Free COVID at-home test kits Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse trailer Omicron vs. delta New Google Maps features Walmart PS5 and Xbox Series X restock Cyber Week deals

Purple Rain? Lightning creates Prince symbol on his birthday

Is it a sign o' the times? Some also see the late singer's face in the image, taken in Prince's home state of Minnesota.

Prince made "Purple Rain" famous. On what would've been the late singer's 59th birthday Wednesday, the rain in his home state gave him a little something back.

April McGuire of Richfield, Minnesota (not that far from Chanhassen, home of Prince's Paisley Park complex), was in the nearby suburb of Maple Grove on Wednesday night -- Prince's birthday -- while it was storming there. She took some photos of the sky, and in one of them, Prince fans are seeing the singer's famous glyph symbol -- and some even see Prince's face in the upper left of the image.

"I didn't expect to see what I captured," McGuire told CNET. "I was actually outside with the dogs and it wasn't raining where I was, but there was all this fantastic lightning to the east. All I did was set my iPhone 6 to burst and I captured the photo."


April McGuire snapped this photo of lightning in Minnesota, Prince's home state, on his birthday. Some see his symbol in the lightning, others even see his face in the clouds to the left of the lightning.

Courtesy April McGuire

McGuire spotted the similarity of the lightning strike to the symbol that's forever associated with her home state's famous musician, who died in April 2016 at age 57. In 1993, Prince famously changed his name to the symbol during a contract dispute with Warner Bros., though he began referring to himself as Prince again in 2000.


Prince changed his name to the symbol in 1993, but started going by Prince again in 2000.

Amazon/April McGuire/Collage by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Prince was born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958. The day McGuire snapped the photo would've been his 59th birthday, though as a Jehovah's Witness, the singer didn't celebrate birthdays.

McGuire shared the photo with Twin Cities FOX 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard, who posted it on his Facebook page. Since then, it's been shared by others more than 2,000 times. Some marveled at the photo and the timing, but others were suspicious.

"Are we sure it wasnt a firework someone had made in Prince's symbol and not lightning?" asked Stacey Sorvari.

And Mary MJ Joan wrote, "Pretty cool -- but it is my belief that this is a good example of 'editing'!"

McGuire says she didn't edit the image, and sent CNET the before and after images from her photo burst to show the lightning shifting and changing as it struck.

The lightning (and the face some see next to it) may have just been random chance, but as a Minnesotan, McGuire had to share.

"Being in the Minneapolis area, Prince was a big part of the music scene so when he passed, everyone felt it," she said.

Crowd Control: A crowdsourced science fiction novel written by CNET readers.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.