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Bells of Minneapolis ring out Prince tribute

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The bells of Minneapolis city hall rang out with some of Prince's best-loved hits Sunday in a tribute to the hometown music icon.

[MINNEAPOLIS] The bells of Minneapolis city hall rang out with some of Prince's best-loved hits Sunday in a tribute to the hometown music icon.

Tony Hill played classics such as "Kiss," "1999," "Delirious," "Uptown" and "Nothing Compares 2 U" from a two-octave keyboard that controls the bells in the more than 100-year-old building.

More than 100 fans, including young families and couples, stood in silence in the rain on a gloomy afternoon to listen to the half-hour concert.

Mr Hill, chair of the Tower Bell Foundation non-profit that programs 57 concerts a year, said it had been difficult to pick songs that could be played on the Bell Foundation's instrument.

"It's a sad occasion that Prince has left us but it's always a happy time when we can play the bells and make music for the people of Minneapolis," he told AFP.

Mr Hill said he had been rehearsing since Saturday. He was previously familiar only with "Kiss" and "1999", so the others songs he was performing for the first time.

"I'm pretty sure they've never been played on our bells before," he said.

The gathering broke into applause when he finished.

"It's really incredible to see the community come together around an icon like this," said Erin Peterson, who does marketing for a non-profit organization and came with her husband and children.

"It's just a really nice opportunity to share a piece of my history with them and hopefully they'll have something to remember and take away when they get a little older too," she said.

"It's sad to lose such an icon, such a talent and lose the things that he won't create because of his early passing."

AFP