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Prince's Custom-Made Purple Piano Was to Go on Tour With Him

by The Associated Press /  / Updated 
Customized purple piano for Prince.Ben James / Yamaha Entertainment Group

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Days before his death, Prince tweeted a photo of a custom-made purple piano intended to be a centerpiece of his scheduled tour.

The piano, which was delivered to Prince's home at Paisley Park in Minnesota a few weeks ago, was a rush job that had to be completed in about three months, said Chris Gero, vice president of Yamaha Entertainment Group, based in Franklin, Tennessee.

"We were on the top end of the idea, but it accelerated so fast," Gero said Friday, revealing the behind-the-scenes work that went into its manufacture.

Related: Prince's Remains Cremated, Private 'Beautiful' Ceremony Held

The acoustics of the piano were fine-tuned to Prince's specifications. The artist, 57, who was found dead in his suburban Minneapolis home Thursday, had intended it for his Prince, Piano and a Microphone tour.

Customized purple piano for Prince.Ben James / Yamaha Entertainment Group

"So the piano is an acoustical piano, but it also has a tone generation system internally that can go out to a secondary audio source that all the sounds internally are highly modified just for him," Gero said. "They are EQed (equalized) a certain way. There were certain sounds that were made just specifically for him."

Prince also wanted the manufacturer to match the color to a couch in his home.

"The color purple was specifically chosen by him to match an item in his house, which was actually made of several different colors of purple that made one specific color of purple," Gero said.

The company searched everywhere for the exact shade, ultimately painting it with paint used for cars.

Gero said he was surprised to see that Prince tweeted a picture of the piano and then over the weekend unveiled it to an audience at a show at his compound.

"It was really the last big performance he had done publicly in which he unveiled it and he was very proud of it," Gero said.

Related: Prince Honored in Special 'Saturday Night Live' Tribute

He said the value of the piano now is unknown especially now that Prince has died, but he hopes it will end up in a place where fans can enjoy it.

"It's very oddly attached, and sadly attached, to his final days," Gero said. "It changes obviously the visual component of its value. We don't want to think in those terms. Obviously people will think in those terms. We would like it to find a safe home in a very prominent place that honors him."

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