Prince’s Legendary ‘Cloud 3’ Electric Guitar Just Sold for a Record $910,000

Nearly a decade after his death, Prince is still making music history.

The seven-time Grammy winner’s yellow Cloud 3 electric guitar just hammered down for an eye-watering $910,000 during Julien’s Music Icons sale in New York, setting a new record for the priciest Prince guitar ever sold at auction. The stage-played instrument far exceeded its original estimate, which was thought to be somewhere between $400,000 and $600,000. Previously, the late rocker’s teal-blue Cloud sold for a record $700,000 in 2017.

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According to the auction house, the original yellow Cloud 3 is one of the most important guitars in the Purple One’s career. The instrument was used on stage during a number of different Prince tours in the ‘80s and ‘90s including Purple Rain, Parade, Diamonds and Pearls, Sign of the Times, Lovesexy, and Nude.

Minnesota’s Dave Rusan built the guitar for His Royal Badness in 1985. Interestingly, the Cloud 3 was originally painted white that same year by Mark Sampson and later stripped and repainted in peach by Barry Haugen. The “Lemon Yellow Shimrin” shade appeared later and is what remains on the guitar today. In 1993, the Cloud 3 was gifted to a fan during a promotional giveaway in partnership with New York City-based radio station Z100. Along with the guitar, the winner also earned two front-row tickets to Prince’s concert.

prince cloud 3 guitar auction
Prince’s stage-played original Cloud 3 guitar just set a new world record at auction.

The Highest Priest of Pop’s Cloud 3 was sold alongside relics from other legendary musicians including John Lennon’s Framus Hootenanny, which commanded a record-shattering $2.9 million during the Music Icons event this week. “We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have set a new world record with the sale of John Lennon’s lost hootenanny guitar,” Julien’s Auctions CEO David Goodman said in a statement. “This guitar is not only a piece of music history but a symbol of John Lennon’s enduring legacy.”

Additionally, a 1965 Fender Telecaster that belonged to Robbie Robertson, the lead guitarist for Bob Dylan, ignited a bidding war before it sold for a record $650,000. The lineup also included Bono’s U2-signed 2005 Gretsch G6136i Irish Falcon and The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia stage-played Winterland Ballroom Travis Bean electric guitar. If clothing memorabilia is more your thing, Michael Jackson’s stage-worn Billy Jean black sequin jacket garnered $114,300 while a Versace outfit sported by Tina Turner on her Wildest Dreams Tour sold for $38,100.

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