celebrate him tomorrow? Will you celebrate him next week? Will you celebrate him next year? Will you celebrate him the rest of your life?" TV host Sway Calloway asked the crowd, to cheers.

Spike entered the party holding a gold Prince symbol, followed by a troupe of kid drummers, all wearing purple.

Spike Lee at a party for Prince
Spike Lee (Shoun A Hill/AP/PA)

Sharpton and others also acknowledged the loss of another icon, Muhammad Ali, who died early on Saturday morning.

"As one who knew him for many years, I told Spike maybe he left 'cause he heard there was a jam session," Sharpton said.

"And Prince has heated up the band on the other side. And somewhere I see Ali waving his hands saying 'Purple Rain, Purple Rain'. They're having a big jam session."

Spike held an impromptu dance party in Brooklyn after the singer died on April 21. He also held a similar celebration honoring Michael Jackson in the years since his 2009 death.